Shannon

It’s that time of year again, folks- V-Day hits Lansing (…and I don’t mean Valentine’s Day!)

February is one of my favorite times of year. I know that for most people, there is not much to look forward to in February; there is an abundance of dirty, slushy snow lining the streets, we reach such frigid temperatures, we should be encouraged to stay in bed rather than venturing out to make it to work or school. However, there are a few good things about this second month of the year to look forward to, and for me, the biggest is V-day… and no, I am not talking about Valentine’s day.

That’s right, folks, February 14th not only marks Valentine’s Day on calendars across the #lovelansing area, but also V-Day.While many people celebrate their love with chocolates, greeting cards, pricey dinners and roses, I like the idea of celebrating love for  women and girls around the world, as well as oneself, through raising awareness, art and “The Vagina Monologues” performances around the globe!

According to the official website,

“V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.” (www.vday.org)

This is done through many means, but here in Lansing, one of the best way to celebrate V-Day would be to catch a performance of “The Vagina Monologues”, an episodic play written by Eve Enlser, which contains various monologues based on Ensler’s interviews with women on relationships, sex, violence against women and the perception of vaginas.  This play is performed around the world each year, and we are lucky enough to have an opportunity to catch a performance right here in greater Lansing.

As an activist for women’s rights, I have been involved with V-Day and the MSU production of “The Vagina Monologues” for many years of my life. I can honestly can say that it was a life-changing experience, not only as a former cast member and director, but by seeing how each member of the audience is uniquely affected by the performance. According to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. With alarming statistics such as these, it is clear why attention needs to be brought upon this issue, and why the strained agencies that work in this field need the support.

The cast of the 2011 Vagina Monologues at MSU will be performing at The Wharton Center this coming weekend! Show information is as follows:

Dates/Times: Friday, February 18th, 8 p.m., and Saturday, February 19th at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m

Tickets Price: $16 general admission/ $11 students (i.e. $5 discount for students — 2 per ID)+ $2.50 Wharton Center restoration fee per ticket. 

Ninety percent of all proceeds will go directly to the MSU Sexual Assault Center  which is located on the campus of MSU and provides shelter, support and guidance to MSU students and faculty, or anyone in the East Lansing area in need. The remaining 10 percent of proceeds will will benefit V-Day’s efforts to fund a revolutionary national campaign in Haiti lead by a coalition of women activists.

I encourage you all to be a part of the V-Day movement and support the efforts to end the violence by attending one of these shows. Tickets are going fast, so don’t wait to make your purchase at the door! You can visit Wharton Center to purchase tickets online today. You can look for me at the opening night performance, front and center!

Happy V-Day (and Valentine’s Day!) to you all!