St. John’s Antigua- In 2008, after a devastating string of serial attacks against women in Antigua, four friends formed the non-profit organisation Women Of Antigua (WOA) to join the voices protesting against this and other travesties. They brought you Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues that year and again in 2009, joining the global VDAY movement in an effort to raise awareness to end violence against women around the world.
In 2010 WOA, inspired by the many stories of love, heartache, violence and death right here in Antigua and Barbuda produced the home-grown production When A Woman Moans, compiling stories based on the lives lived and lost by women on the island. In 2011, they gave you another successful production with new stories, and there are so many more to share.
Now in their fifth year, WOA and their cast of women are producing both The Vagina Monologues and When A Woman Moans as they continue to raise awareness to not only end violence against women and children in Antigua and Barbuda, but to also raise the general appreciation of the contribution made by women in this country.
The Vagina Monologues will take place on Saturday, May 26, and When A Woman Moans will take place on Sunday, May 27, at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre at 8:05 pm. As with previous years, doors will be open from 6:30 pm to facilitate a mini art exhibition which will include work by cast members Heather Doram, Marcella Andre and Zahra Airall, along with supporting men like Emile Hill. Additionally, there will be special video presentations from 7:30 pm.
Both productions will see familiar faces, such as Marcella Andre, Heather Doram, Kerri-Ann Lewis, Floree Williams, Melissa Elliott, Melissa Joseph, and Philexia Martin; returning faces such as Callie Frisel; and new faces such as Hayden-Ann Walsh, Natasha Francis, Karen Harris-Quinland and Beverley Airall.
In addition to this year’s poster campaign, WOA introduces “Campaign Moan” designed to raise awareness and also promote the show. WOA is asking the public to answer a simple question: “Why do women moan?” Answers are to be written on a manila or sheet of paper, held up in front of the individual and a photograph taken and emailed to email@example.com. Photos will be posted on the When A Woman Moans Facebook page, where the public can vote for their favourite answer. The winner will receive tickets to this year’s productions.
Another promotion this year is the production of WOA TV, which grants the public a behind-the-scenes pass to rehearsals and cast members. Videos can be seen on Facebook group page as well.
After this year’s performance, WOA will be taking a hiatus from the shows in order to focus and produce other activities in an effort to empower people and end violence in Antigua and Barbuda, one of which will be the One Billion Rising campaign. This is part of the VDAY movement, and will take place on February 14, 2013.
WOA will be organising the Antigua & Barbuda chapter of that campaign, as it is a movement to organize a simultaneous global strike. The latest UN statistic states that one in three women in the world experience sexual violence — that is one billion women.
One Billion Rising is a call to action to proclaim that this statistic is unacceptable, and to commit to changing the social landscape in which this is a reality. V-Day envisions women and men rising up in a day of dance, protest, and celebration, to send the message that this can no longer remain a back-burner issue.
Women Of Antigua is a non-profit organisation which incorporates the performing arts into their messages of awareness for violence against women and children and other worthy causes. The executive members are Zahra Airall, Greschen Edwards, Thomasine Greenaway-Whyte and Linisa George.
For further information or to get involved visit the Facebook page “When A Woman Moans”; email or call 779-6634, 723-6934, 772-7913 or 780-7754. Tickets are $40 per night, and $70 for both nights.
Show your intolerance to violence and be a part of this year’s audience.