“Until the Violence Stops” Prompts Reflection and Dialogue

Come, days without violence!

Come, days without violence!

A group of LPTS students and staff met Tuesday in the basement of Schlegel Hall to watch the documentary film “Until the Violence Stops,” as part of the observance of V is for Venite.

The film dramatizes the experiences of five diverse communities around the work of V-Day — an international movement to end violence against women and girls — and in the process gives some of the background on the connections between Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day movement. As the film notes, the dramatic form of live theatre helps concretize, make more vivid, and bring home the multi-dimensional meaning of violence against women, and the need to end it, in ways that talk or literature simply doesn’t.

The same could be said about the film. In its images of participants in performances around the world, in the testimonies and faces of individual survivors, the audience sees the face of violence against women — what it means in the lives of these women reminding, standing for, the much larger (almost overwhelmingly) reality.

It’s difficult to talk after seeing this film, especially for the first time. The enormity and variety of what needs to be faced, faced down, and brought to an end can leave a person speechless. The depth of pain and suffering, barely touched, can leave a person feeling completely overwhelmed. LPTS Dean of Students Kilen Gray noted one response to the film as a wish to share the understanding the film provides with a congregation in as dramatic, vivid and powerful way as possible. As others noted, bringing the reality, emotions, needs, and calls around violence against women into the life of worship is both particularly necessary, and particularly difficult. It meets the resistance of worship committees, maybe because people feel themselves incapable of doing or saying “the right thing.”

And yet, it’s clear that silence is not “the right thing.” As Gray also noted, it’s the atmosphere of taboo that surrounds every form of violence against women that permits it to go on, to thrive. Breaking that silence, naming violence as wrong, already constitutes support for women who have endured violence and a needed call to confession, repentance and (one hopes) healing for perpetrators. Breaking the silence also begins the needed change in the systems — which tragically include the church and its institutions — that enable and perpetuate violence.

At least one thing is clear: the church needs to be present and active not only in calling for an end to violence against women and girls, but in working for that end.

Fall Arts & Crafts Sale Coming Soon

The Friday after Thanksgiving has gained the moniker “Black Friday,” at least in the United States, because retailers look forward to brisk sales in the weeks before Christmas putting their accounts “in the black.”

The Women’s Center has its retail sights set a bit later: on Friday, December 5, which is the date for the annual

Fall Arts & Crafts Sale

9:00 a.m.

Winn Center Lounge

We are still actively seeking donations of hand-crafted items for the sale. Crafters still have plenty of time (over the long weekend, perhaps!) to complete projects and bring them to the Women’s Center, 100 White Hall, T-F 12:30-2 or by appointment. We are encouraging folks with items to donate to bring them to the Center by Thursday, December 4 at the latest, to give us time to price items before the sale.

This year, folks who browse the art and artisanal works by members of the Seminary community and others at the sale will also have an opportunity to see the film:

Until the Violence Stops
3:00-4:40 p.m.
McAtee A

Until the Violence Stops explains the reasons behind the V-Day movement that has impelled colleges and communities across the nation and the globe to stage their own productions of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as part of the effort to end violence against women and girls. LPTS will join the cause with its own production in February, 2009.

The sale will conclude with an

Informal Reception
7:00 p.m.5:00 p.m.
Winn Center Lounge

featuring light refreshments and libations, as an encouragement to last-minute shoppers.

All proceeds from the Fall Arts & Crafts Sale go to support the Women’s Center and its programs

We hope to see you there!

One More Time!

Auditions

for the Women’s Center at LPTS’ production of
Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues
TODAY!
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
in the Women’s Center

One more chance, all you women of the LPTS community, to dust off your reading skills and dramatic flair, come over to the Women’s Center, and join the ecstatic throng who will be bringing this production to campus on February 13 (8:00 p.m., Hundley Hall, Gardencourt; we plan to make tickets available on line reasonably soon).

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE AUDITIONS TODAY, but want to participate in the production, please contact the Women’s Center by email at womenscenter at lpts.edu or by phone at 502.894.2285.
We want EVERYONE INTERESTED to be able to take part.

