MONOLOGUES PACKS THE HOUSE
Vicky Newman/Special to The Malibu Times
February 26, 2004
Proceeds from Obie Award-winning play benefits local
charities to stop violence against women and girls.
It was standing room only at Malibu Stage Company Sunday
night, for the last of three performances of "The
Vagina Monologues" staged by V-Day Malibu 2004
College Campaign at the 99-seat theater.
Students from Pepperdine University produced the internationally
acclaimed comedy, which uses clever linguistics to free
the flow of discourse about female sexuality.
Malibuites Joan Benedict Steiger and Susie Duff, also
a playwright, performed in two of the monologues.
Pepperdine sophomore Grant Turck, who raised a firestorm
with his attempted registration of an anti-homophobia
club on campus last week, greeted the all-ages, both-sexes
audience as they came in from a stormy night.
Steiger, a veteran actress who joined the cast at the
last minute, said she had developed new respect for
"Initially the dialogue shocked me-I kept thinking,
what would my mother say-but now I don't think of it,"
Steiger said in a telephone interview before the performance.
"I realized I had seen the birth of my granddaughter."
"I have a tremendous love for comedy," Steiger,
who appeared in the "Steve Allen" television
show, added. "When you can present a serious subject
without preaching, you get your points across much more
Playwright Eve Ensler, 50, a victim of incest from the
age of five to ten years old, has taken advantage of
the play's success to use it as a political vehicle
and in fundraisers for the nonprofit she founded, V-Day.
The global movement to stop violence against women and
girls began as a Valentine's Day fundraiser in 1998,
and is now an annual two-month season of "Monologues"
benefit performances. In a variety of events and gatherings,
the organization has raised more than $20 million to
fund grassroots, national and international organizations.
Besides the modest admission price, ranging from $15-$25,
two pages of Malibu business advertising in the program
brochure raised money for local charities.
"Everyone stepped up to embrace the project,"
Mary Guilliams, a Pepperdine senior and the play's director,
said of local business donations. "This was a true
The Gail "Gay" Smith Fund, named in honor
of the Ogden Cleaner's employee who was murdered last
year, and Santa Monica-based Sojourn Services for Battered
Women and Their Children received proceeds from last
week's performances. So did Break the Cycle, a Santa-Monica
based, national lawyers group that aids young victims
of domestic abuse pro bono.
Malibu Stage Co. supporter Steiger also sees new opportunities
for the 14-year-old institution.
"I'm really looking forward to developing Malibu
Stage Co., making it more widely known in our community,"
Steiger said. "It's a little jewel of a theater."
"I hope that more local actors will take advantage
of their downtime between big projects to join the productions,"
Steiger continued. "People love to see good theater,
especially in their home town."
For information on the V-Day movement, visit www.vday.org