Actors Bridge Hosts V-Day Benefit For One Billion Rising Campaign

IMG_0331Actors Bridge Ensemble presents the V‑Day Nashville three-night-only benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues at the Actors Bridge Studio this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Directed by Actors Bridge Producing Artistic Director Vali Forrister, the cast includes Kathy MatteaSharon Gentry, Fiona Prine, Paula RoppRachel Agee, Kamilah Ajamu, OlaOmi Amoloku, Tracy Gershon, Kat HanrahanCynthia Harris, Mallory Kimbrell, Kara McLeland, Terry Occhiogrosso, CJ Tucker and Meredith Whitsett.

The Vagina Monologues is part of Actors Bridge’s 2014 The Secret’s Out Season. Presenting stories that are often kept secret, this season explores cultural taboos in the service of creating community dialogue, inviting audiences to consider their preconceptions and connect with their neighbors despite their differences.

Performance Schedule:
Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

Venue Information:
Actors Bridge Studio 4304-F Charlotte Avenue Nashville, TN 37209  (entrance in rear of building)

Advanced General Admission Tickets are $25 available at
General Admission at the door is $30.
All proceeds benefit ACT LIKE A GRRRL scholarships.
Season Tickets are $90 available at

Due to limited seating capacity, advance ticket purchasing and arriving at the studio 30 minutes prior to showtime is recommended.

About the Play:

IMG_0387Forrister was the first to bring The Vagina Monologues to Nashville (in an Actors Bridge/Vanderbilt University V-Day collaboration) in what became known has an annual “high-profile communal event” (Nashville Scene) and “better than Broadway” (Tennessean). After many years hiatus from the monologues, Actors Bridge and Act Like a GRRRL are thrilled to be joining the V-Day One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women and girls. Act Like a GRRRL is now recognized as an official V-Day-approved non-profit recipient. Proceeds from this year’s production will fund ALAG scholarships.

Last year over 5,800 V-Day benefits were held around the world raising funds and awareness towards ending violence against women. These highly successful events raised over $5 million through performance of The Vagina Monologues, readings from V-Day’s A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer and Any One Of Us: Words From Prison and screenings of V-Day’s documentary Until The Violence Stops and the PBS documentary What I Want My Words To Do To You. Actors Bridge Ensemble has joined this global movement as part of the V‑Day 2014 College/Community Campaign.

This special benefit performance is presented as part of V-Day’s campaign ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, a global call for women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not – and release their stories through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, sit ins, and testimonies.

eve-lacombeWhat are The Vagina Monologues
Hailed by The New York Times as “funny” and “poignant” and by the Daily News as “intelligent” and “courageous,” The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off-Broadway by Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences. Ensler has performed the play to great acclaim throughout the world – from Zagreb to Santa Barbara, from London to Seattle, from Jerusalem to Oklahoma City. Villard Books/Random House first published The Vagina Monologues, which includes a foreword by Gloria Steinem, in Feb. 1998. A special edition was released in hard cover and paperback in Feb. 2008 in honor of V-Day’s ten year anniversary.

About One Billion Rising
One Billion Rising was the biggest mass action in human history.  The campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering UN statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On Feb. 14, 2013, people across the world came together to strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. Over 10,000 events took place on the ground and the campaign took over media and social media worldwide for 48 hours, trending in 7 countries – 4x in the US alone.  The wildly successful grassroots campaign was covered widely by media in all corners of world including The New York TimesThe GuardianNPR and many more.  More info:


About V-Day

V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. The V-Day movement has raised over $100 million; educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it; crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns; reopened shelters; and funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt, and Iraq. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements and awards and is, one of the Top-Rated organizations on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar.  V-Day’s most recent global campaign, ONE BILLION RISING, galvanized over one billion women and men on a global day of action towards ending violence against women and girls. More info:

VDAY2014logo_webWhat is a V-Day Campaign?
A V-Day Campaign is a catalyst for mobilizing women and men to heighten awareness about violence against women and girls.  By creating this global community, V-Day strives to empower women to find their collective voices and demand an end to the violence that affects one in three women in the U.S and around the world.  V‑Day Nashville is a local effort within the worldwide context of the 2014 V-Day Campaign.

About Actors Bridge Ensemble:

For the last 18 years, Actors Bridge has been a force on Nashville’s cultural landscape. As an actor training program, ABE has worked with over 3,500 students who have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as film and television. As a professional theater company its mission is to tell the stories that impact our community by producing provocative and socially relevant theater, creating new theatrical works, showcasing emotionally authentic ensemble acting and fostering a nurturing environment for theater artists at any stage in their professional development to take creative risks. Actors Bridge has produced over 75 plays, including 14 world premieres and 45 Nashville premieres. Some notable Nashville premieres include The Laramie Project, Never the Sinner, Marisol and this season’s Next Fall, Blackbird and 100 Saints You Should Know. The company was co-founded by Bill Feehely and Forrister. More info:

About Act Like A GRRRL

Act Like a GRRRL is an autobiographical writing and performance program that empowers teenage girls to find their voice and speak their truth on stage and in life. Founded in 2005 by Forrister, 100% of ALAG graduates have gone to college; participants report zero drug use, truancy or pregnancy but a huge increase in self-confidence, academic excellence, improved family relationships and hope for the future. The “Triple R Revolution” focuses on ending the competition myth among women and girls that leaves us isolated and alone.

ALAG is intentionally creating a lifelong community of mutual respect, love and support where young women are empowered to articulate their beliefs and take brave risks in pursuit of their dreams. ALAG also has programs for adult women and women in prison. ALAG is part of Actors Bridge Ensemble, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. More info:

*Nashville production meeting photos by John Jackson Photography courtesy Actors Bridge Ensemble. Eve Ensler photo by Brigitte Lacombe and V-Day 2014 logo courtesy

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