Bonnie Johnson, director of Hammond’s Beatniks on Conkey’s fundraising production of “The Vagina Monologues,” has an idea why the women-themed play has been a smash with audiences throughout the world.
“It touches so many women, and men, in so many ways,” she said. “Each and every monologue has a powerful message. Some are funny. Some are very clever. Some touch the heart. They all hold their own with the strength of their message.”
Running Feb. 22 and 23, “Monologues” is a series of soliloques which both seriously and humorously chronicle a myriad of women’s issues, on both personal and global scales.
Penned by American playwright Eve Ensler, “Monologues,” which was originally based on interviews with more than 200 women, was a sensation when it was first staged in 1996. Ensler has regularly updated her “Monologues” in the years since, and productions of the play have found audiences throughout the globe.
Beatniks’ 2014 “Monologues” production marks their seventh annual staging of the play. More than a dozen region-based thesps are lending their talents towards “Monologues” this year.
“Every actress brings their own touch to their performance,” Johnson said. “Every (actress) has their own take on it, or has their own memory or experience in life, or knew somebody (who has experienced what is being recited). Everybody has their own feeling, their own touch from their heart, on that monologue, and that makes it powerful.”
In what has also become tradition for Beatniks, proceeds from their production of “Monologues” will go to Hammond’s Haven House, which is a shelter for domestic violence victims.
Ensler created “Monologues” as a vehicle for theater companies throughout the globe to raise awareness for organizations such as Haven House as well as for the V-Day Foundation, created by Ensler to end atrocities and violence toward women worldwide. Proceeds from Beatniks’ “Monologues” will also benefit the V-Day Foundation.
Due to mature language and subject matter, “Monologues” is not recommended for young or sensitive audiences.
FYI: “The Vagina Monologues” will be presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 and 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at Beatniks on Conkey, 418 Conkey St., Hammond. Cost is $25. Call (219) 852-0846 or visit BEATNIKSONCONKEY.COM