The Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honorary at Ashland University presents a special benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues by Tony-Award Winning playwright Eve Ensler on Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.

The performance is free and open to the public, but patrons are encouraged to reserve a ticket through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125 to guarantee a seat. In addition, donations of beauty products, cleaning and home supplies as well as cash will be accepted at the performance to benefit Ashland’s Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence Safe Haven Shelter.

Based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women, the play addresses women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a new conversation about and with women. After every performance, Ensler found women waiting to share their own stories of survival, leading her to see that The Vagina Monologues could be more than a moving work of art on violence; she divined that the performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.

Written in 1996, The Vagina Monologues has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment), and has run for 10 years in Mexico City and Paris. In 1998, Ensler and others launched V-Day, a global non-profit movement that has raised more than $100 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefits of The Vagina Monologues. Such events take place worldwide each year between Feb. 1 and April 30 and performances generally benefit rape crisis centers and similar resource centers for women.

Directed by guest artist Rachael Swartz, cast members for this year’s Ashland production include Maya Rickard (Wooster), Jessica Dupee (Wellington), Melissa Haber (Medina), Shelby Teets (Worthington), Andrea Disch (East Liverpool), Ceyanna Stasick (Sullivan), Hannah Wise (Hartville) and Gracie Fumic (Avon). Seth Morrison (Millersburg) is the lighting designer and Elizabeth Davis Newhouse (Solon) is the costume designer.

To reserve a free ticket, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. For more information about the department of theatre, visit, find us on Facebook or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or [email protected].

Rachael Swartz Swartz

Staff report