That Uppity Theatre Company will present The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 16-17 at the .ZACK Performing Arts Incubator.Produced as part of VDAY 2019, the production benefits NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, which will receive 90 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales. The remaining 10 percent goes to Eve Ensler’s VDAY organization Spotlight, which focuses on women in prisons, jails, and detention centers, and formerly incarcerated women.
This production of The Vagina Monologues is in honor of the 50th anniversary of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, the state’s largest grassroots pro-choice organization.
Itfeatures an all-female cast of more than 20 women–including professional theatre artists, community members, drag performers, and even an alderwoman–all volunteering their time to benefit VDAY and NARAL.
Performances are at the .ZACK at 3224 Locust St., St. Louis, MO 63103 in Grand Center on Saturday, Feb, 16 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 PM.
Tickets are available through Metrotix. For convenience, tickets can be purchased online 24/7 at https://www.metrotix.com/events/detail/naral-the-vagina-monologues, or at any Metrotix outlet for a fee, or during regular hours at the Fox Theatre Box Office with no fee.
The event will feature one of the largest and most diverse casts of women seen on stage in St. Louis and will include cisgender, transgender, non-binary, African American, Asian American, Latina, white, immigrant, and refugee women, spanning several decades in age. The play explores consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, love, rape, menstruation, birth, orgasm, and many other topics.
“I believe access to reproductive healthcare is a human right and a fundamental freedom,” said Joan Lipkin, Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company, who selected NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri as the chief beneficiary of the production.
“With the Trump administration and anti-choice lawmakers dominating both Congress and the statehouse, it is essential that we lend support in every way, including monetarily. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the show will benefit NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. Everyone is volunteering their time to support NARAL Missouri. It is tremendous how many artists in the community have come forward to share their skills to oppose this violence against women.”
“We are honored that That Uppity Theatre Company selected us as the main beneficiary of this production of The Vagina Monologues,” said Leah Boersig, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Board President. “The anti-choice supermajority in Missouri’s General Assembly is constantly working to chip away at reproductive freedom, but we’re fighting back every day to protect individuals who are facing issues like those featured in this production. The support of That Uppity Theatre Company, the patrons, and everyone else involved in this show is what allows us to keep fighting for improved access to reproductive healthcare in Missouri for all.”
This production is part of the international V-Day movement started by Ensler, which this year will run from February 1-March 8 and encompass over 1,000 productions around the globe. The Vagina Monologues is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show and/or host other related events in their communities. The remaining 10% of the proceeds, not only from this production but from every V-Day production worldwide, will go to Ensler’s Spotlight campaign.
“We are deliberately offering tickets at a wide range of pricing to both raise money for this worthy organization as well as to ensure that as many people as possible can participate. We want them to have a powerful theatre experience and to feel connected to what is at stake,” said Lipkin. The show is directed by Rhonda Cropp, Joan Lipkin, Suki Peters, and Pam Reckamp. Technical direction by Michael Perkins.
Performers include Galina Angheluta, Anna Blair, Teresa Doggett, Paige Russell Elias, Carmen Garcia, Pam Reckamp, Gail Smith, Margeau Steinau, Sara Lin, Alderwoman Annie Rice, Christa Lou Cunningham, India Reid, Judi Mann, Talichia Noah, Jeanitta Perkins, Mariah Richardson, Grace Wilder, Miss Leon (aka Dieta Pepsi), and others. Featuring live drumming by Lisa Frumhoff, Debbie Blackwell, Rithia Brown, and Natalie Turner Jones.
For more information, see prochoicemissouri.org.
ABOUT V-DAY 2019: V-Day is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that distributes funds to national and international grassroots organizations and programs that work to stop violence against girls and women. V-Day’s 2018-2019 Spotlight will focus on women in prisons and jails, detention centers, and formerly incarcerated women.
ABOUT THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES: The episodic play was once called “probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade,” by Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, and was included in the Times’s list of the most influential American plays since Angels In America last year.
Ensler based the piece on 200 interviews. Since originally performing the piece in 1996, she has continued to edit and expand the text to include transgender perspectives, writing the monologue They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy… after interviewing a group of women whose gender identity differed from their assigned gender identity at birth. She also included a piece about the rape of women in Bosnia, based on interviews.
Each year, the script released for V-Day is slightly different.
ABOUT NARAL PRO-CHOICE MISSOURI: NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Missouri, and we believe that every woman should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri works to protect every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.