This February in Montreal, I caught up with one of our local VDay organisers, Emily Koehler. With The Vagina Monologues playing tonight Friday February 15th, and Saturday the 16th, we had a rapid-fire exchange about V to the Tenth and Montreal’s own Vday campaigners.
“We were definitely motivated to go big this year,” emphasizes Koehler. “We’re spotlighting certain monologues, and have highlighted V to the Tenth in the production’s program.”
When asked why she chose to take on this Vday campaign in Montreal, Koehler speaks of a need otherwise unmet in the Montreal community. “As a survivor of sexual assault, I take this cause to heart. There is a large network of people that Vday brings together, and their commitment is evident though a deep passion they bring to the cause.”
To date the principal Montreal Vday events have been hosted by McGill University. “I felt this didn’t accurately reflect the Montreal community as a whole. Having just graduated, I wanted to connect with the community in a larger sense. After posting on craigslist, I received a flood of contacts from both women and men. Our four core organisers started off as strangers, and are now the best of friends. We have come to experience a very personal and close circle of participants.”
What can one expect from this year’s production of The Vagina Monologues? “We are very happy with our diversity of cast. We have women who are professional actors, as well as women who have never been on stage before. Our oldest cast member is 52, and our youngest 8. Monologues will be performed in French and English, however you will hear a whole range of different accents. All these people are from different walks of life, different backgrounds, and they are all passionate about being in Montreal.”
Vday Montreal’s production of The Vagina Monologues will also feature whom Koehler calls ‘local celebrities’: Laura Roberts, author of local sex column “V for Vixen”; and a burlesque interpretation of Vday classic “Cunt”, performed by Seska Lee.
The Vagina Monologues play Friday February 15th, and Saturday February 16th, at 8 p.m. At the Doubletree by Hilton, 505, rue Sherbrooke East. Tickets can be purchased through www.admission.com.
For more on V to the Tenth and the upcoming festival in New Orleans, visit www.vday.org.