February 11, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

Eve Ensler's Obie Award-winning play, "The Vagina Monologues," will be performed Saturday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., in the Empty Space Theater, 706 Oak St., next to Pizzaville, as part of Bakersfield’s V-Day 2004 celebration. Proceeds from the $25 admission price will benefit the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Abuse.

"The Vagina Monologues," which enjoyed a three-year sold-out run off Broadway, and most recently a two-year run in Los Angeles, is a controversial, poignant, and sometimes hilarious tour of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. The play covers topics as varying and disturbing as molestation, the plight of Islamic women under fundamentalist regimes, to issues as lighthearted as first-date encounters.

This marks the third year the play will be presented in Bakersfield as part of V-Day, said Jane Granskog, an anthropology professor at California State University, Bakersfield who helped, along with JoLane Blaylock, to bring V-Day celebration to Bakersfield. She is also the organizer for Women’s Day, which occurs later this month. The first two years the play was performed at CSUB. “Now it has moved to a community theater as part of CSUB’s continuing collaboration with the larger community,” Granskog said. “I’m delighted that V-Day and Women’s Day have become a part of the community’s conscience.”

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual slavery against women and girls.

V-Day is also a day – on or around Valentine's Day – for which annual theatrical and artistic events are produced around the world to transform consciousness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. Funds raised by the V-Day productions are donated directly to local organizations that are working to stop violence against women.

Also this year on V-Day, CSUB English professor Michael Flachmann, a black-belt in judo, will teach a women’s self-defense course in the CSUB wrestling room. The class is from 9 to 10 a.m., and costs $10 per person.

For more information, please contact Granskog at (661) 664-3117, or the Empty Space Theater at (661) 327-PLAY (7529), www.esonline.org. The theater will also have information about additional showings of “The Vagina Monologues,” which runs through Feb. 21.