Photos by Erica Estrada

As the attendees in the audience take their seats, the lights dim and the voices hush. Suddenly women dressed in all black with pink accessories, scarves, tights, gloves, feathers, necklaces, shoes and belts, emerge through the back entrances repeating one thing—”We were worried about vaginas.”

These outspoken women belong to a group called V-Day Fort Worth, a local organization [V-Day itself is a global effort] that celebrates womanhood. As part of their yearly celebration, they perform on stage The Vagina Monologues.

On Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. in Martin Hall, men and women from all over Fort Worth lined up to watch this year’s production.

The Vagina Monologues

is a play written by American playwright and activist, Eve Ensler. It is a collection of true stories discussing critical issues about female sexuality and violence toward women.

V-Day Fort Worth’s mission is to help women everywhere fight violence and gain acceptance. All proceeds from the play go to nonprofit organizations that aid women, including Safe Haven, a women’s shelter in Fort Worth and Arlington.

Mary Boswell, one of the three directors of The Vagina Monologues, has been participating in the play for 10 years. This year she performed and directed.

Boswell describes the play as raising awareness to women’s issues and encouraging the audience to stop female violence.

“I want us to treat everybody with love, honor and respect,” Boswell said. “When you see something wrong say something.”

Jessica Abbott, audience member and California resident, said she came to stay with her sister, who lives in Texas, to be in town for the play.

“I seriously flew from California to watch it [The Vagina Monologues],” Abbott said.

The Monologues were performed three times during the week followed by an after party on Saturday Feb. 16 in Bragan Hall at the United Methodist Church.

At the conclusion of each of the performances, the cast played a video for “1 Billion Rising,” a movement to stop violence toward women by spreading the word through dance.

Layne Calabro, member of V-Day Fort Worth, said 1 Billion Rising is a “unified voice of the world to change the rape culture that exists today.”

Calabro said members of V-Day Fort Worth had a flash mob dance at the Fort Worth Water Gardens on Feb. 14 to show their support.

The Monologues, V-Day and 1 Billion Rising are in conjunction with a global effort to end violence toward women.

Director Boswell said as long as people continue to show their support and raise awareness, the world will see a change.

“The conversation is going and that is good,” Boswell said. “When people become informed, I think that’s when the world changes.”

agarcia@txwes.edu