MCLA joins global effort to stop violence against women and girls


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - On Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24-25 at 7 p.m., the Susan B. Anthony Women's Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present a benefit performance of Eve Ensler's award-winning play, "The Vagina Monologues," in the MCLA Church Street Center.

All proceeds will benefit the county-wide battered women's and sexual assault service provider, The Elizabeth Freeman Center (90 percent) and the City of Joy Project (10 percent).

The Monologues expose the mystery, humor, power, pain, outrage and excitement buried in women's experiences. It was previously produced at MCLA in both 2005 and 2007. Last year, more than 4,200 communities around the world hosted V-Day benefits to raise funds and community awareness toward ending the violence the occurs against one in three women, at home and abroad. During the past 11 years, V-Day has raised over $70 million for this purpose.

"Violence against women and sexual violence are global problems, not just personal problems for the individuals who experience them," said Brianna Vear '13, one of the organizers of this year's performances. "This violence runs the gamut from the physical abuse and sexual assault of children, to sexual harassment on the street and at work, to intimate partner violence and marital rape, to war crimes. Because these are global problems, they require global opposition movements. V-Day performances are part of those movements."

Tickets are $5 for general admission and $2 for students. The performance runs 90 minutes without an intermission. Parental discretion is advised, as the performance may not be appropriate for young children.

Tickets will be sold at the door, but also are available by contacting the Susan B. Anthony Women's Center at 413-662-5497 or e-mail at

The City of Joy is a joint effort of V-Day, UNICEF and the Panzi Foundation, which is building a facility for survivors of sexual violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. It will support women as they heal and provide them with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and economic empowerment.

"The Vagina Monologues" first was produced on Valentine's Day 1998 in New York City. The original celebrity cast included Margaret Cho, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon and Gloria Steinem, and raised over $250,000 for local anti-violence groups. In 2001, it played to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, raising $1 million. By 2007, it was performed at over 700 college and university campuses.

For information about the MCLA performance of "The Vagina Monologues" or any of the activities and programs of the MCLA Susan B. Anthony Women's Center, contact Dr. Susan Birns, director of the Center at 413-662-5497, or e-mail her at