A large cast of local women will appear on Saturday in a staging of “The Vagina Monologues” sponsored by the City of West Hollywood and the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization of Women.
The play, written by Eve Ensler, was staged in 1996 in New York City and quickly became a hit. In a story in The New York Times in 2006, critic Charles Isherwood said of Ensler’s play: “Her collage of testimonials about the culture of silence surrounding sexual violence against women is probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade, at least if we measure a play’s impact in quantifiable terms. It has been produced in 90 countries, and the annual ‘V-Day’ benefits it inspired have raised more than $40 million for local charities.”
Isherwood’s statement was part of a larger story about whether theater could “rouse the populace from a sense of numbed anxiety … Can a stage play change minds, or help channel passive beliefs into active commitment?” He was referring to the country’s reaction at the time to the death tolls from the war in Iraq and fear of terrorism.
The Saturday staging of “The Vagina Monologues” comes during a similar time of anxiety about what the Trump administration might do to restrict women’s reproductive rights and about his comments about grabbing women by the vagina.
“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed by an ensemble cast from 2 to 4 p.m., at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.
Originally performed by Ensler, who portrayed all of the women, the play has evolved to feature different actresses for all of the roles. The cast for this production includes West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath, former council member Abbe Land, Dorian Adams-Wilson, Ivy Bottini, Chelsea Byers, Marie Cartier, Chela Demuir, Diane Hart, SaDara Hill, Amanda Smash Hyde, Alyssa Kriss, Yasmin Lee, Valerie Victoria Lopez, Mariana Marroquin, Susie Spite McKinney, Kristina Mitchell, Gia Ryan Olaes, Silvia Salguero, Maxie Solters, Jonnae Thompson, Noemi Torres, Sarah Truby and Addison Rose Vincent.
The production is co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Code Pink, Pacific Shore NOW, California National Organization for Women, V-Day, One Billion Rising – Los Angeles, Black Women for Wellness, San Gabriel Valley – Whittier NOW, the City of West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board and Transgender Advisory Board, Conscious Period and Lunchbox Wax.
Admission is $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Validated parking will be available in the adjacent five-story structure. All ticket proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood.
Space is limited — tickets for the production are expected to sell out. Tickets can be reserved online.