“Vagina Monologues” auditions will take place this week | SteamboatToday.com

“Vagina Monologues” auditions will take place this week

This week, auditions for the "Vagina Monologues" will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. Women will gather to read monologues interpreted by Eve Ensler (founder of One Billion Rising) to spread awareness about women's issues in today's society.

— The local production of “The Vagina Monologues" is only a minor piece to a larger picture.

"It's about bringing the education and knowledge about women's issues to the forefront," said Kyle Paolantonio, co-director of Steamboat Springs' "The Vagina Monologues." "It's part of a global call to stand up and rise against violence towards women."

For two days this week, there will be an opportunity for women from all walks of life to be part of the global phenomenon known as One Billion Rising.

The auditions will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore on Ninth Street. Those who are interested in volunteering for the event, which will take place on Valentine’s Day, also are encouraged to attend.

Kim Bracks, who has also helped Paolantonio with the production since the beginning, said the actresses selected for the roles will be chosen for the life they give to their characters through their enthusiasm and honest empathy.

For those not wanting to be in the spotlight, Bracks said there are other ways to be involved with the production. Volunteer opportunities include helping out with ticket sales and marketing for the event, seating and stage set-up. Men also are encouraged to sign up for volunteer positions.

Recommended Stories For You

“The Vagina Monologues" are more than a dramatic script, it's the driving force behind V-Day, an anti-violence organization with the mission to end violence against women and girls everywhere. The global campaign is referred to as One Billion Rising. According to onebillionrising.org, it was started in 2012, and the "billion" refers to the United Nations statistic that one in three women, or about one billion, will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.

Originally, the 10 monologues were produced by the founder of One Billion Rising, Eve Ensler. This year, Ensler added two more.

Covering a range of topics from sexual abuse and repression to beauty and moments of coming of age, the monologues emerged out of a series of interviews Ensler conducted with women about their personal experiences relating to their bodies and, specifically, to their vaginas.

Paolantonio started the event in Steamboat Springs five years ago with the help of others in town at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. Looking back, she said the local production has come a long way.

"When we started, businesses didn't even want to hang posters in their windows because of vagina in the title," Paolantonio said. "Now, I think there has been a change of heart because people understand what a neat cause this is and the fact that it puts Steamboat on the map for a global awareness campaign."

Not only does the event spread awareness about women's issues, it also donates to a local and global cause.

For the Steamboat show, 90 percent of ticket sales will benefit Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, a local nonprofit providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. The other 10 percent will go to One Billion Rising.

Last year, Paolantonio said the production of “The Vagina Monologues" raised about $9,000, and a portion of funds were used to help pay for a women's shelter in Haiti.

"Every year we look forward to the auditions because it brings new women with an exciting energy," Paolantonio said. "We get to start fresh with a new crowd and motivate a new group of women to make this change happen within our community. It gets people motivated and jazzed up."

“The Vagina Monologues" will be performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Off the Beaten Path and then again on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 at the Chief Theater. Tickets will range in price from $20 to $40.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Auditions for “The Vagina Monologues”

When: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 7 and Thursday, Jan. 8

Where: Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 68 Ninth St.