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'Monologues' to benefit assault services

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"The Vagina Monologues," based on studies and interviews by Eve Ensler, will be staged by local actors at 7 p.m. March 6 and 7 at the Sheldon Theatre. Julie Martin is directing the V-Day production.

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"Women's sexuality and strength are explored with humor and grace in this adult-focused presentation," Sheldon officials said. The program is a benefit for the Goodhue-Wabasha Sexual Assault Services; it is sponsored by that agency and Phoenix Theatre.

"The Vagina Monologues" explores the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women's experiences.

The show was first performed off-Broadway by Ensler, who created the monologues after interviewing numerous women.

This performance will feature 15 women performing 10 of the original monologues and two new ones.

Cast members are Helene Olson-Reed, Julie Martin, Terese Bjornstad, Emily Baldwin, Michelle Meyer, Sara Hoffman, Carrie O'Reilly, Mary Peterson, Alyssa Carlson, Kik Gheen, Kim Chalmers, Emily Erickson, Sandie Worner, Min MartinOakes, and LaVergne Dickerson.

V-Day

V-Day was established in 1998, officials said, "inspired by women's reactions to Ensler's groundbreaking piece that brings the audience through the private shame, cultural taboos, and social stigma surrounding rape and abuse and creates a new conversation about and with women."

As the author performed the piece in small towns and large cities around the world, hundreds of women lined up to tell stories of rape, incest, domestic battery and female genital mutilation.

"She saw and heard firsthand the destructive personal, social, political and economic consequences violence against women has for many nations," sponsors said.

She believed that "The Vagina Monologues" could be "more than a moving work of art on violence the pleasure and the shame women have about their vaginas. She imagined that the performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence," theater spokesmen said.

Last year more than 4,000 V-Day benefits took place around the world, raising funds and educating millions of people about violence against women and girls. Since 1998, V-Day and these events have raised over $60 million for local beneficiaries working to end violence against women and girls.

To learn more about V Day Red Wing, call (651) 388-9160, ext. 13, or e-mail gwsas@hotmail.com.

To learn more about V Day and its campaigns visit www.vday.org.

Tickets to "The Vagina Monologues" are $16 for adults, $10 for students. Call (651) 388-8700 or (800) 899-5759.

The theater Web site is www.sheldontheatre.org.

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