OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU performance aimed at curbing violence against women

01/31/2000

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will stage V-Day 2000 on Feb. 14 - a performance focused on ending violence against women and proclaiming Valentine's Day as a day to celebrate women.

V-Day 2000 is part of a movement founded in 1998 focused on liberating women and fighting domestic violence. The performance will be held in OSU's CH2M-HILL Alumni Center ballroom, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the performance starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets, available at the door, sell for $5 to $50, with proceeds benefiting the Corvallis-based Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence. The presentations will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.

"This is a program about womanhood and it talks about everything from the joy of childbirth to the joy of womanhood," said David Visiko, a health educator with OSU's Student Health Services.

Focus of the program is "The Vagina Monologues," which is a compilation of 200 interviews with women talking about their often-ignored sex organs. Author Eve Ensler had asked the women - who came from a mix of age, race and social backgrounds - questions that delved into intimate issues of female sexuality. Ensler then produced her work as a one-woman New York stage show in 1996.

At OSU, a number of different people will present selections from Ensler's work.

"Here at OSU, the presenters will be a very diverse group," Visiko said. "We are including community people, as well as Oregon State University faculty, staff and students."

The first V-Day was staged in New York on Valentine's Day, 1998, starring a number of celebrities, including Winona Ryder, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Calista Flockhart, Rosie Perez, Susan Sarandon and Lily Tomlin. Each of the women performed excerpts from Ensler's work. The show was repeated in London on Valentine's Day 1999.

The goal for the V-Day 2000 college initiative is to get the V-Day message out by encouraging colleges and universities around the world to celebrate V-Day in their communities with a performance of "The Vagina Monologues." In addition to OSU, nearly 150 universities are participating this year, including Columbia University, Cornell University, and Harvard and Yale.

Visiko says bringing issues of violence against women and female sexuality into the open is an important step. "The more we can come together on these issues, the better it will be for everyone. I think this will be a wonderful opportunity to bring forth a subject that isn't talked about all that much."