For 20 years Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues has shattered taboos by telling the untold stories of women, giving birth to V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against all women and girls (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender based violence). With creativity and determination, V-Day activists around the world have worked tirelessly to end harassment, rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex slavery. The stakes could not be higher for this urgent work.
This year, in place of a traditional V-Day Spotlight monologue, we invite activists to amplify and lift up the often unheard and excluded voices of survivors, activists and groups in your communities by creating three community-written testimonies, to be performed at the end of the play. These pieces should center the voices of the most marginalized women on your stage, harnessing the power of The Vagina Monologues to create a space for critical conversations and voices.
The first of these new testimonies will showcase a formerly incarcerated or detained woman, inviting them to speak to the audience about their experiences and how they connect to the issue of violence against women and girls. This will be part of V-Day’s 2019 global Spotlight campaign on Women in Prisons and Jails, Detention Centers, and Formerly Incarcerated Women, created in collaboration with formerly incarcerated women and activists.
Choose two additional local leaders or activists who are doing the crucial, daily work of ending violence in your community to Present a “What and Why My Vagina is Rising” monologue. Invite them to share with the audience what they are working to change and how the local community can support them. We encourage organizers to showcase a range of voices through these monologues, by elevating the voices of writers and performers who hold different identities and experiences.
These Rising Testimonies ideally are between 2-3 minutes and must be performed at the end of The Vagina Monologues. No original pieces from TVM may be moved, substituted, or omitted.
Throughout V-Day’s history, activists have used this platform to shed light on the connection between gender based violence and political instability, armed conflict, xenophobia, unsafe working conditions, transphobia, homophobia, and racism. Rising Testimonies can cover a range of topics—gender and sexuality, identity, the changing socio-political climate, any issue specific to the community at hand.
For more information, including guidelines and production notes, visit HERE
DONATION: Donate 90% of your proceeds to a group or groups in your community who are doing anti-violence work. For example, a local rape crisis center or domestic violence shelter.
Register to produce a 2019 V-Day benefit production of The Vagina Monologues and/or A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer from 1 February – 8 March.
For out of season options to produce The Vagina Monologues, visit HERE.
V-Day: Say It, Stage It – Produce a V-Day Benefit as an Artistic Uprising at your college/university, in your community
One Billion RISING: Rise In Solidarity – RISE in your community, for your community
City of Joy: Turn Pain to Power – Screen the Documentary, Support the Women in DR Congo
Amplifying New Voices: Since V-Day first began in 1998, many new and long term activists have begun to stage their own works reflecting the voices in their communities. If you would like to foreground new voices in the conversation around ending violence against women, we encourage you to do so by curating stories from your community and creating a new artistic evening that you present separately. Many organizers have done this, both instead of “The Vagina Monologues” and in addition to it. It’s a wonderful way to invite local writers, activists and artists to participate.
When women take the stage, incredible things happen, as their issues are voiced and confronted for all to see and hear.
#SayItStageIt #RiseInSolidarity #TurningPainIntoPower