On April 20th and 21st, a group of community volunteers, V-Day Denver, performed a ground breaking theatrical work to benefit Project Safeguard and our close ally, the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program. The piece, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer, is a collection of monologues edited by Eve Ensler, the award winning author of The Vagina Monologues, and is performed in cities around the world as part of the V-Day movement. V-Day is a global activist movement that performs artistic works to raise awareness and funds for organizations that are already doing work to end violence against women and girls.
The Jungle Room of the Mercury Cafe was filled to capacity and then some for Friday’s opening night. The piece, which opens with a monologue written by Howard Zinn about witnessing an act of violence by his father against his mother, moved deftly and disarmingly between funny and heart wrenching. The audience laughed along with performer Cheryl Storey as she recounted author Kathy Najimy’s tale of being a high school sophomore trying to impress the senior boys. They also made good use of the small packets of tissues provided by the cast as RAAP’s own John Nelson told of author Mark Matsouek’s journey of discovering his own complicity in the culture which allowed for all the women in his family to suffer violence. They stood and cheered when the piece’s final monologue, based on Eve Ensler’s essay Over It, declared that in the coming year, one billion women will speak out again sexual violence because “we are over it!”
The Saturday crowd was equally energized and engaged with the cast. Both shows featured a raffle, with winners receiving rafting trips, massage gift certificates, private wine tastings, and gift bags from local boutiques.
The event raised over $5,000 due to the amazing generosity of the audiences. That money will go to help survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault get services right here in the Denver metro area.