Conscious party: The Vagina Monologues benefits Helpmate

THE V-WORD: "Men can talk about their package all day, but you hear somebody say the word 'vagina,' and people start freaking out," says Allison Taylor, who produces 'The Vagina Monologues' locally. In addition to promoting more open discussion of typically taboo topics, the event is a fundraiser to help local nonprofit Helpmate combat domestic violence. Photo of Taylor by Capturing WNC Photography

WHAT: The Vagina Monologues, a harrowing and hilarious play about womanhood

WHERE: The Orange Peel

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m.

WHY: The tale of a 70-year-old woman finally learning to masturbate definitely stands out. But that’s just one story contained in The Vagina Monologues’ exploration of womanhood, which also covers gynecological exams, douching and a laundry list of slang terms for what we’ll call the female honey pot. Generally speaking, a cast of locals will highlight “all the weird things we have to go through as women,” according to show organizer, director and actress Allison Taylor.

“The main purpose of the monologues is to raise funds and awareness to combat sexual and domestic violence against women,” Taylor says, citing the United Nations Development Fund for Women’s statistic that one in three women “will be beaten, raped, assaulted, trafficked, harassed or forced to submit to harmful practices.”

“Although there are [stories] that are heart-wrenching,” Taylor says, noting a segment on Bosnian refugees, “the majority of [the play] is hilarious, and it’s also very enlightening — even for women who are more liberal and open-minded. It just puts it out there.”

Activist Eve Ensler’s play includes a standing script, but she adds rotating roles periodically, basing stories on hundreds of interviews with women. The upcoming production will include the playwright’s recent segment on transgender issues. Taylor, the owner of WNC Weddings & Events and Skillful Solutions, LLC, has raised more than $12,000 for local shelters over three years of staging the production. This fourth year’s proceeds go to domestic violence crisis center Helpmate.

“It’s always my mission to get men to come out and attend,” Taylor says. “It’s not at all negative about men in any way. … I think it’s a great show for men to come learn more about the issues that we all face, and again, it’s hilarious.”

Tickets ($25/$35, student discounts available) and more information are at theorangepeel.net

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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2 thoughts on “Conscious party: The Vagina Monologues benefits Helpmate

  1. Yep

    OK, so Susan Sarandon proclaimed this week that she ‘no longer votes with her vagina’ … are there others out there?

  2. boatrocker

    So voting with the va jay jay is kind of the female answer to being able to write one’s name in the snow in cursive for males? I must have missed that in high school health class.

    Still, good on Helpmate. Will any proceeds go to body armor and bullet proof glass for the workers there to protect themselves from crazy
    Ike Turner or ‘no more baby parts’ types? I hope so.

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