From Justine…

As part of the follow-up report for the V-Day campaign, I asked the cast to detail how the project impacted their lives (if they wished to contribute). Once again, these women blew me away. Their testimonials were so heartfelt and beautiful, I asked if I could share them. It’s easy to understand the positive impact that our fundraising had on our beneficiary organization, but it’s hard to grasp how the making of the actual production greatly influenced the lives of those involved.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the cast testimonials, I encourage you to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your feedback! -Andrea
Justine’s Testimonial:
Dear Andrea,
Words can’t really express what this experience means to me. I walked into the audition a scared girl and walked out of our last performance a confident woman. We, as a cast, promoted an atmosphere of love and support. That could not have happened without your eternal positivity, purpose, and drive. We WERE the examples of how to combat violence against women- by building other women up, accepting them, rooting for them, and loving them- when so many people are trying to do the opposite to women.
As a director, you allowed me to make mistakes while making me feel like a rock star when I succeeded. I couldn’t ask for a better combination from a director, or a loved one!
Thank YOU! Tell Eve Ensler you KICKED BUTT! You expressed your unique vision with professionalism, class and poise!
Love,
Justine

________

From Avel….

As part of the follow-up report for the V-Day campaign, I asked the cast to detail how the project impacted their lives (if they wished to contribute). Once again, these women blew me away. Their testimonials were so heartfelt and beautiful, I asked if I could share them. It’s easy to understand the positive impact that our fundraising had on our beneficiary organization, but it’s hard to grasp how the making of the actual production greatly influenced the lives of those involved.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the cast testimonials, I encourage you to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your feedback! -Andrea
Avel’s Testimonial:

Dear Andrea,
This production has meant more to me than I ever could have imagined.
I have not felt like such an important part of something SO MAJOR in, well maybe ever. This was the most amazing, talented, energetic, funny, loving, beautiful, successful, motivated and inspirational group of women I have ever met. This union was no coincidence. We were all meant to be in each other’s lives in one way or another.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Your’s Andrea, is made from steel. Bulletproof, unyielding and indestructible.
Your vision was clear. Your direction was purposeful. This was such a success, not only because you saw all of our potential, but because you believe in what The Vagina Monologues stands for.
I am a better actress, women and friend because of this experience.
Thank you!
Love always,
Avel Juliette Horn-Muller
___________

From Sue…

As part of the follow-up report for the V-Day campaign, I asked the cast to detail how the project impacted their lives (if they wished to contribute). Once again, these women blew me away. Their testimonials were so heartfelt and beautiful, I asked if I could share them. It’s easy to understand the positive impact that our fundraising had on our beneficiary organization, but it’s hard to grasp how the making of the actual production greatly influenced the lives of those involved.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the cast testimonials, I encourage you to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your feedback! -Andrea

Sue’s Testimonial:
Hi Andrea!
What I got out of this was a renewed love of theater and a renewed sense of myself as an actress. This entire process started out in an exercise of facing fears. I gained so much more than a chance to act.
I found new friendships and was able to connect to a diverse group of women. I don’t have many female friends and don’t make friends easily in general. I feel that by the end of this I was a part of an amazing group that will be hard to split up.
Also, watching/listening to everyone’s performance night after night was such a special way to see everyone grow and change and add something better and more amazing to this very moving piece. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if the vibe didn’t start at the top.
You, Lauren, and Dee Dee set the tone from the start, even from the Facebook invite. This was always set to be an ensemble and you succeeded in creating so much more than that. You also created a totally kick ass show! You have such vision and know how to get what you want out of everything. Your notes were always so helpful and spot-on.
Sorry if there was any rambling 🙂
Sue
____

From Erica…

As part of the follow-up report for the V-Day campaign, I asked the cast to detail how the project impacted their lives (if they wished to contribute). Once again, these women blew me away. Their testimonials were so heartfelt and beautiful, I asked if I could share them. It’s easy to understand the positive impact that our fundraising had on our beneficiary organization, but it’s hard to grasp how the making of the actual production greatly influenced the lives of those involved.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the cast testimonials, I encourage you to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your feedback! -Andrea
Erica’s Testimonial:
Dear Andrea,

I just wanted to take the time to personally thank you for all your efforts on making our production of “Vagina Monologues” such a success. No one can deny the talent and passion our cast possessed but without you none of this would have ever been possible. You took fifteen unique women and brought us together as a family.

