Suffolk University presents a two-night-only benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Donahue Cafeteria, 41 Temple Street.

The play is part of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls through the promotion of creative events that increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.

Last year, over 4,200 communities hosted V-Day benefits around the world. These highly successful events raised more than $4 million through the performance of The Vagina Monologues, readings from V-Day’s A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer and Any One Of Us: Words From Prison, and screenings of V-Day’s documentary Until The Violence Stops. Suffolk University has joined this global movement as part of the V-Day 2010 College Campaign.

Hailed by The New York Times as "funny" and "poignant" and by the Daily News as "intelligent" and "courageous," The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off-Broadway by Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences. Ensler has performed the play to great acclaim throughout the world — from Zagreb to Santa Barbara, from London to Seattle, from Jerusalem to Oklahoma City. Villard Books/Random House first published The Vagina Monologues with a foreword by Gloria Steinem in February 1998.

V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery. Through V-Day’s College and Community campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.

Suffolk student Talia Bashan, a senior majoring in Theatre, will be performing a serious monologue about the taboo subject of female mutilation. “This role is important to me because Bosnian female mutilation is something that has always horrified me,” she says. “I know it will be one of my best theatrical experiences at Suffolk University.”

The Vagina Monologues is not only an amazing play,” says Lauren Silva, a Suffolk junior who will also be performing in the monologues, “but it also stands for an amazing cause. It helps raise awareness about the abuse and neglect that women can go through within their lifetimes. While attending a show, you are not only laughing and enjoying yourself, you are also helping a bigger cause.” Ten percent of Suffolk University’s proceeds will go to the V-Day 2010 Spotlight on Women of Democratic Republic of Congo, and the rest will go to The Elizabeth Stone House, an organization that provides support and resources for battered women and children.

Coe Hennesy, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the director and organizer of this year’s V-Day event. “What I love about it,” she says, “is how real and accessible it is. The show manages to empower women without alienating men, and exposes sometimes-devastating truths without engendering feelings of guilt or pity in the audience. This show truly has value for everyone, and although I know people can be apprehensive about going to a production called The Vagina Monologues, in my experience, every person who attends leaves feeling glad they saw it.”

A cast of 18 additional Suffolk University students, faculty, and staff will be joining Silva, Hennesy, and Bashan in this year’s production. Dean of Students Ann Coyne will perform a monologue, as will professor Afshan Bokhari of the New England School of Art & Design. Director of the Performing Arts Office, Kristin Baker, and web editor Shannon Rosa of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, will also join the student cast in performance.

Tickets to the show are available at The Hub, as well as online at