The Vagina Monologues will be performed at The Orange Peel in Asheville on Saturday, February 25, at 8 p.m. Written by Eve Ensler, this groundbreaking play is based on interviews with more than 200 women and seeks to raise awareness needed to bring an end to domestic and sexual violence. Allison Taylor of WNC Weddings & Events and Skillful Solutions first brought the show to town for its 15th anniversary in 2013.
“It really spoke to me about the issues that women face in the way that it was so raw, open, honest, politically incorrect and in many ways, absolutely hilarious,” says Taylor. “I learned that there were opportunities to produce a show locally to raise funds for nonprofits that supported services for women.” Since 2013, her productions have raised more than $18,000 for local women’s shelters.
“It takes the audience through stories that make you laugh, cry, blush and feel anger to your core,” says Jennifer DiLemme, a spectator-turned-performer. “In the end, it comes together to tell the story of all women and how sacred our vagina/sexuality is and how that amazing gift should be celebrated and protected.” She finds the show to be challenging for individuals in a way that leads to personal growth and understanding. Her own husband was surprised not only by his lack of embarrassment, but by his enthusiasm for the performance, which their teenage daughter first attended last year.
“She loved it and it opened a wonderful conversation between us that lasted for months,” says DiLemme. “She left feeling empowered and wanting to empower others.” DiLemme has been involved with the show for the past three years and is excited to be performing with her daughter in this year’s production.
Helpmate of Asheville, which offers crisis-level services for victims of domestic violence and their children, will receive 90 percent of the proceeds from this year’s event. Remaining proceeds will benefit V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Taylor produces, directs and acts in the show along with a lovely cast of women volunteers.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Prices are $25 in advance or $35 at the door for general admission and $15 in advance or$20 at the door for students. Tickets can be purchased at The Orange Peel Box Office in person or by visiting theorangepeel.net. The show contains mature content and anyone age 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult. Those wishing to make a financial contribution can donate directly to Helpmate of Asheville at helpmateonline.org in reference to “Vagina Monologues.” For more information contact Allison Taylor at 828.553.7718, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vday.org.