Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A rant against violence

V-Day is a call for a kinder, healthier community

Express Staff Writer

Dirty Feet Dance Company will perform a special scene as part of the V-Day event. Courtesy photo

    Whether summoning the strength to finish a race with a pulled hamstring, or finding the seemingly lost sense of self-preservation that a woman musters to leave a violent situation, “it’s very powerful what happens when we push ourselves,” believes world champion endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch. That’s one reason why she’s stepping up as a role model for women and girls.
    “My initial confidence comes from doing sports with all girls,” she said. “As a mature athlete, it’s important to spread the word, especially to inspire young women.”
    On Feb. 22 and 23, at Ketchum’s nexStage Theatre, Rusch will join the Advocates Against
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in presenting “V-Day: The Advocates 2013.”
    Nightly, at 7 p.m., the event will include a reading of Eve Ensler’s “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer” along with a dance performance by Hailey’s Dirty Feet Dance Company in the spirit of One Billion Rising, a call to women and those who love them to rise up, dance and demand an end to the violence.
    According to the Advocates, 1 in 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
    The Advocates is a Wood River Valley nonprofit whose mission is to teach people of all ages how to build and maintain healthy relationships. The Advocates provides education as well as shelter and support services. Every year, more than 4,500 community members of all ages participate in the Advocates’ programs.
    The Advocates believes that people of all ages deserve relationships with their partners, families and peers that are based in safety and respect.
    “It’s not just about women being strong forces of healthy change and attitude for the community,” said Advocates’ Community Educator Travis Jones. “We present tools for men, women and children to address issues on power-based personal violence. Any time open conversations can take place about these issues, it’s good work.”
      The performances will begin at 7 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. Tickets for the awareness and fundraiser are $30 and $15 for students for regular seating. Reserved front-row tickets cost $75 and other reserved seats are $50.
    Joining Rusch will be Chantal Westerman, Kat Vanden Huevel, Sophie Castle, Emma Steussi, Anika Lyon, Sallie Castle, Charlotte Baker, Kathy Wygle, Scott Creighton, Patsy Wygle, Cam Cooper and Mat Gershater, who will all read selections.
    “We felt it was time to bring these issues back to the forefront,” said Advocates’ Executive Director Tricia Swartling. “Having honest and compassionate conversations about challenging topics such as bullying, teen dating abuse and domestic violence is the first step to changing our response as individuals and as a community.”
    For details, contact Advocates Events and Development Coordinator Lisa Huttinger at, call 788-4191, or visit

Join the chorus
When: Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.
Where: nexStage Theatre on Ketchum’s Main Street.
Tickets: From $10 to $75.


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