Vagina Monologues subject matter close to performers’ hearts

Melanie McKenzie

Melanie McKenzie

Sex worker support group to perform controversial play

As one woman reads from the script in her hands, others sitting around her listening intently; sometimes laughing, other times silent.

The past and present sex workers and community supporters expect a similar response from their audience on Saturday (March 12) when they showcase The Vagina Monologues, featuring true stories of women and their vaginas. Many of the monologues delve into the violence the women have suffered.

“This is something we live and breathe every day,” said Marcela Mrnka, executive director of Esquimalt-based PEERS Victoria Resource Society, which is putting on the show.

Heather Wittman has helped stage past productions of Monologues and is doing so again.

“We’re going to do something about it, and the something involves laughing really, really hard at things that would normally make us squirm,” she said of the subject matter.

Proceeds from the event will help the support group provide Victoria sex workers with education, counselling and outreach services.

Since The Vagina Monologues premiered – it was written and first performed in 1996 by Eve Ensler – it has raised more than $75 million for anti-violence groups around the world. It has reached more than 300 million people, raising awareness about sexual violence against women and girls.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. General admission is $25, or $15 for students, the disabled seniors. Tickets are available at Lyle’s Place, 770 Yates St., or at the door.

emccracken@vicnews.com