The documentary Until the Violence Stops will screen in the Women’s Center during the auditions.

(Note: Until the Violence Stops will also screen: Friday, December 5, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Winn Center; Thursday, January 8, 7:00 p.m., Women’s Center. This moving and illuminating film provides particularly clear insight into the significance of the performances of The Vagina Monologues on college campuses and in community centers across the nation and around the globe — including the first one here at LPTS, this coming February!)

V-Week is Coming

V-Week is Coming

Auditions Today!

Auditions

for the Women’s Center at LPTS’ production of
Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues
TODAY!
9:00 a.m. – Noon
in the Women’s Center

Now is the chance, all you women of the LPTS community, to dust off your reading skills and dramatic flair, come over to the Women’s Center, and join the ecstatic throng who will be bringing this production to campus on February 13.

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE AUDITIONS TODAY, there will be an alternative time Monday, 11-1.
IF YOU CAN’T MAKE EITHER TIME but want to participate in the production, please contact the Women’s Center by email at womenscenter at lpts.edu or by phone at 502.894.2285.
We want EVERYONE INTERESTED to be able to take part.

The documentary Until the Violence Stops will screen in the Women’s Center during the auditions.

V-Week is Coming

V-Week is Coming

V-Day Potluck Feeds a Sense of Mission

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

A large handful of students gathered in the Women’s Center on Wednesday to share food (delicious, incidentally) and fellowship, and to watch the documentary Until the Violence Stops. The film shares the experience of a number of communities that have undertaken to perform Eve Ensler’s theatrical work The Vagina Monologues as part of the V-Day project.

That project grew out of Enlser’s early work with The Vagina Monologues — out of her experience that after her early performances of the award-winning play, women in the audience would stand in line to talk with her, and often the talk was about their own experiences of abuse, incest, rape — violence. The idea that The Vagina Monologues could play a role in a movement to end this violence took shape from that initial, unanticipated, and overwhelming experience.

The film dramatizes the experience a few of the many communities of women, and their male allies, have had in the staging of The Vagina Monologues — the exuberance, the discoveries, the serendipities and acts of creativity that, e.g., bring hosts of residents of Ukiah, California out at night with flashlights to view vagina quilts hanging in the shop windows of the town, or bedeck a glittering cast at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with extravagant red feather boas.

The film also makes vivid and personal what this term “violence” covers: a stately, dignified woman who never told her mother about the incest she had endured; the enviable celebrity who after years of involvement with the V-Day project acknowledges her own experiences of sexual abuse; the woman who says “my mother died from being hit in the heart”; the man who can barely speak when he remembers his own attacks on his wife, and the time his 2-year-old son “had to protect his mother from me.”

The humankind that was made in the image of God, male and female, has sustained a lot of damage. Maybe we didn’t need to watch this film to know that. But watching this film helped us notice it, in a new and vivid way, in a personal way. It also made a bit clearer how bringing vaginas into the story — on stage, so to speak, out into the open — is part of the process of repairing that damage, and stopping the violence that does it. Because what we don’t talk about, don’t listen to, don’t respect, don’t think is worth mentioning, don’t think dignified enough to mention, don’t think interesting enough to mention, don’t think human enough to celebrate, humanly and creatively, dwells in that zone of disregard, of disposability, where violence seems permitted, or at least, unnoticed and unrebuked. The V-Day project is the project of bringing women’s experience out of that zone of disregard, and into the out-loud and lively human conversation. The violence that it, and we, seek to end can’t end without that step.

Viewing the documentary inspired the group! There was enthusiasm for our campus performance of The Vagina Monologues before, but now there is a sense of mission as well. We look forward to showing the film and sharing that sense of mission again, as we move towards the February 13 performance of The Vagina Monologues.

We also hope MANY members of the community will get involved in the project. One great way to do that will be to come to the open auditions for The Vagina Monologues, which will be held in the Women’s Center on Saturday, November 15, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Images from V-Mail summer update