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The Vagina Monologues 2012
Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Tickets US$6.00

Saturday evening, May 26th, on the lawn at Frenchman’s Reef Restaurant & Bar, Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, the gentle sea breeze wafted out into the universe, giggles, guffaws, and woman-warrior calls of “Vagina!” “Vagina!” and other, what have come to be considered, “naughty” words, particularly as they pertain to woman.

Producer, performer, accidental-activist, mother, writer, artist, woman – “Lady who Dares” - Sharon Martini, again brought Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, “The Vagina Monologues” to international literary haven/sleepy fishing village, Treasure Beach.

Based V-Day Founder/playwright Eve Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women, the piece celebrates, with humor and grace, women's sexuality and strength. Through this play and the liberation of this one word, countless women throughout the world have taken control of their bodies and their lives. Spawning a global movement that raises awareness and funds to end violence against women and girls, The Vagina Monologues has for fourteen years, given voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public.

Sharing time, space, and universal reading-room, with Calabash Festival, The Vagina Monologues 2012, Treasure Beach, featured a cast of everyday women including farmers, scholars, mothers, grandmothers, domestic workers, current and former festival princesses, social workers and Peace Corp workers, from local environs and beyond. It was a rousing grassroots success. Patrons, whom included women, men, and youth, came, stayed, even after a late start, interacted (during the show and the short post-show talkback,) and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Gender consultant Dr. Glenda Simms began the evening of edutainment in her usual matchless way. She humorously shared how even she did not fully understand that she possessed something named, “vagina,” until going away to university, having been raised with the strong – socially supported – suspicion that that crucial pathway to life (up until medical intervention that is) was named, “pussy,” pum pum,” “poonani,” “goat nose” (I must confess this is a new one to me,) or some such other moniker. The crowd roared, many nodding in solidarity.

And then came the monologues themselves, “The Flood,” “My Vagina Was My Village,” “Because He Liked To Look At It,” “The Vagina Workshop,” “I Was There In The Room,” “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could” to name just a few. As varied as the women reading them, the pieces carried you on an emotional journey from “pee your panties” hilarious, to “tear your heart out” tortuous, eliciting squeals, gasps, sadness, belly laughter and discomfort, but all in all an overarching cacophony of joy and celebration.

Five of the thirteen-woman-strong, “Ladies Who Dare!” cast were members of the beneficiary organization, Saint Elizabeth Women (SEW), most performing on stage for the first time, and before an international audience at that. One SEW cast-member shared that daring to participate in this evocative piece, “…gave her, her life back.”

Saint Elizabeth Women (SEW) Ltd, based in Fairmont, is a social action organisation aimed at empowering women to deal with economic and social stress. Founded in 2008 by Dr. Glenda Simms, it was established on the basis that “gender equality is a core development issue and that promoting gender equality is an important part of a development strategy that seeks to enable people - women and men alike – to escape poverty and improve their standard of living.” One of its many objectives being, “To deal effectively with the social ills of teenage pregnancy, trafficking in persons, gender based violence and the underachievement of poor boys and girls in the parish.”

Ending abuse against women and girls is not a case of them and us. It is not a case of pitting women and girls against men and boys. The Vagina Monologues' purpose, beyond entertainment and education is to inspire dialogue. To get us (all of us – women, men and children) talking about an issue that though it permeates our society (and, in truth, societies around the globe, knowing as it does, neither color line nor socioeconomic boundary,) is shrouded in secrecy and is parasitical to all other ills of society. To see the show, or to be in it, can assist in opening up much needed dialogue, for oneself and others, about abuse and its suffocating sidekicks, pain, shame, secrets, insecurity and fear.

I absolutely know that dialogue, daring to say, to tell, to speak out loud, is the critical first step toward acknowledgement, truth, and healing. Ultimately, it is we women whom raise the boys and girls who grow up to be abusive men and women so it is critical that we are able to recognize abuse in its myriad guises for what it is.

The Vagina Monologues is a formidable vehicle for women’s empowerment. It is motivational, inspirational. It is a catalyst for change and healing – wholisitic, human healing. What’s not to like about that?

Ten percent of all funds raised from The Vagina Monologues, 2012, Treasure Beach, and all other global performances, supports the V-V-Day Spotlight Fund, which for 2012 is, “The Women and Girls of Haiti.” Find more information here: http://vday.org.

Thank you to everyone whom helped make The Vagina Monologues 2012, Treasure Beach, the success it truly was; the cast: Cleo Campbell, Crystal Aeppli, Eva Forde, Glenda Simms, Marcia Reid, Marie Sparkes, Marlene Genus, Nattoya Johnson, Odile Blake, Pettia Wiliams, Roxanne Pitters, Sonia Dunkley, Beverly Munroe Morgan, Halcy Thomson, Saredia Trenchfield; host and volunteer extraordinaire: Conrad Bennett; the Crew: Anukis Richards, Crown, Tash Beckford; Elizabeth and Owen Clarke of Frenchman’s Reef (www.frenchmansreeftreasurebeach.com) whom generously donated the performance space, Winnfred Hylton, Taino Cove (www.tainocove.com) for chairs, Dean Parchment of Parchment Hardware, for the outside lighting, Andrew Scott, of Treasure Beach’s own, HiDef Radio (www.hidefradio.net) for microphone paraphenalia, Iyaras, of Kudehya Guesthouse (www.kudehya.com) for photography, Wendy Freckleton, Mandeville Weekly (www.mandevilleweekly.com,) for advertising and Lady Bird Designs, llc (www.sharonmartini.com.)

Thank you too to all whom attended, tweeted, and supported us in anyway, be it word, thought or deed.

The Vagina Monologues 2012, Treasure Beach - The Cast
The Vagina Monologues 2012, Treasure Beach - Spotlight Monologue

For more photos click here.
For past shows click here.
For more information on V-Day Movement visit: Vday.org.
Read about us in The Jamaica Observer.

We're back!!! "The Ladies Who Dare!" again presents, Eve Ensler's award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. 7 PM, Saturday, May 26, 2012, in the Banquet Room of Frenchman's Reef Restaurant and Bar. Click on the poster for information on The Vagina Monologues, and more.
The Vagina Monologues, 2012, Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Buy tickets online. Pick them up at the show. US $6.00
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About Abuse

Read all about my personal motivation for continuing this labor of love!

The "Ladies Who Dare!" TheARTer for Healing" provides a forum for individual and community healing and social justice through creative expression in all art forms. "Recognizing and realising, the healing power of art and performance in my own life, I wanted to create a vessel for sharing, learning, experiencing and ultimately, healing, for others."

A little background on Haiti from my perspective.

The story behind my artwork, "Highway To Being!"
This acrylic on paper original artwork was inspired by an encounter I had, with a man, at the checkout of my local supermarket in Portland, Oregon. This man behind me in line, became audibly upset when, speaking of having performed in The Vagina Monologues, I said "vagina" out loud and in public. A tad perturbed by his reaction, I told him that, "He was standing there by virtue of having slid down the "Vagina Highway."

When the dust settled, we had a lovely conversation. "Ire is so inpiring, and ultimately healing, if we dare!"

Love the art? Buy notecards, buttons or pillows featuring "Highway To Being!"

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