A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer

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submitted by Tiffany Beckedorf

After a very successful One Billion Rising event, V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos is only gaining steam as they get closer to the date of their production at the newly constructed Frank Venables Theatre.  On Friday, April 4th at 7 pm they will be putting on A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer– “A ground breaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of violence at all levels: brutality, neglect, a punch, even a put-down.” (Source: http://vspot.vday.org/available_events/MMRP). Tickets for the event are $25, and available at Beyond Bliss (Oliver) and JoJo’s Cafe (Osoyoos) and at the door. Proceeds will benefit Desert Sun Counselling Centre and the Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House.

“Last year we staged a production of ‘The Vagina Monologues´ in Osoyoos, and had a sold out show, which we were thrilled about,” says this year’s lead organizer Tiffany Beckedorf.  “One of the great things for me about MMRP is that there are roles for men, and we will have men onstage participating.  Violence against women and girls is something that affects everybody, regardless of gender, race or social status, and that is something that these monologues really address.”

“It is a global problem, which at times, can seem very daunting. I think it is important to take action if you are able to, and raising awareness locally is an effective first step towards ending gender based violence. If you have not been a victim yourself, then you likely know a woman who has been, whether she has shared her experience with you or not. Around violence, we often experience shame, and fear,” affirms co-director Aimee Grice.  “Taking action with campaigns such as V-Day gives men and women alike an opportunity to free themselves, and perhaps, free others as well.”

For those of you who don’t know, V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations, which started on Valentine’s Day 1998 by Eve Ensler, along with a group of women in New York City.  Originally staffed by volunteers, the organization’s seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening.

V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually. (Source: http://www.vday.org/about/why-vday-started#.UyIdyfldXYE).

Memory, Monologue, Rant, and a Prayer reminds us that although we have taken steps towards addressing the issue of recognizing violence against women and girls, it still exists in places you wouldn’t think of,” said co-director Marji Basso, “This collection of readings will awaken you, move you, offend you, and hopefully, inspire you to become part of a global movement to ending the long battle of violence. Your attendance is an integral step to bringing about change for our younger generation and their collective future.”

There will be a meet and greet with the cast following the show, with a wine reception and light snacks.  For more information please visit the website at www.vdayoliverosoyoos.org.