University News

MMRP Coming to WIU Feb. 11, 12 and 14

February 10, 2016

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's second annual performance of playwright Eve Ensler's "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" (MMRP) will be held on the Macomb campus Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, Feb. 11, 12, and 14 as part of the V-Day 2016 campaign.

V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls to raise funds and awareness through benefit productions of Ensler's award-winning plays "The Vagina Monologues" and "MMRP" and other artistic work. The Thursday and Friday performances begin at 7 p.m., and the Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. in the Multicultural Center's first floor multipurpose and activity rooms.

Advance tickets are $5 for students and $7 for non-students, and are on sale in the Women's Center, suite 209, in the Multicultural Center. If the performances do not sell out in advance, admission at the door will be $7 for students and $9 for non-students.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time, and a resource table fair will provide informational materials about support services for victims, survivors and anyone interested in helping prevent and end sexual and interpersonal violence. As part of the fundraising efforts, buttons, t-shirts, books, Valentines cards and other V-Day merchandise will also be for sale. All proceeds from the V-Day 2016 event will benefit local violence prevention efforts and survivor support services.

The WIU V-Day campaign is sponsored by the WIU Women's Center and the Feminist Action Alliance (FAA) student organization. In Fall 2000, Women's Center Director and FAA Advisor Janine Cavicchia took several FAA members to see Eve Ensler perform "The Vagina Monologues" in Chicago, and the Women's Center and FAA collaborated with Western's Theatre Department in 2001 and 2002 to perform "TVM" at Western.

"The next year, I brought my friend, WIU alumna and then-executive director of V-Day International, JL Fields, to speak at our Take Back the Night rally, and she inspired our staff and students to produce 'TVM' ourselves the next year," Cavicchia said. "We held 'The Vagina Monologues' at WIU for 13 years, beginning in 2001, with the exception of one year (2003), and we were excited to be able to bring this new production to our campus last year. The play received very positive reviews from audience members and those involved with the production, so we're hoping even more people who couldn't come last year will be able to see it this year."

Cavicchia, who will be retiring in June, added "I always have been amazed at, inspired by and proud of the incredible talent and passion of our casts and crews. It has been a pleasure to work with these outstanding performers and dedicated crew members the past 16 years, and I will miss being part of such a powerful and empowering production but will look forward to attending future performances and continuing to support the cause."

Women's Center graduate assistant and FAA advisor Alondra Olvera, who is a second-year graduate student in Western's college student personnel program, graduated from Beloit College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and women and gender studies. Prior to that, she was at College of Lake County, where she helped put on "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer" in 2011.

"I am extremely excited to be helping put on MMRP again this year," Olvera said. "These performances will make you laugh, cry and be moved to help and empower women everywhere. I hope everyone who comes learns something new and is empowered to take action and help make a positive impact."

This is Laura Hoske's third WIU V-Day production. The first two years were as an actor and this year as the director. Hoske has a bachelor's degree in acting from Western, and currently is in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) directing program. She has worked professionally in both theatre and social services.

"V-Day is not only for Cupid; through 'The Vagina Monologues' and 'MMRP,' Eve Ensler has made V-day into a day of awareness, inspiration and activism," said Hoske. "If you come to our play, and if you listen, and engage yourself, perhaps you too will be inspired to take action."

According to the V-Day website, in 2007, Random House published "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer: Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls," a groundbreaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle.

The volume features such authors and topics as: Edward Albee; Maya Angelou on women's work; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother, and Patricia Bosworth on her own physically abusive relationship.

These writings, which have been described as "inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic and beautiful," are meant to expose and examine various types of violence, to show how gender-based interpersonal violence affects everyone and to encourage everyone to speak up, speak out and demand an end to violence.

For more information about the V-Day Worldwide Campaign, visit or For more information about local V-Day activities, visit, or contact the Women's Center at (309) 298-2242 or

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