It began as casual conversations with friends. Soon Eve Ensler began talking with women she did not know. Eventually she spoke with 200 of them.
Their discussions about sex and relationships often turned to the topic of violence against women. The project — which Ensler had envisioned as a celebration of vaginas and femininity — became a crusade to stop that violence.
Since its off-Broadway debut in 1996, “The Vagina Monologues” — which explores consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, sex work and other topics through the eyes of women of various ages, races and sexualities — has become one of the most impactful plays of our time.
It also sparked the V-Day Movement, a global non-profit aimed at ending violence against women and girls.
“The Vagina Monologues” forms the cornerstone of the movement. Benefit performances take place worldwide each year between February and April. All must stick to an annual script that V-Day puts out.
Performances benefit rape crisis centers, shelters for women and similar resources. So far, they’ve raised over $120 million.
This year, Westport Library has been chosen to produce a V-Day event. Beneficiaries are the Center for Family Justice and the Rowan Center sexual assault agency. Many cast members are Westport residents.
Set for Friday, February 21, the event begins with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception. The performance will be followed by a conversation between the cast and audience, about themes and issues brought up in the play.
The suggested donation is $20. However, all donation levels are accepted (and appreciated). For tickets, click here.