February is known for a V-Day that includes naked babies with bows and arrows, hearts, chocolate, flowers, pink and red. But, there is a different kind of V-Day being represented the same week as Valentine’s Day here at Mizzou. This V-Day has to do with Eve Ensler’s play, "The Vagina Monologues" and the large nonprofit by the same name, which raises money to fund anti-violence organizations that help prevent violent acts committed against women and girls.
Suzy Day, MU Women’s Center coordinator and co-advisor for this year’s MU Vagina Monologues, explained The Vagina Monologues by saying: “The Vagina Monologues is a piece of the V-Day movement. V-Day is the catalyst to end violence. It is the large nonprofit, and the play is the fundraiser piece. They put on the play across the world.”
Two-thousand thirteen has brought growth to the Mizzou installment of the V-Day movement, especially with fundraising.
“The cast has really taken ownership of fundraising," Day said. "A lot more cast members have stepped up. Cast member have done letter campaigns, bake sales and have gone to businesses."
Another big source of funds are from the sales of chocolate vagina pops that you can purchase at the show.
"People come for those,” Day said. “Some people buy them in bulk and stock up. We are possibly going to be able to use debit to buy them."
As of February, the cast totals 95 people. In compliance to V-Day standards, the cast of "The Vagina Monologues" can only be those who identify as women. Volunteers can be of any gender identification, for those looking to get involved!
Along with the big expansion in fundraising, Day is looking to expand other horizons of The Vagina Monologues with her goals.
“I want to raise more personal donations to go to the beneficiaries,” Day said. “We are aiming for $10,000, which includes on-campus funding and off-campus beneficiaries. I would love if we sold out Jesse.”
The beneficiaries that receive funds from the MU Vagina Monologues are True North Shelter, L.E.A.D. Institute, MU Stop the Violence Fund and STARS Survivor Fund. Ten percent of every campaign goes to the national V-Day efforts.
As Day looks to the future of MU Vagina Monologues, she hopes that soon it will show for two nights at Jesse Hall.
“It is more expensive to use Jesse, so we need to get a couple years in a row with selling out Jesse,” Day said. “Last year we sold out. We used to be in the Conservation Auditorium with two nights because it is smaller."
Now that you know all the important deets to this awesome program, what more incentive to you need to go and grab your tickets right now? And no, you don’t have to actually have a vagina to go!
"It's really relatable and not just for women ... it's for everyone,” Day said. “Everyone knows a woman, and they are monologues of real women's stories. They are funny, real, sad and easy to relate to.”
This year for the first time the seats are assigned. This was modeled after other events at Jesse and just for the logistical ease, said Day. So, make sure you buy your tickets at the MSA/GPC Box Office in the Student Center for $12 with all your friends! Tickets will be $15 at the door. The show is this Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m.
"Give it one chance,” Day said. “They assume they know what is going to be. You may think it is taboo, but we are just trying to end violence against women."
Make this V-Day memorable, and help better the lives of women and girls everywhere. That is the kind of love we all need this February! Be ready to feel all of the feels.
"They are so raw that you feel instantly connected to the the play," Day said. "I have been told that once you go, you feel addicted to come back."
This seems like the kind of addiction that we should all take part in. Happy V-Day, everyone!
For more information, visit http://vaginamonologues.missouri.edu.
By: Veronica DeStefano | Images: Source