VERNON - Tanya Laing Gahr has directed the Vagina Monologues three times, but her fourth production of the world-famous play, which goes onstage in Vernon next month, will hold a special significance for her.
"This is such a powerful piece," she said.
The Vagina Monologues, a play that explores women's unique experiences, will hit the stage at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. as part of VDay 2019, an international event which spotlights female incarceration. One of the production's main topics will be missing and murdered Indigenous women, symbolized by a collection of red dresses.
The Red Dress Project is a cross-Canada movement that uses crimson clothes to symbolize the hundreds of Indigenous women who've disappeared or been murdered. Mollie Bono, who works with the group putting on the Vagina Monologues, has been collecting red dresses to display at the theatre.
"We thought it was important to use red dresses to draw attention to how Indigenous women are treated in North America," she said. "We want to make a really strong statement."
The dozen-or-so red dresses will be onstage before, during, and after the play. Bono said said the dresses will represent people during the production.
"It's a strong reminder," she said.
Gahr said they added additional monologues about marginalized women to the play to widen the discussion around women's issues. While the dresses and scenes in the play address serious topics, Gahr said the production is ultimately meant to be entertaining, hopeful and thought-provoking.
"It helps keep the conversation going," she said. "It's celebratory."
Proceeds raised through ticket sales will be going directly to the Vernon Women's Transition House Society, which has worked with the organizers throughout the process.
"[They've] been wonderful," Bono said.
Tickets for the show are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors and youth 18 and under. They can be bought online here or by calling 250-549-7469.
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