As a theatre educator and a director myself I truly respect the way you ran rehearsals. Even though time was of the essence you never neglected taking time to let us to build a community within our cast and crew and bond. I’ll never forget the “roses and thorns” we’d share before each rehearsal and show or the ensemble building activities we took part in as a cast. Getting to know each and every one of my cast mates and production team “off stage” made all the difference in my experience with this production.

As a full time public school teacher, I never thought I’d be able to be part of a show during the school-year but because you were such a pro at scheduling and utilizing rehearsal time to wisely I was able to be a part of this unforgettable experience. I’d look forward to attending rehearsal each day because I know I was going to be surrounded by a director and a cast that supported me, no matter how difficult and taxing my workday was.

I never saw a director work so hard to make her vision happen, not only her artistic vision on stage but also her vision to give back to the female community. You succeeded in your vision and then some. You set a high bar and supported us in rising to the occasion. Thank you for helping me to grow as a performer and as a contributing member of the female community.

With deep gratitude and respect,
Erica Giglio 
(The Woman Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy)

__

From Quenna…

As part of the follow-up report for the V-Day campaign, I asked the cast to detail how the project impacted their lives (if they wished to contribute). Once again, these women blew me away. Their testimonials were so heartfelt and beautiful, I asked if I could share them. It’s easy to understand the positive impact that our fundraising had on our beneficiary organization, but it’s hard to grasp how the making of the actual production greatly influenced the lives of those involved.  

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the cast testimonials, I encourage you to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your feedback!   -Andrea
Quenna’s Testimonial:
Working on this V-Day production of The Vagina Monologues has been a huge inspiration for me in several ways. I have been reminded of the power that women have, and that theatre has, to effect positive change in the lives of others, which is something that this production team and cast has re-inspired me to do. This has confirmed and re-invigorated my passion that I don’t just want to make and be involved in commercial theater, but I want to make and be involved the kind of theater that invokes positivity and social change into our everyday lives, that reaches out and touches the lives in someone in need of a good laugh, hug, or cry and provides it for them.
To that end, Andrea guided us to form a cast and crew that provided just that. And because we were able to build such an encouraging community (of all women!), we were able to extend the love of our community to our audiences. This process has taught me more about the power of community than I have known in a long time, and for that I am extremely grateful to Andrea and the rest of the cast and crew.
-Quenna
___

Production Pictures: The Vagina Monologues 2011

V-Day New York City, Triad Theatre (The Vagina Monologues). Production Photos from 2011 V-Day Benefit production of “The Vagina Monologues” at the Triad Theater in NYC. This production was part of a global activist movement to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls.

Read more about this production: click here

Meet the cast!



Meet the cast of The Vagina Monologues!








Julia Amsterdam is an AEA actress. She holds an MFA in theatre from Sarah Lawrence College, works as a Dating Specialist for the company It’s Just Lunch and is a proud Mom to her 13 year old son Max. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “Where’s the beach!?” her vagina would wear: silk. Shout out to: this incredible cast and crew, especially to Andrea Bertola for her making this happen!!






Justine Beirne sells Manhattan Real Estate while studying graduate-level philosophy and riding in cars with boys. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “Rhinestone.” Her vagina would wear: a Yankees cap. Shout out to: jigG and striggs!







Carolyn Burke is a brooklyn based artist and educator. If her vagina could talk, it would giggle and say, “I like you.” her vagina would wear: soft see-through black lace and BCBG peep-toe pumps. Shout out to: the people that have made gemma happy over the years– she appreciates it!






Sue Day is a life long theatre goer, received a bfa from Adelphi in theatre and now works for corporate America. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “I love you!” her vagina would wear: something pink and sparkly. Shout out to: My wonderful parents, bffs and my one and only, Charles.






