What: The Vagina Monologues
When: Saturday, Mar. 8, 7
Where: MY Millennium Place
It’s time to talk about the
vertical smile. You know… the snappin’ pussy, pink taco, or the Great Divide.
Some call it the Leave it to Beaver, the poontang or hair pie.
However, women across the
world, in more than 120 countries, will be simply calling it the vagina on V-Day
– and this vagina has a lot to say with the production of The Vagina Monologues
staging itself as part of a global movement to stop violence against women.
“We are getting some strange
reactions,” said local event producer Wanda Groetelaars of the production’s
name. “Yes, it’s called The Vagina Monologues and it’s about creating dialogue
This will be the 10th
anniversary of the production being staged as part of V-Day in more than 120
countries. The event has raised more than $50 million for grassroots programs
that speak out against violence against women, and provide shelters and crisis
centres all over the world. The production of The Vagina Monologues staged
Friday, Mar. 7 at the Brackendale Art Gallery as well as Saturday, Mar. 8 at MY
Millennium Place in Whistler will benefit the Howe Sound Women’s Centre in
Squamish and the Katrina Warriors in New Orleans.
“The Howe Sound Women’s
Centre has not had provincial funding since 2003 and relies greatly on
community funding and support,” Groetelaars said. “This benefit will help
ensure our doors stay open as we serve on average 5,000 women and children each
year in the Sea to Sky Corridor.”
Each one of those women has
their own story and The Vagina Monologues helps puts the spotlight on a few of
those universal tales that shed light on what it means to be a female.
Every monologue relates to
the vagina whether through sex, love, rape, mutilation, menstruation, orgasm,
birth or masturbation. A few monologue titles include My Angry Vagina, The Little
Coochie Snorcher That Could and Because He Liked to Look at It.
Humour and drama probe at
issues that affect women around the world. Writer Eve Ensler, who interviewed
200 women on their views about sex, relationships and violence against women
for the play, believed sexuality and female empowerment were intimately
connected. The play began staging itself Off-Broadway in New York, featuring
actresses such as Melissa Etheridge and Whoopi Goldberg, and it wasn’t long
before the rest of the world got exposed to the between-legs production with
V-Day, which stands for Valentine, Vagina and Victory.
Actress Heather Paul prefers
to refer to the V-word as her hairy marmot –such a proud Whistler patriot.
However, the Whistler actor
and director is going even more south for her performance by playing the
Coochie Snorcher monologue as a black southern woman.
As you can imagine, she
isn’t able to practice her accent and lines at work out of fear of sexual
harassment charges. The head of the Between Shifts Theatre Company in Whistler
last stole the show as “Bottom’s girlfriend” and Wall in the Whistler Theatre
Project’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream last summer.
She joins a seasoned cast of
veteran actresses including Susan Hutchinson from Pemberton as well as Carla
Fuhre, Kathy Daniels, Maureen Mackell, Deanna Enders and Patricia Heintzman (a
Squamish councillor) from Squamish.
The way the production was
mounted is as liberating as the script itself. There was no director, only
group rehearsals were held where all of the women collaborated to help each
actress with their monologue.
“It’s definitely a bonding
experience with all of these women,” Paul said. “It’s speaks to the spirit of
the way in which this work was intended – women working together. This play is
about better understanding me and you and better understanding the woman next
door… We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t stop violence against women.
It’s about raising awareness and speaking to issues of rape and violence and we
are talking about our hairy marmots, so there are definitely funny parts to it
Advance $20 tickets for the
Brackendale show are available at the Howe Sound Women’s Centre, the
Brackendale Art Gallery and Mostly Books in Squamish.
The Whistler show staged on
International Women’s Day includes an opening gala with drinks, appetizers and
a silent auction. Advance $39 tickets are on sale at www.myplacewhistler.org or