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V-Day in Campbell River

Rehearsing a scene from The Vagina Monologues are (from left) Patricia Derrick, Joanne Banks, Darlene Bentley, Julie Rigby, Corinne Koschack, and Karen Holmes. - Kristen Douglas/The Mirror
Rehearsing a scene from The Vagina Monologues are (from left) Patricia Derrick, Joanne Banks, Darlene Bentley, Julie Rigby, Corinne Koschack, and Karen Holmes.
— image credit: Kristen Douglas/The Mirror

V-Day will take on a new meaning in Campbell River this year.

Rather than Valentine’s Day, V-Day touches down on March 8 – a day set aside to help those in our community who are struggling with abuse.

The Campbell River Women’s Centre will be bringing Tony award winning playwright and performer Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues to the Tidemark Theatre.

“We’re in the midst of celebrating the Campbell River Women’s Centre’s 30th year and the play is part of that,” said Georgette Whitehead, executive director of the Vancouver Island North Women’s Resource Society which operates the Women’s Centre.

Ninety per cent of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the local Women’s Centre which provides free walk-in crisis and support counselling and programs for poverty relief as well as an annual school supply drive for local schools.

Whitehead is producing the play which will be performed by eight local women for the third time since 2005 in Campbell River. Half of them have no prior acting experience but were drawn to the worthy cause behind the performance.

The actresses – all volunteers as are the crew and director – have been rehearsing since mid-November, five days a week.

Julie Rigby of Quadra Island has been acting since she was a child, but has found the Vagina Monologues to be a challenge.

“I found it very challenging, especially the monologue, the Flood, which I do,” Rigby said. “I find it very sad and in rehearsal you have to go there so I feel like I’ve been carrying around this character with me for months. It’s tough and I know all the ladies here feel that too.”

The play combines a bit of humour, sadness and emotion. The piece is based on the answers Ensler found by talking to women about their emotional and sexual experiences.

None of the characters in the play have a name, but each tell their own story or monologue.

Director Margaret Keane, who has worked as a director with River City Players for four years, said she was approached to direct Campbell River’s rendition and couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“I read the book in the mid-90s when it came out and I thought it would be an interesting play to do,” Keane said. “There’s lots of challenges in the staging and keeping the integrity and honesty of the piece while keeping it pleasing to the eye on stage.”

Still Keane said she’s enjoyed every minute of it and is pleased to be working alongside stage manager Denise Darnell, a director with Shoreline Musical Theatre and Rivercity Players.

Whitehead has been pleased with the outpouring of community support, from donations for props and costumes to the donated rehearsal space in the Campbell River Common.

The Vagina Monologues takes the stage at the Tidemark Theatre on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $23 for those 19 years of age and older and are available at the Tidemark box office by calling 250-287-7465 or online at tidemarktheatre.com

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