Kira Fisher– actor, yoga teacher, vegan baker, Brooklynite. If her vagina could talk, it would say: Namaste. Her vagina would wear: fairy wings. Shout out to: my divine mama!








Dana Blase Fortunado is a singer, actor and a professional starving artist extraordinaire. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “Im sorry..why are you still talking?” Her vagina would wear: oversized sunglasses. Shout out to: the most beautiful woman she knows, and her source of strength, her mother Joanne. Love you mom.






Erica Giglio received her MA in Ed Theatre from NYU and her BFA in Musical Theatre from UB. She currently teaches Musical theatre at a performing arts high school in brooklyn. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “Are you talkin’ to me!?” Her vagina would wear: a tiara. Shout out to: All of the powerful women in my family!






Avel Horn-Muller is from Hollywood, FL. She Lives to Act in NYC. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “seriously brah?!” her vagina would wear: flip flops and baby oil (with SPF of course). Shout out to: To my family and friends, especially my beautifully, hysterical Grandma Hazel. I love you!






Cynthia Keenan is a Villanova Grad/TV producer happily living in NYC. If her vagina could talk, it would say: “I am loved.” Her vagina would wear a blue sequined mermaid costume. Shout out to: my Dad for being able to talk about bras and the gynecologist. I believe Mommy is proud of you.












Quenna Lené just received her BFA from NYU Tisch Drama, yesterday in fact! If her vagina could talk, it would say: “Thank god!” Her vagina would wear: strawberries, and gold tassels.
Tay McEvers would like to thank all the vaginas who made it possible for her to be here today. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Her vagina would wear: A short party dress. Shout out to: My new fiancé, Kevin!







Frances McGarry is A passionate theater education practitioner, She promotes the arts both in and out of the classroom. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “You know what I want, what I really, really want…” Her vagina would wear: A magenta Carolina Herrera blouse. Shout out to: The love of my life, DON!











Jane Ordway is a COO of Vandenberg, inc –the townhouse experts. she devoted 15 years to fostering women’s rights interna- tionally. Her vagina would wear jeans and a soft t-shirt. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “life after menopause is wonderful.” Shout out to: Dexter, Olivia and Julian, her beloved family.
Jessica Stewart is a singer/actress living and loving in NYC. If her vagina could talk it would say “I love you”. If it could wear anything it would be lace! Shout out to my parents…you guys are the best!








Talia Thelen is an actor/bartender/domestic violence volunteer worker/real estate agent/grad student who enjoys breath- ing in her spare time. If her vagina could talk, it wouldn’t say anything but it would giggle like crazy! My vagina would wear: comfy pants and a white tank . Shout out to: my amazing and supportive boyfriend. My vagina and I both adore you.






Lisa Vasfailo is a teaching artist, actor and dancer working throughout NY and NJ. If her vagina could talk, it would say: “I’m here!” her vagina would wear: a short skirt and some kick-ass boots.














Behind the scenes…


Andrea Bertola– (Director) http://www.andreabertola.com. Andrea’s passion for creativity spans numerous fields including: acting, directing, teaching and website/graphic design. Andrea holds a Masters in Educational Theatre from NYU. If her vagina could talk, it would quote Marilyn Monroe, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Her vagina would wear: Leopard Print stilettos. Shout out to: Nanny, it’s been a while since you’ve been able to see one of my shows. I saved you a seat in the front row, Rest in peace.

Lauren Balaban– (Assistant Director) Lauren is no stranger to the NYC scene. She’s a member of SAG, classically trained in voice, theater, and tending bar. Her vagina doesn’t talk, it does karaoke. Her vagina would wear: a big orange sign that says, ‘boop!’ Shout out to: her amazing parents; Dana, Lo and Christine for always having her back; and to our incredible director and longtime friend, Andrea. Congrats to our fierce cast of hot, happy vaginas!





