A prologue to The Vagina Monologues
The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, but organizers of this year’s Kamloops run of The Vagina Monologues want women to get in on the action a little earlier.
Producer Rebecca McLean is asking women to turn their radios to B100 at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, and dance to Canadian artist Nelly Furtado’s Spirit Indestructible.
Around the globe, other women will do the same.
“The whole idea is, for the length of one song, you get up and leave your daily routine,” McLean said.
“For three minutes just to go outside and join with others around the world in solidarity.”
The event is part of the One Billion Rising campaign, which seeks to end violence against women. It takes its name from a United Nations estimate that one in three women around the globe will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes.
“Their slogan is ‘One billion women being violated is an atrocity, one billion women dancing is a revolution,’” McLean said.
“It’s a positive response to a really negative statistic.”
For those looking to dance with company, members of the Dames Investing in Social Harmony group, which sponsors the Monologues performance each year, will stage group risings outside the Kamloops Library on Victoria Street downtown and outside the ASK Wellness Centre, 433 Tranquille Rd., in North Kamloops.
On Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Kamloops Convention Centre, this year’s production of The Vagina Monologues will start.
Performed by 27 local women, the show is based on more than 200 interviews playwright Eve Ensler conducted with women of all ages and sexualities.
The show — which is performed around the world each February — is free to stage as long as groups commit to donating their profits to community organizations that combat violence against women.
Locally, McLean estimates the show has raised $50,000 during the last six years. This year, profits will go to Interior Community Services, Kamloops Immigrant Services and The Family Tree Drop-In Centre.
Originally run as a single night at Thompson Rivers University, the show has expanded to three nights and routinely plays to sold-out theatres.
McLean thinks the show’s success locally is a matter of attitude.
“That’s a big part of it, that it’s fun,” she said.
“When you walk into the convention centre, you have to walk through these huge, fabric vaginas to even get into our theatre.”
Outside the theatre, there is a silent auction and a host of vagina-themed items for purchase, including cupcakes and underwear.
But, it’s the delivery of the show that really brings people back each year, McLean said.
Though the show tackles, and is in support of, a campaign to end violence against women, McLean said “we’ve made a real decision to do it with joy and not with anger.
“If we want to make change, we have to engage with men because, nine times out of 10, violence against women is perpetrated by men,” she said.
“But, they’re not going to come if they think we’re angry at them.”
The Vagina Monologues can be seen at the Kamloops Convention Centre from Thursday, Feb. 14, to Saturday, Feb. 16.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with showtime at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20, or $25 for table seating, through the Kamloops Live Box Office, 2015 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.com.