Park City adds its entry to V-Day movement
For the past few weeks, anyone trolling through Utah’s event listings might have noticed a proliferation of "The Vagina Monologues." The play has appeared several places in the region, from Westminster College to Kingsbury Hall, and next weekend will bring the play to Park City’s Eccles Center.
The event along with the others in the region will run in cooperation with V-Day, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping violence against women and girls. Every February, V-Day allows local groups to present "The Vagina Monologues" for the benefit of organizations dedicated to preventing domestic violence.
Locally, the Park City Performing Arts Foundation will produce the show, donating the proceeds to the Peace House.
"We’ve been trying to just carve out a day to make it work," said Teri Orr, executive director at the Performing Arts Foundation.
"It is a series of monologues," explained Orr.
Written by Even Ensler, the stories are based on interviews with more than 200 women, who talked about their memories and experiences of sexuality, covering everything from their fantasies to their fears.
The play has been performed across the country in conjunction with V-Day since 1999.
"Eve Ensler waived all the copyright fees so this could happen," said Orr.
The Performing Arts Foundation, she said, has been working to bring the play to the Eccles for several years. This year, the organization simply decided to find time.
Orr said her biggest challenge was finding cast members, but a she said she managed to gather a worthy group from around the area.
The play will feature several prominent locals, including Park City Councilwoman Candy Erickson, former Summit County Commissioner Shauna Kerr, The Canyons Resort spokesperson Katie Eldridge, local realtor and former councilwoman MacQuoid and Orr, reading the different parts in the play.
Orr said she was extremely happy with the cast.
"I’m delighted that these women were willing to put themselves out there in public like this," she said.
MacQuoid, one of the first cast members to sign on, said she is excited to take part in the performance.
"I think it’s a brilliant piece of work," she noted. "It’s funny and witty and clever and women and men will identify it."
According to Orr, giving the money to the Peace House made sense, considering V-Day’s mission.
"This felt like the logical thing to do," she said.
"It’s just an incredibly worthy cause," said Erickson.
"I got involved with it because Teri Orr asked me, and she’s been involved with the Peace House as long as I can remember," she added.
The organization’s mission is, "to educate, support, and empower victims of domestic violence, the community, and all individuals who are victims of violent crimes." Executive director Jane Patten said Orr simply called one day and offered to make the donation.
"We appreciate that that is what they’re going to do," said Patten, "particularly because this is a world-wide campaign to stop violence against women."
Orr’s and MacQuoid’s involvement is fitting, Patten noted, considering their roles in organizing the Domestic Peace Task Force, which eventually give rise to the Peace House.
"The Peace House is certainly one of the most giving and important nonprofit organizations in town," said MacQuoid. "It’s a very worthwhile cause."
A community, she added, is only as strong as its ability to help its weakest members, and the Peace House does just that, helping some of those who need it most.
"I’d just like to thank Teri Orr and the Performing Arts Foundation," Patten said.
Orr, for her part, credited Salt Lake City activist Babs DeLay for promoting the V-Day cause and bringing it from the valley up to Park City.
"She’s the one that pushed me and pushed me and said, ‘Find a way,’" Orr noted.
She said that the performance of "The Vagina Monologues," would complete a cycle, of sorts.
"What brings this full circle is that last year at the Eccles we had Eve Ensler," she said.
The playwright and author came to discuss her latest play, "The Good Body," and her activist issues. She had also appeared previously in the Eccles Center’s Black Box theatre for a reading of "The Vagina Monologues," during the Sundance Film Festival."
Now the play will have a chance to return.
"I’m excited about it," said MacQuoid. "I’m thrilled. This is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing in Park City."
The play, she said, was a bit more forthright than the typical Utah production, and while almost 10 years after its original opening some of the edge is gone, the work’s poignancy remains.
"It’s still very funny and very touching and very true, but very important," MacQuoid said. "It’s an important work and it’s a great fundraising opportunity for an organization like the Peace House."
"The Vagina Monologues," will run on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eccles Center. Reserved seats are $20 and general admission seats are $10. Tickets are available from the Eccles Center box office by calling 655-3114 or visiting http://www.ecclescenter.org .
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