A powerhouse of advocacy for women’s rights all over the world, Eve Ensler upped the ante on public feminist dialogue with her groundbreaking 1996 play, The Vagina Monologues. The play has been translated into 45 different languages and performed in 119 different countries. She has since created V-Day, a global movement for which benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues are performed annually to generate funds to stop violence against women and girls. Last week, Ensler’s brand new play O.P.C. (Obsessive Political Correctness) found another powerhouse woman on stage for a one-night only benefit reading: Stockard Channing. The reading took place in front of a sold-out house at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club. Proceeds went to Global Green USA and V-Day.
Channing played a woman running for the U.S. Senate whose daughter is on a mission to save the world by living off recycled garbage and refusing to participate in the greed of consumerism. In keeping with Ensler’s activist roots, the play mixes smart social commentary with uproariously funny situations. Issues of green living, the political machine that is the U.S. government, and satirical stabs at society are all part of the outstanding script. Besides Channing’s star turn, other featured performers in the benefit reading included Brenda Currin, Greg Itzin, Ravi Kapoor, Analeis Lorig, Liz Mikels, Lee Pace and Andrea Riseborough. The audience of more than 300 shared non-stop laughs all night and then shared wine and small bites with the cast at the after party.
Founded in 1993 by activist and philanthropist Diane Meyer Simon, Global Green is the American Arm of Green Cross International (GCI), which was created by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future by reconnecting humanity with the environment. Global Green USA is the only national environmental non-profit headquartered in Southern California. In a post-show discussion, Ensler applauded Global Green USA’s work, particularly their work in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. She likened violence against women to violence against planet Earth and said the two issues should be tackled simultaneously, not as separate problems.
For more information about V-Day, visit www.vday.org, and for more information about Global Green USA, visit http://www.globalgreen.org/.