City Pulse

By Kelly Hushin

For the sixth year in a row, the 4th Universalist Society (4th U) is producing Eve Ensler’s esteemed play, The Vagina Monologues, as part of the international V-Day movement, now in its 16th global year in more than 182 countries. But this year, 4th U has added a welcome twist: the group is also producing The Good Body, Ensler’s tender tome devoted to female form fondness. The play follows Ensler’s journey toward finding a solution to life’s biggest problem – being “fat.”

“We too often judge our bodies and compare them to those in magazines,” said Erin Bigelow, Director, The Good Body. “Body image issues surround most members of our society, gender not withstanding. The Vagina Monologues depicts the struggles and survival of women who have had their bodies and vaginas tortured by others. The Good Body depicts how women from around the world torture their own bodies to be accepted by others.”

If you’re already a Vagina Monologues fan, you’ll love watching Ensler’s character in The Good Body travel the world in search of fulfillment through weight loss, and her discovery that maybe there’s more to happiness than appearance. If you’ve never seen either play, this weekend is your chance to watch a troupe of enthusiastic, selfless New York women dedicate their time to spreading an invaluable message through Ensler’s clever prose.

The Vagina Monologues takes place this Friday and Saturday evening, 3/21 and 3/22, at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively, on 76th St. and Central Park West at the 4th Universalist Society church. The Good Body will take place on Saturday and Sunday evenings, 3/22 and 3/23, at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively, in the same location. (For details on how you can get two free tickets to the event, scroll to the bottom of the story.)

As with all V-Day productions, proceeds from both the Vagina Monologues and the Good Body go entirely to charitable organizations, and often to those that are local to the productions. The beneficiaries of 4th U’s production this year are Safe Horizon, Restore NYC and Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees. Safe Horizon provides victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, rape and sexual assault with a wide range of comprehensive support. Restore NYC’s mission is to end sex trafficking in New York and restore the well-being and independence of foreign-national survivors. Finally, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees gives various levels of support to hundreds of families who have sought asylum in the US after being persecuted in Haiti.

“As a trauma therapist, I have seen survivors struggle to regain their lives and become empowered again,” said Lynn Bourbeau, Co-Director (with Maria Alegre) for The Vagina Monologues. “ empower women to take back their bodies – their lives. In the monologues we hear stories of women who have been violated and our identification with them helps us to feel that we are not alone. We can find the strength and power to heal our bodies, minds, and spirits.”

Join Bourbeau, Bigelow, Arepe and more than 20 other women during the 4th Universalist Society’s productions of The Vagina Monologues and the Good Body, by purchasing your tickets through this link:
http://www.4thu.org/v-day-2014/

What: 4th Universalist Society presents Eve Ensler’s, The Vagina Monologues AND The Good Body
When: The Vagina Monologues: Friday and Saturday, March 21st and 22nd at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Good Body: Saturday and Sunday March 22nd & 23rd at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Where: 160 Central Park West, 76th Street and Central Park West
Why: Because the violence ends now.
Website (again): http://www.4thu.org/v-day-2013/

BONUS: Two tickets are being given away to BeautyNewsNYC readers. Be one of the lucky readers to get to the door first on Friday night (or Saturday, if unclaimed on Fri night) and mention code BEAUTYNEWS VAGINAS to get two free tickets! Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to charity.

Originally published March 2014
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