Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Women speak out

By Diana Freundl  /  STAFF REPORTER

The local cast of Eve Ensler's play about women and sexuality The Vagina Monologues flashes the V sign.


Eve Ensler's award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, will bring intelligent eroticism to the stage in a premiere performance in Taipei at the end of the month. As part of the 2005 V-Day worldwide campaign to end violence against women, three local women's associations along with Dana Wylie, a Canadian musician living in Taiwan, have co-organized a benefit production of the monologues. Proceeds raised from the event will be donated to existing anti-violence organizations.

The Vagina Monologues is a collection of personal accounts from various women encountered by Ensler during her travels. From the retelling of a rape experience to tips on masturbation, the monologues address serious issues while attacking conventional, often dated, definitions of sexuality.

"Taiwan is a rather conservative place and people avoid using the word vagina. We want to celebrate having a vagina, not as a group of victims but as warriors who are proud to be female," said Chen Sze-yi (陳思宜), Garden of Hope Foundation representative and co-organizer of the event.

The play has made a major impact around the world since it was first staged in New York in 1997.

For its debut in Taiwan, audiences will have the option of watching a Mandarin or English version, each with its own director, cast and approach.

In her production, Dana Wylie has recruited 10 women from the foreign community, each reading one of the monologue characters. Betsy Lan, a Taipei theater community veteran, is taking a more dramatic direction in her staging with scene, set and costume changes. To make sure none of the material gets lost in translation, Lan has also adapted the script so that it appeals to local culture.

The V-Day event doesn't take place until the end of the month, but ticket reservations begin this Sunday. A donation of NT$500 gains entrance to the pre-party, play and award ceremony, all of which will be held in The Red Playhouse (紅樓劇場) located at 10 Chengdu Rd, Taipei (台北市成都路10).

The Mandarin and English versions will be staged on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, respectively. Seating capacity is limited.

For tickets to the Mandarin performance, call Chen at Garden of Hope: (02) 2369 0885 ext 547. For tickets to the English performance, call Dana Wylie at 0936 997 459.

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