For the second consecutive year, Florence International Theatre Company (FITC) will stage a series of events dedicated to the worldwide movement to end violence against women.
V-DAY FIRENZE: 2010, which runs from March 8 through 10, offers two very different productions to bring attention to and raise funds in support of this global issue, all while entertaining Florence's community-minded audience.
FITC will again perform the Vagina Monologues, this year with a new director, Broadway performer Gina Lamparella, and a new cast of over 30 Florentine residents and international students currently in Florence. As last year's production, this will be a bilingual performance, with corresponding subtitles in both English and Italian. The spirit of the project was born from a group of interested, passionate women, who came together with the aim of encouraging awareness, raising funds and developing community spirit in Florence. Last year's production was so successful that there was standing room only, and people were turned away for lack of space, so those interested in attending this year's production should purchase their tickets in advance.
FITC's artistic director and founder, Bari Hochwald, explains: ‘Everyone involved in these productions, including the visiting artists, do so strictly on a volunteer basis. When the curtain drops at midnight on March 10, the over 50 people involved will have spent the previous month preparing for the three days of shows, hoping to share their effort with over 700 people in the audience. They do this in hopes of reaching thousands more people to tell them why they are doing it. Because even as we laugh, and are moved by what we do in pre-production; there is always a shared goal fuelling this project: it's to take away the suffering of women around the world. In addition, each year V-DAY [International] chooses a ‘spotlight' issue to tackle in the show...but they have chosen the same issue as last year's: the condition of women and children in the Congo who have been brutally raped (over 500,000) as a tool of war. The basis of that war? The minerals used in all of our cell phones and laptops.'
Not wanting to leave men out of the equation, and in keeping with FITC's commitment to provide fun and contemporary cultural alternatives to Florence's late-night scene, FITC welcomes Rod Ben Zev and his partner Ben Silburn from Amsterdam's world of professional improv. Rod and Ben's show, The Seven Ages of Man: What Makes a Man... A Man! (11.15pm to midnight) takes the audience on an interactive voyage through the seven ages of contemporary man. If you want to learn what makes a man a man, don't miss this show. Additionally, Rod and Ben will run a workshop on basic improvisation techniques on March 10.
‘What one woman can do by rallying the spirit within all people to do what is right, is the strength of the heart of volunteerism. You start from what you believe to be true. Then others who recognize this will follow,' says Hochwald. ‘We at FITC believe that violence against women is wrong. And we will participate in this movement every year by offering vital, entertaining and insightful theatre events until, as Eve Ensler, founder of V-DAY, says "the violence stops."'
In that spirit, 10 percent of the profits from the FITC V-DAY productions and workshop will be donated to the V-DAY movement for its work in helping the women and girls of Congo. Another 20 percent of the shows' profits will be donated to local antiviolence center Associazione Artemisia Centro Antiviolenza. All proceeds from the raffle go to these causes.