Dee Dee Katchen– (Production Stage Manager) Grew up in Jersey, graduated Ohio State, PSM, P.A. & Educator. If her vagina could talk, it would say, “really people?” Her vagina would wear: Mimi’s costume from ‘out tonight’. Shout out to: the love of my life who drives me crazy and keeps me sane.

Why are you doing this show?

 

Tonight I asked the cast the following questions:
Why are you doing this show? What drew you to The Vagina Monologues?
Below are some of their answers… as you can see, it’s about much more than just vaginas.
  • I was a victim of domestic violence, this show gives me an opportunity to fight back.
  • To raise awareness: I was a victim of domestic violence, I thought “It would never happen to me.”
  • I was a victim of domestic violence, I want the world to know that it can happen to strong, smart women.
  • I grew up in a house where we didn’t talk about vaginas. My hope is that by destigmatizing the word through our show, it will allow a woman to feel comfortable to speak-up if a bad situation happens.
  • It’s my personal way of taking my life back after being in an unhealthy relationship. Through something I love! Using my ‘creative side’ and submerging myself in theater.
  • After losing my self confidence in an unhealthy relationship, it has helped me to reclaim my feminism.
  • It gives me a sense of purpose. I feel connected. Sometimes we get stuck in the daily bullshit of everyday life. This has reminded me to step outside of my little world.
  • It makes me feel present. By taking the time to live ‘in the moment’.
  • It reminded me to step outside of my comfort zone. I have more to offer.
  • The monologues have taught me so much about the lives of other women. I get to see the world from a different perspective. 
  • The show has made me comfortable with my own vagina! I used to not think too much about it, now we’re friends!
  • It has reminded me that theater is an amazing vehicle for advocacy.
  • It has inspired me by watching women working together, instead of tearing each other down. 
  • It’s awesome to have so many women from so many different backgrounds come together in a positive, collaborative, supportive environment.
  • The show is important for the next generation to see. We want to show them how to be strong. We have an obligation to take care of, and educate the generation behind us.
  • I want to use the arts in a way so that I can be a positive female role model. Art should be sustaining, there is a lot of garbage in the media today.
  • I want women to be proud of being in-touch with their bodies. We’re not freaks for being in-touch with who we are. 
  • Coming to rehearsal and taking these few minutes to sit in a circle and connect with each other, to talk about our day and be present in the moment…is the BEST part of my day.
  • I look forward to it as well, all day long; I think about it. I can’t wait for rehearsal.
  • We all have different reasons for doing this show. That’s the beauty of it.
Show Dates:
May 22, 2011 3:00 PM
May 24, 2011 7:00 PM
Venue:
Triad Theatre
158 West 72nd Street
New York, NY, 10023
Tickets:
$20.00 (General Tickets)
$100.00 (VIP Sponsor)
There is also a 2 drink minimum (cash only) which covers the cost of the venue. (Non-alcoholic drinks are available).


Support My Show!

According to the United Nations, ONE out of every THREE women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime.




Quick links: Three ways you can support the cause:

3) Buy an ad in our program! Contact Andrea

I am proud to be granted the rights to direct a V-Day benefit production of  The Vagina Monologues, on May 22nd and May 24th at the Triad Theater in NYC. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.  
In addition to ticket sales, I have set up a fundraising page. My goal is to personally raise $1,000. If you can’t attend the production on May 22nd or May 24th, this is a great opportunity for you to show your support!
As the organizer for the event, I was asked to pick a NYC based beneficiary. That was an easy choice! I wanted to pick an organization that uses theatre to empower young women. viBe Theater Experience is an organization that I have worked with in the past. I’m extremely passionate about their mission. viBe provides a safe space for under-served girls (ages 13-19) to express their voices, take on challenge and responsibility and gain the self-confidence to succeed personally, socially and academically.   See the YouTube video below for more information! 

We were asked to donate 10% of all net profits to V-Day 2011 Spotlight on Women of Haiti. After that, we have set a goal of 94 cents of every dollar raised to be donated to  viBe Theater Experience. Help us raise awareness. The truth is shocking. According to the United Nations, ONE out of every THREE women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime.

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
-Sarah Ban Breathnach