Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Celebrate ?V-Day Ketchum 2007? at nexStage

Valley women unite for benefit performance

Express Staff Writer

Photo by Mark Johnstone The cast of ?V-Day Ketchum 2007? prepares for a wild ride at nexStage on Friday.

Funny, decadent, moving, spirited, and lively—"The Vagina Monologues," it should be said, are not just for women, but anyone who enjoys a challenging night at the theater.

Feminists love them, of course, because of their honesty, but in the 10-plus years the monologues have been performed, they have also been the cause of spirited debate and active community change.

Directed by Hailey resident Jes Gelet with a cast of 14, the monologues will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. The proceeds will go to The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence, based in Hailey.

Written, and often performed by Eve Ensler, "The Vagina Monologues" will be presented this year at 1,150 colleges, and communities will throw an additional 3,000 benefits around the globe this month. Ketchum's nexStage Theatre is one of only two sites in Idaho where "The Vagina Monologues" can be seen during the month-long period when the play can be presented by the V-Day Organization.

Production rights are granted under the stipulation that the benefits are given to raise funds and awareness for local anti-violence groups, education programs, shelters and rape crisis centers.

This will be Gelet's fourth production of "The Vagina Monologues" and her first at the helm. Her particular rendering of the monologue, "My Short Skirt," is a revelation, no pun intended.

The theme of each year's production changes annually. V-Day's 2007 international theme, "Reclaiming Peace," seeks to make the connection between the worldwide anti-violence work of V-Day activists with the collective desire for peace and an end to armed conflicts.

The cast includes valley residents Page Klune, Dana DuGan, Deb Gelet, Jodi Sanders, Brooke Hartman, Robin Leavitt, Cheryle Hall, Sharon Cardon, Carol Holman, Carol Stevens, Susie Quesnel, Emilee Farber, JoEllen Collins and Jes Gelet.

Each of the monologues is taken directly from interviews Ensler conducted with actual women around the world. The final monologue is especially poignant. It's Ensler's own, about the birth of her granddaughter. Like this one, called "I Was There," the monologues are resonant and filled with insight.

For tickets to the event, call the Advocates at 788-4191.

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