The V-Day Seoul 2017 Project will present a bilingual Korean and English reading of “The Vagina Monologues” on Saturday and Sunday in aid of the Korean Sexual Violence Relief Center.
The reading is part of V-Day, an international collaboration to end violence against women and girls, which also has Korean events in Busan and Gwangju.
The award-winning 1996 play by V-Day founder and playwright Eve Ensler is based on interviews she conducted with more than 200 women. It has since been performed around the world as part of V-Day.
Chae Song-a attends a rehearsal for the V-Day Seoul Project’s “Vagina Monologues.” (Erina Sung)
Director Renee Kim said many of the women involved in this production, including herself, had experienced violence from men.
“At the time I didn’t really want to speak up because I was really frightened about it. And also I wanted to keep calm and move on,” she said.
“But after a few years I started to talk about it much more openly, because the wounds in my heart had healed much more and I felt stronger. And I wanted to share my experience with women and also with people who might be interested in helping those kind of women.”
The performance will be held at Sonnendeck in Itaewon, where Kim hopes to give the audience an immersive experience.
“Some of our performers will be in the crowd and start their monologues from within the crowd, so this can be much more powerful for the people who are observing because they are not just sitting and listening (to someone on a stage),” she said.
Director Renee Kim (right) talks with a cast member during rehearsals for the V-Day Seoul Project’s “Vagina Monologues.” (Erina Sung)
There will be monologues performed in English and Korean, with some of the Korean translations tweaked to fit Korean context.
“After this, we are thinking of doing more. It could be monologues about our own experiences,” said Kim, adding that this would be a separate performance from Ensler’s work.
Performance artist Lee Da-bin will also perform on the Saturday shows.
KSVRC has been active since 1991. Kim said it has provided an important service.
“When you have some violent experience, most women try to talk to someone else. But it’s really hard to talk to another family member or a friend, so mostly the women call the center and get some advice, so we wanted to give the profits to them,” she said.
The organization also runs a women’s shelter system and is also active in legal advocacy, policy reform and public education.
The “Vagina Monologues” will be performed in Seoul at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on March 25 and at 4 p.m. on March 26. Tickets are 10,000 won in advance, available from entrcrowd.com.
Korean and English subtitles will be provided for nonbilingual audience members.
Elsewhere in Korea, performances of the monologues will be in Busan on Saturday at Vinyl Underground at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at Gorilla Brewing Co. in Gwangan at 3:30 p.m.
The performance will be in aid of Busan Women’s Shelter and Ivan Stop HIV/AIDS Project.
Reservations have closed. Tickets on the door are priced at 15,000 won.
The monologues will also be staged in Gwangju, with shows planned for April 29-30.