ST. LOUIS, MO — In honor of the 50th anniversary of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, the state’s largest grassroots pro-choice organization, That Uppity Theatre Company is producing Eve Ensler’s iconic “The Vagina Monologues.” The play will be performed at the .ZACK at 3224 Locust St., St. Louis, MO 63103 in Grand Center on Saturday, February 16th at 7:30 PM and Sunday, February 17th at 2 PM.
The event will feature one of the largest and most diverse casts of women seen on stage in St. Louis and will include cisgender, transgender, non-binary, African-American, Asian-American, Latina, white, and immigrant women, spanning several decades. The play explores consensual and non-consensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, love, rape, menstruation, birth, orgasm, and many other topics.
“I believe access to reproductive healthcare is a human right and a fundamental freedom,” said Joan Lipkin, Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company, who selected NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri as the chief beneficiary of the production. “With the Trump administration and anti-choice lawmakers dominating both Congress and the statehouse, it is essential that we lend support in every way, including monetarily. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the show will benefit NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. Everyone is volunteering their time to support NARAL Missouri. It is tremendous how many artists in the community have come forward to share their skills to oppose this violence against women.”
“We are honored that That Uppity Theatre Company selected us as the main beneficiary of this production of the Vagina Monologues,” said Leah Boersig, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Board President. “The anti-choice supermajority in Missouri’s General Assembly is constantly working to chip away at reproductive freedom, but we’re fighting back every day to protect individuals who are facing issues like those featured in this production. The support of That Uppity Theatre Company, the patrons, and everyone else involved in this show is what allows us to keep fighting for improved access to reproductive healthcare in Missouri for all.”
This production is part of the international V-Day movement started by Ensler, which this year will run from February 1-March 8 and encompass over 1,000 productions around the globe. The Vagina Monologues is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show and/or host other related events in their communities. The remaining 10% of the proceeds, not only from this production but from every V-Day production worldwide, will go to Ensler’s Spotlight campaign.
“We are deliberately offering tickets at a wide range of pricing to both raise money for this worthy organization as well as to ensure that as many people as possible can participate. We want them to have a powerful theatre experience and to feel connected to what is at stake,” said Lipkin.
Tickets are available through Metrotix. For convenience, tickets can be purchased online 24/7, or at any Metrotix outlet or during regular hours at the Fox Theatre Box Office.
The show is directed by Rhonda Cropp, Joan Lipkin, Suki Peters and Pam Reckamp and technical direction is by Michael Perkins. Performers include Galina Angheluta, Anna Blair, Teresa Doggett, Paige Russell Elias, Carmen Garcia, Pam Reckamp, Gail Smith, Margeau Steinau, Sara Lin, Ald. Annie Rice, Christa Lou Cunningham, India Reid, Judi Mann, Talichia Noah, Jeanitta Perkins, Mariah Richardson, Grace Wilder, Miss Leon aka Dieta Pepsi, and others with live drumming by Lisa Frumhoff and Debbie Blackwell, Rithia Brown, and Natalie Turner Jones.
For more information, see prochoicemissouri.org.
ABOUT V-DAY 2019:
V-Day is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that distributes funds to national and international grassroots organizations and programs that work to stop violence against girls and women. V-Day’s 2018-2019 Spotlight will focus on women in prisons and jails, detention centers, and formerly incarcerated women.
ABOUT THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES:
The episodic play was once called “probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade,” by Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, and was included in the Times’s list of the most influential American plays since “Angels In America” last year.
Ensler based the piece on 200 interviews. Since originally performing the piece in 1996, she has continued to edit and expand the text to include transgender perspectives, writing the monologue They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy… after interviewing a group of women whose gender identity differed from their assigned gender identity at birth. She also included a piece about the rape of women in Bosnia, based on interviews. Each year, the script released for V-Day is slightly different.
ABOUT NARAL PRO-CHOICE MISSOURI:
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Missouri, and we believe that every woman should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri works to protect every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.