Female Empowerment Play Celebrates V-Day at RIC 

There are more ways to celebrate women this week than by gifting them with flowers and candy.

The Rhode Island College Feminists United will present two productions of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” on Feb. 14 in honor of V-Day, a global activist movement that promotes events to increase awareness of the need to end worldwide violence against women and girls.

“This is an important event to raise awareness of abuse against women across the globe and to honor our collective strength and solidarity as women who pay attention to this issue,” said Leslie Schuster, director of RIC’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program. “This is a cherished student activity. For the past 10 years, students have looked forward to participating in and going to this program.”

Both shows take place at 7 p.m. in Gaige Auditorium.  

“We are still trying in this world to bring equality to women,” said Angela Garcia, president of Feminists United, a RIC student organization. “This play is very liberating and gives a voice to people who have been...voiceless.”

“The Vagina Monologues” addresses women’s sexuality, including the issues of rape and sexual abuse, through a series of monologues read by different women. Schuster said that while the play addresses a serious subject, it is also a "rousing and fun event full of great humor and laughter.”

Ensler established V-Day as a nonprofit organization in February 1998. The playwright allows groups to produce performances of “The Vagina Monologues” and her other works to raise funds for local projects and programs supporting her nonprofit’s mission of ending violence against women and girls.

According to its website, the nonprofit has raised over $100 million to help create a world free of violence toward women.

The Feminists United productions will benefit two Providence nonprofits: Sojourner House, which offers services to women in domestic violence situations, and the Women’s Shelter at Crossroads Rhode Island, which provides extended stay and case management for homeless women.

“There is still a lot of social injustice in this world in regards to women and their mobility,” Garcia said. “We hope those who see the play will walk away wanting to take action.”

RIC students will perform 16 monologues at the Feminist United productions, including three personal monologues, one of which was written by and will be performed by a male student.

Tickets for “The Vagina Monologues: RIC Chapter 2014” are $5 for RIC students and $10 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased in the Unity Center and the Women’s Center, both located on the lower level of Donovan Dining Center.

Feminists United works to spread awareness of women’s issues on campus, with a focus on activism, feminism and women’s rights. The student organization seeks to change stereotypes and support unity and gender equality.

For questions and more information on the production, call 456-8474 or email feminists@ric.edu.

For more information on V-Day, visit www.vday.org.