Actors Bridge Ensemble, Nashville’s premier professional theater company, is joining forces with some of Music City’s most talented, colorful and compassionate women for a very special performance of Eve Ensler’s "The Vagina Monologues."
A Nashville tradition for the past five years, the show almost didn’t happen this year.
“I wasn’t going to do it this year,” explained Actor’s Bridge Producing Artistic Director Vali Forrister who has directed the show for the previous five years.
“But public demand has dictated that I absolutely have to.”
Forrister had decided after her mother’s recent cancer relapse that she would take this year off but was inundated by phone calls and personal requests that prompted her to go on with the tradition for another year.
“One of the city’s prominent female bankers cornered me and told me that it was a ritual pilgrimage that she and her girlfriends looked forward to every year for the past five. She insisted that I couldn’t break the tradition. I just couldn’t let them down.”
Opry great Jeannie Seely, Recording artists Mandy Barnett and Annie Sellick, Venus 102.5 DJ Trish Vogel, actors Vali Forrister, Rachel Agee, Pru Clearwater, Betsy Phillips, Erika Sumner and Stephanie Rankin, music executive Tracy Gershon, songwriter Jennifer Kimball and community leader Rev. Becca Stevens will perform "The Vagina Monologues" Saturday, February 25, 9:30 PM at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville as part of V-Day Nashville 2006.
Proceeds from the February 25 performance will benefit Magdalene House, a residential housing and recovery program for Nashville women with a criminal history of prostitution and drug abuse. Magdalene House and Actor’s Bridge have long been connected as they both grew out of St. Augustine’s Chapel on Vanderbilt University Campus. Magdalene House has been the beneficiary of the event every year this far.
“It’s a perfect match,” Forrister elaborated, “The Vagina Monologues is about transforming women’s lives and ending violence toward women. Becca Stevens and Magdalene House do just that with their work every day.”
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. It is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for victory, valentine and vagina and to date the initiative has raised over $25 million.
"The Vagina Monologues" was first performed off-Broadway and has since been met with great acclaim throughout the world. Each monologue dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences.
“It is a powerful show that really speaks about what it’s like to be a woman,” explained Forrister. “It is so unusual for us to stop and take time to celebrate being a woman, so this show is a real draw for women to be able to do that.”
Tickets to "The Vagina Monologues" are $25 for general admission and $30 for limited priority seating and they can be purchased at the Belcourt Theatre box office, 2102 Belcourt Avenue , online at belcourt.org, or by calling 615-846-3150.