Friday, April 11, 2008

1({}) VDAY Event in New Orleans

VDAYOn Saturday, April 12, "The Vagina Monologues" come to New Orleans in a star-studded performance at the New Orleans Arena, which is the culmination of the 10th anniversary of V-Day, a two-day event Ensler is calling V to the Tenth.

Today and Saturday, the Superdome will be transformed into "Superlove," a free event that includes performances, storytelling circles, workshops, speakers and wellness activities such as yoga and massage.

Ensler chose post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans as the site of the 10th anniversary celebration because she has been working since the storm with local groups including the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women and Katrina Warriors.

Ensler said that what happened in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast after the storm reflects the challenges that women face worldwide -- violence, racism, lack of health care and education, financial insecurity, and the failure of local and national governments.

She is bringing 1,200 women from the Gulf Coast who have been displaced and unable to return home since the floods.

"They will arrive on 17 buses," says Ensler, who will greet them upon their arrival.

Participating in the Saturday night performance are Calpernia Addams, Lilia Aragon, Stephanie Bataille, Jennifer Beals, Peter Buffett, Didi Conn, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek, Kristen Krepela, Christine Lahti, Ali Larter, Liz Mikel, Doris Roberts, Leslie Townsend, Kerry Washington, Monique Wilson and Oprah Winfrey, with musical performances by Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, and New Orleans' own Charmaine Neville.

The celebrities and speakers are paying their own expenses and giving their services for free.

The production at the New Orleans Arena has been modified with new material, including a new monologue that will be delivered by Oprah Winfrey called "Hey Miss Pat!" (MORE)

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