Friday, April 30, 2010

The Vagina Monologues rock multinational audiences in Jinju

The second production of The Vagina Monologues in Jinju City featured two Korean women (!) among a foreign cast and amazed people from various nationalities on the event's both nights -- 04/23 & 24

Second production, in Jinju?? 
That's right! This was Jinju's second time performing The VMs (click to see previous post with ad). Last year, the show was performed at SoundGarden bar in Gajwa-dong, outside the back gate of Gyeongsang National University (GNU). This year's organizer and cast member Jess Anderson also performed in last year's show and told me "it was a wonderfully intimate show since SoundGarden's capacity is about 70 people."
This year, however, The VMs were held in a theater downtown Jinju called Hyunjang Arts Hall, with 150 seats each night, which means they were able to raise more money for the three organizations the event donates to --10% goes to the Congo (more information at, and the other 90% is split between the Jinju YWCA and the Jinju Women's Shelter. Two Korean women took part in the show this year and did an outstanding job, performing in both English and in some Korean. Last year's show featured only one Korean actor. The truth is that it is a pretty big deal for a Korean girl or woman to take part in such a mature and sexual event held in Korea, especially in a small conservative town like Jinju. You can tell by how hard it can be to just get them, Korean girls, to simply come see the show. They will usually look at you shocked that you even invited.           
  This year's cast: Jess Anderson on the far right corner and the two Korean women on the front (one all in black and the other all in red)  
Differently from last year, this year's show had Korean subtitles, so a lot more people were able to truly enjoy the show and understand every bit of what was going on.  
Donna Corns, who is now back home in South Africa, organized last year's show along with a group of women from GNU. Most of the cast last year worked at the English Only Zone, at GNU, and all of them worked very closely in the organization of the show and the fundraisers leading to the show. Many women in Jinju were then invited to join the show, and that was when Jess, this year's organizer, decided to take part.    
Watch a bit of The VMs' Saturday show:  
 CR Dobson, the show's director, opened up: "It was a very rewarding experience!" 
The next day, CR posted the following on his Facebook: "I couldn't have done anything without Jess, my partner in crime", thanking his friend and co-director/organizer of the show Jess Anderson.  
Directors CR Dobson and Jess Anderson being honored by the cast at the end of the show.  
Now, I leave you with some more cool shots I took of Saturday's show. Enjoy ;)  
I like this one :)
I know - I had to take these two!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jinju Vagina Monologues 2010

The Vagina Monologues have come to the Southern Korean city of Jinju for the second time and promise to delight and impact multinational audiences in a can't-miss two-night-performance event.

American Jess Anderson, who teaches English in Jinju, is organizing the event.
Jess posted the following on the Jinju Vagina Monologues 2010 Facebook group page she created:

"The Vagina Monologues is a series of stories about women. Each story describes a woman's experience that has significantly changed her life. The goal of the monologues is to stop violence against women and girls by speaking frankly and openly about things they go through ALL OVER THE WORLD. Some of the monologues represent women who don't know their bodies in an intimate way or who are ashamed of their bodies. Others describe events where women were abused or violently attacked.

The show can be difficult to watch at times and heartwarming at others. It will bring tears to your eyes. At moments it is funny and sometimes innocent, but it is always empowering.

Although the show is about women, it is enjoyable to men as well. We feel that this show will give men a better understanding of women's feelings and needs. We encourage men to join this celebration of womanhood, because it opens a window into women's lives unlike ever before.

Eve Ensler wrote the first draft of the monologues in 1996 after she interviewed 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women.

The Vagina Monologues raises money to go towards women's anti-violence groups and women's support groups. Each year between February 1 and April 30 these shows are put on around the world in order to raise awareness and support.

This year, Jinju's production of The Vagina Monolgues will donate funds to the YWCA's women's group, the Jinju women's shelter, and 10% of funds raised will go toward the women of the Congo. Any contributions are welcome and appreciated!"

Way to go, Jess! I'm there!

Although English may be the show's official language (**note that there will be Korean subtitles**), I truly hope that many Koreans (women and men) become interested in enriching their sexual and personal lives, broadening their global perspective on the matter along with meeting some real cool people from all parts of the globe!

Jinju Vagina Monologues 2010:
Night 1: Friday 4/23 at 10:30 p.m.
Night 2: Saturday 4/24 at 7:30 p.m. 

Venue: Hyunjang Arts Hall - 
(Near Zio Ricco's, above the Northface athletic store, downtown Jinju)
Tickets 10,000 won

Contact Jess Anderson for more info:

Check out The Vagina Monologues (V-Day) official Web site: