Sense of empowerment fill South Okanagan actresses

South Okanagan women take the stage on April 6 in Osoyoos for a production of The Vagina Monologues.

From 16 to over 65, women involved in the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues are feeling self empowered.

“This piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength,” said co-director Tiffany Beckedorf. “It is powerful to witness and be a part of the creating.”

Eighteen South Okanagan women will take the stage on April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Osoyoos Secondary Theatre in The Vagina Monologues, which is a main fundraiser for V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos. The group hopes to raise $3,000 to $4,500 with 90 per cent of the profits going to Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre and 10 per cent to V-Day, the parent organization which uses funds towards raising awareness about abuse.

V-Day takes place on Feb. 14 and called on activists around the world to join for One Billion Rising to end violence against women and was recognized in Oliver this year with an event. The call to action was based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

“This is completely astounding and unacceptable,” said Beckedorf. “One of the monologues in the play expresses the pain and anger of a woman who endured such abuse.  It brings you to tears.”

The Vagina Monologues is an award-winning play by author Eve Ensler and is full of humour and grace.

“It has been a very inspiring group to be a part of, with women as young as 16 to our eldest being 65-plus,” said Marji Basso, who is one of the actors.

For more than 12 years, The Vagina Monologues has given voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public. Monologues are about coming of age, the journey of self-discovery, and giving birth.

“It’s what defines us as being female,” said Basso. “A must see for all women. It is for men too, a definite eye-opener about what it means to be a woman.”

Artists ages four to 96 years old from Quail’s Nest will hold an art show as part of the evening. Paintings will be up for viewing the day of the performance and will represent the idea and the feelings of being a woman from different viewpoints. The art show will be held in the lobby of the Osoyoos Secondary School Theatre where the performance of The Vagina Monologues is taking place.

Tickets for the April 6 performance are $20 and available in Oliver at Beyond Bliss, Lady’Os Fitness and in Osoyoos at Office Pro and JoJo’s Café. For more information, go to www.vdayoliverosoyoos.org.