When: Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.
Where: Act II Playhouse, 56 East Butler Avenue, Ambler Borough
Listen closely to a story of empowerment. See a study in individuality. Hear a song of survival and perseverance. Join in a celebration of women.
The Vagina Monologues is all of these things and much more. An Obie Award-winning episodic play written by Eve Ensler, the performance is comprised of a varying number of monologues read by several different women. A recurring theme throughout the piece “is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.” Since its inception, The Vagina Monologues has become the centerpiece of “V-Day,” a global campaign that has raised more than $50 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefit performances.
On Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4, the women of Temple University Ambler will present a rallying cry to stop the violence against women as they present their own benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, at 8 p.m. at the Act II Playhouse in Ambler Borough.
“Over the years, we have worked hard to bring The Vagina Monologues to the Ambler Campus. For the second year in a row, we are partnering with the Act II Playhouse to bring this important message off campus and directly into our community — last year proved extremely successful,” said Dr. Wanda Lewis-Campbell, Temple University Ambler Assistant Dean for Student Life. “The goal is basically to tell the stories of women — a discussion and celebration of situations and experiences related to their vaginas, which, in turn is meant to open everyone’s eyes to the damage that is being perpetrated against women. It’s not male bashing by any means; it’s all about understanding.”
Tickets are $10. Proceeds from the performances will support the Montgomery County Women’s Center and Laurel House.
Under the direction of Dr. Lewis-Campbell, the Ambler Campus performers — a mix of students and staff — will take on a variety of the personas created by Ensler and based on true stories.
“Every person — students, faculty, staff and alumni — that auditioned is part of the performance and I’ve been truly impressed with the level of talent on display. I’m very pleased with the fact that these are not trained actresses — they are stretching themselves and, in many cases, going well beyond their comfort zones to bring their characters to life and have a true impact on the audience,” she said. “Our actresses have really embraced what they are doing and I think it will be a wonderful performance. Ultimately, we want our audience to understand the need to get involved to stop the violence against women. People say they want to make a difference, but in order to affect change, they have to do more than just say it.”
Claudia Bereshnyi of the Temple University Admissions Office, is making a return appearance in Ambler’s performance of The Vagina Monologues for a fifth time because, she said “the message is so important.”
“The experience has been so positive and I’ve felt such camaraderie with the other cast members that I knew I wanted to do it again,” she said. “Everyone has a story and a deep capacity for understanding. Some stories are sad, some are hilarious, but we all have a very specific point of view — that is so important. While these words are Eve Ensler’s, the sentiment and life that lie within the words are held in each of the participants.”
The cast, Bereshnyi said, wants to “raise awareness about the multitude of challenges that women encounter every day.”
“The message is quite simply that ‘women are awesome!’ in every respect,” she said. “It’s a very, very inclusive performance because all of the actors are, essentially, there for a very specific purpose — to honor women!”
For more information on The Vagina Monologues at Temple University Ambler, contact the Office of Student Life at 267-468-8425. For more information on the history of The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day campaign, visit www.vday.org.