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Go See Some Bushwick Pussy Power

Ever heard of Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues? For those who love the script, missed out on the pop culture phenom, or any of you curious about the inner workings of a woman's brain, fret not! Bushwick is getting its own dose of pussy power! Led by Meggie Schmidt, the Bushwick Vagina Monologues will be presented at Pinebox Rock Shop from April 5-7, 2013 and features a cast comprised of seasoned and rookie actresses who interpret the scripts as each woman would - differently

Courtesy of Meggie Schmidt

Ever heard of Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues? For those who love the script, missed out on the pop culture phenom, or any of you curious about the inner workings of a woman's brain, fret not! Bushwick is getting its own dose of pussy power! Led by Meggie Schmidt, the Bushwick Vagina Monologues will be presented at Pinebox Rock Shop from April 5-7, 2013 and features a cast comprised of seasoned and rookie actresses who interpret the scripts as each woman would - differently.

These inner monologues have been presented a countless number of times, including on the Madison Square Garden stage and a televised production on HBO. The text is beautifully erotic and empowering. Sexual experiences and internal struggles are simultaneously harmonious and jarring. The vagina is put on a pedestal and then scrutinized/adored/questioned. So what's the reason for another production now?

The onslaught of sexual harassment incidents in Bushwick last December motivated Meggie to produce these popular and socially criticized tales. Meggie states that "The Vagina Monologues is an incredible resource for generating conversations about women’s issues." She wants to curate engaging discussions about a woman's experience, and she believes that The Vagina Monologues allows for that outlet because "you can engage without using your own words."

Earlier this winter, Meggie invited any and all females to participate. She wanted to open the experience up to the community in hopes that it would provide an outlet for Bushwick women to meet and interact with one another. Part of this community initiative operates on honesty, as each cast member contributes her OWN story to the performances.

All three performances have different casts, totaling 27 edgy and Brooklyn-ified personas. One of the two women performing "My Vagina Was My Village," a monologue about a Bosnian rape victim, is a committed career activist for women’s advocacy and health. DiBa, a Bushwick dancer, is incorporating movement into "Reclaiming Cunt" to complement the fluidity of the piece. The woman performing "The Woman Who Liked to Make Vaginas Happy" has participated in two other productions of The Vagina Monologues, and is using her role to experiment and challenge herself with a role she customarily would not take. And Meggie's own mother is performing "I Was There in the Room," Eve Ensler’s personal monologue about witnessing her grandchild’s birth.

Photo via Facebook

Considering the range in professional performing experience, the cast has integrated warm-up exercises into their rehearsals that work to build on-stage confidence. They are also practicing various acting techniques guided by coaches who are also part of the cast, including members of all-female improv group, The Works. Meggie's intention when casting the show was "for every woman that was interested in performing to play a role, regardless of her acting experience. A lot of times women are deterred by the competitive nature of auditions or are intimidated by performing on stage. From the beginning, my goal was to foster a supportive community of women that would encourage one another. Activism is at the core of this performance."

Performances at Pinebox Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street, on April 5 and 6 at 9pm; April 7 at 4pm. Tickets are $15 - get some right now because they are selling out quickly! All proceeds benefit the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in Brooklyn Heights.

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