V-Day Fairfield University joins global efforts to stop violence against women and girls

Benefit performance of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery - Quick Center for the Arts March 25, 27, 28Vday

Jennifer Martin '10 and Bradley Fay '12, a Fairfield University senior woman and sophomore man, are co-producers of three benefit performances of V-Day's "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" on Thursday, March 25, Saturday, March 27 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m. The production will take place in the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the Fairfield University campus. The presentation is part of an Arts & Minds season offering at Fairfield University. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $8 for adults. All proceeds from the performances will benefit the Center for Women and Families in Bridgeport.

The V-Day presentation is part of Fairfield University's 2009-2010 "Communities in Action: A Year of Activism" focus and is sponsored by the humanities institute of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka, assistant professor of politics and director of peace and justice studies received a generous humanities grant, which she conferred on the students to make this presentation possible.

"A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer: Writings To Stop Violence Against Women and Girls," is a groundbreaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle and commissioned by V-Day for the first V-Day: UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS festival, which took place June 2006 in New York City.  

The writings are inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic, and beautiful. But above all, together they create a true and profound portrait of how violence against women affects every one of us. "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, And A Prayer" is a call to the world to demand an end to violence against women.

Martin, who is not only producing but is also acting in a cast of five students and two staff members, considers the ability "to work with genuinely passionate people and create truth onstage" a great gift. For this production, Martin called on alumnus Gary Lee Pelletier '09 as director. Pelletier, a graduate of the Visual and Performing Arts' theatre program, directed last year's V-Day production of "The Vagina Monologues" as an independent project of Theatre Fairfield at Fairfield University.

Pelletier's commitment to the V-Day project is clear, "If I leave the rehearsal room with blaring red and throbbing crusty eyes then it's been a good day. This material hurts." He continues, "I am a warrior for women, for young girls, for those oppressed by our world's male constructed framework and for those not given the freedom they should simply own, because I honestly believe we are digging our graves here." Pelletier welcomes audiences with all points of view and believes, "We need women" and we, as a people "are desperate for their feminine mystic now!"

In addition to Martin (Reading, Mass.) who is a theatre minor, cast members include Theatre Fairfield veterans, Sarah Gatti '10 (Peabody, Mass.), Mary McGrath '10 (Killingworth, Conn.), Joy White '11, Zachary Tesoriero '11 (both of New York); Conor O'Kane, associate director of campus ministry and Joan Grant, publicist, both staff members, round out the cast.

As a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.

Martin's pride of being a member of the student body of a Jesuit university encouraged her to join with Fay to mount this production as a visual and visceral representation of the values espoused by Fairfield University. She declares, "This performance calls on us to be men and women for others and to strive for justice through the Jesuit ideal of Magis, "the more."

Tickets are available at the Quick Center Box Office. Call (203) 254-4010 for more information.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 2, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 217

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