Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues, and V-Day
The overwhelming response to productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues led in 1998 to the establishment of V-Day:
On Valentines Day, 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organization's seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening.
V-Day's mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women.
As the V-Day website says, "The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina."
Check out the website, and if you can't find a production near you, you can buy the book! (And performances of many of the monologues from a wide variety of productions are posted on YouTube.)