It’s an event that has struck a chord with women and men on the West Shore.
The volunteer organizers of the Vagina Monologues in Langford have added a second show at Isabelle Reader Theatre after a flood of community support and interest.
The original performance, set for Saturday, is sold out at 300 tickets. Doors will now also open Friday for an unanticipated “prequel.” Jennifer Harrison, one of the event producers, said support from the community and sponsors is overwhelming. The cast of 21 women and the support volunteers didn’t hesitate to sign on for another night.
“There is so much energy around this. People are calling all the time about getting tickets, asking us to squeeze them in,” Harrison said. “We thought if we could sell even half the theatre on Friday, we’ll raise even more funds for Pacific Centre.”
Eve Ensler’s famed Vagina Monologues are the backdrop to Langford’s first V-Day event, which promotes awareness about violence against women and girls.
Money raised by the two performances and accompanying silent auctions will support Stopping the Violence, a counselling program for abused women offered at Pacific Centre Family Services in Colwood. The need is there – the program has a waiting list.
“It’s sadly and maddeningly underfunded,”Harrison said. “And it’s the only program of it’s kind on the West Shore.”
The monologues will largely follow the scripts written by Ensler, read by women who live or work on the West Shore, from teen girls to older adults. Some are orated in groups, other solo, but all monologues are humorous, inspirational and speak truth to women’s experiences.
“The play somehow speaks to all of the cast,” Harrison said. “It moves through humour to intensity to raw honesty. It’s beautifully written. The hour and a half just flies by.”
Harrison stressed that men are encouraged to attend the plays, and that a number of men are volunteering with the production in support roles. Male members of the crew announce themselves as “Vagina Warriors” on their T-shirts.
“This certainly isn’t exclusive to women. We need to share this with the whole community,” Harrison said.
“We just want to create awareness around stopping violence against women in our own community,” she said. “The number of women who have stepped up and the number of men who have stepped up, the support we’ve received, it seems violence touches everyone’s life in some shape or form. We have the power in our own community to stop it.”
The Vagina Monologues are March 30 and 31 at Isabelle Reader Theatre in Langford, 1026 Goldstream Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m.