Whitney Center for the Arts hosting special presentation of Eve Ensler's 'The Vagina Monologues'

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PITTSFIELD — Whitney Center for the Arts is presenting a reading of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. The center is at 42 Wendell Ave.

The presentation is part of the internationally recognized VDAY Campaign for 2019 and the Upstreet 10x10 Festival. All of the proceeds will benefit The Elizabeth Freeman Center and the 2019 VDAY Spotlight Fund for Women in Prison/Detention Centers and Formally Incarcerated Women. Ticket information is available online at thewhit.org or by phone at 413-443-0279.

The reading will feature some of the actresses from the Whit's fully staged production of the show this past September. In addition, three members of the Berkshires community have been invited to write and perform their own "spotlight monologues" called "Why My Vagina is Rising," which will be presented immediately following the Saturday matinee.

Directed by Monica Bliss, assisted by Natalie EmBee and Sharae Gadson, the 14-member cast includes Lia Russell-Self, Laura Grant, Diedre Bollinger, Rachel I. Branch, Kas Maroney, Molly Pomerance, Jess Lillie, Alex Martinex, Donna Morelli, Colleen Jordan, Stefanie Weber, Brittany Nicholson, Kristin Grippo and Amy Hausknecht.

Based on V-Day founder/playwright Eve Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women, "'The Vagina Monologues' has given voice to a deeper consciousness in the conversation around ending violence against women. this play and the liberation of this one word, vagina, countless women throughout the world have taken control of their bodies and their lives," Bliss, who also is The Whitney Center's artistic director, says in a news release.

V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues" and other artistic works. The V-Day movement has raised over $120 million; educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it; crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns; reopened shelters; and funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt, and Iraq. Additional information about V-Day and its campaigns is available online at vday.org.

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