It’s hard to imagine what was going through author Eve Ensler’s mind on October 3, 1996.
Standing front and center on the HERE Arts Center stage in New York City, Ensler performed an episodic play she wrote titled The Vagina Monologues. The show was supposed to be centered on interviews Ensler conducted with over two hundred women; questions were primarily on sex and relationships. As Ensler got deeper into her conversations with these women, she began hearing horrific stories on sexual abuse and violence. What was originally Ensler’s vision- to “celebrate the vagina” – The Vagina Monologues has become a movement to stop the senseless violence against women around the world.
On February 18-20, the women of the Black Box Improv Theater in downtown Dayton will be added to the list of those who will have performed the award-winning play. How to show goes is each member will step onto the stage and present an already prepared monologue. The subject matter will contain stories that involve love and sex, but also heavier subjects (rape, female genital mutilation) as well.
The women’s participation of this show is also in support of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and to support local organizations. “This is an important issue for everyone. An average of three women are murdered every day due to domestic violence. I think we can all agree that violence against women and girls must stop,” said Black Box performer Libby Scancarello, who is producing and directing the show. “I’ve produced this event twice before to raise money for local organizations. I am happy to be presenting it again with the women of this theater, who are so talented and diverse.”
For the local adaptation of The Vagina Monologues, all of the proceeds will be going to The Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County, Inc. Established in 1979, the shelter helps provide assistance for any woman man, with or without children, who lack a safe, stable place to live. Victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, along with homeless individuals and families are offered immediate housing and protection. “We’re grateful for Libby and this team of women,” said Barbara Holman, Director of the Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County. “The women, men, and children we serve will benefit in critical ways from the proceeds of this show.”
Seventeen years later – internationally performed, along with a television version produced by HBO – Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues has become and still continues to be one of the most powerful plays ever. With the women of the Black Box Improv Theater’s show, it should be undoubtedly become a staple each year.
Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at daytonblackbox.com. There are three showtimes to choose from: