With the exception of her high-school plays, and her live shows as a singer, Lynda Carter hasn't been very much active with stage plays. For the first time since she made her last shows as a singer, Lynda went back to the stage, this time with Eve Ensler world-famous play, "The Vagina Monologues". An unsual work for her, but prestigious as well, since it's been played around the globe by the most prestigious actresses in thr principal capitals of the world.
“I feel really excited and, I think, nervous” she said about her star turn. “If you don’t have that nervousness, you don’t have the edge you need. Before any kind of performance, it’s good to have a little butterfly in your stomach.” Lynda said she quickly accepted when George Mason asked her to join the “Monologues” cast. “I was already interested in doing the play, so when the director at George Mason called me out of the blue, I thought, this is great and it’s for charity.”
On February 8 and 9, 2002, Lynda joined students from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia for three presentations in the Harris Theatre on campus. Proceeds of the three performances went to the organization Women for Woman International, and the George Mason University Victims of Violence Fund.
Later, on June 2002, Lynda performed again in "The Vagina Monologues" at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in her home town of Phoenix, for a total of six evenings. It was her second exposure to playright Eve Ensler's verbally violent, even raunchy play. "When they sent me the script, I admit to being kind of taken aback," Lynda said. "Eve will tell you that women love to talk about vaginas. That isn't true. They don't. But I think her point is, when you get them talking about vaginas, some interesting things happen. So many times during the performance, women burst into spontaneous laughter or applause because they've experienced these things. The show brings women together."
When questioned about her role in the sometimes profane play, and how it may affect her fan's image of a wholesome actress entrenched on the moral high ground, Lynda said: "I'm well aware of what my image is, and I know that this is a bit out of the box for me. But part of being an actress is feeling challenged - and this show certainly does that for me."
Lynda was asked if her son or daughter would see their mother in the play. They're not ready for it," she said. "Of course, they know I'm doing it, and I've explained, using age-appropriate language, what it's about. It doesn't mean that, when they're more mature, they shouldn't see it. Eve raises some important issues. I'm proud to be a part of that."
Dates: Friday, February 8, 2002. 8:00 P.M. / Harris Theatre, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Saturday, February 9, 2002. 2:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. / Harris Theatre, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Tuesday, June 4, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Wednesday, June 5, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Thursday, June 6, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Friday, June 7, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Saturday, June 8, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Sunday, June 9, 2002. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
Writer: Eve Ensler. Director: Michael Bryant. Cast: LYNDA CARTER, Jennifer Douglas-Craig, Millie Langford, Lorraine Ressegger, Monica Simons. Stage Manager: Sarah DeWitt. Sound Designer: Sarah DeWitt. Run Crew: Bernie Thompson. Harris Theater Manager: Jessie Duncanson.
Run Crew: Health Education Services, Sexual Assault Services, Women's Studies Research & Resource Center.
Special Thanks To: David Baylor, Michael Bryant, Jessie Duncanson, Eve Ensler and Julie Thompson.
All three performances were sold out. The theatre was quite small, about 300-400 seats with a low stage. On stage were 5 tall chairs with microphones and three tables with stacks of cards. The audience was mostly female, but a few had brought their boyfriends. The play started at 2:15, with four young actreses coming out from backstage to sit on four of the chairs, leaving the center one empty. They began to talk about 5 minutes about various sexual terms for the vagina, then Lynda's voice was heard saying "and they all add up to one word, VAGINA!!!!" The black curtains billowed in the middle, and she cried "Help, I can't get out!" then she parted them and strode out onto the stage. She looked GORGEOUS!!!! Tall and buxom, wearing a black polished cotton turtleneck top and black slacks with a red jacket, her hair a lighter shade of brown and shoulder length, she introduced herself to the applauding audience, sat on her chair and talked about what the play meant and why it was written.
It consisted of 10-12 monologues, with trivia breaks between them. Lynda did six of the monologues(the rest were done by the other actresses,) the opening one about a 72-year woman who "discovered" her vagina late in life, very moving monologues about the birka (the garment the Taliban made the women of Afghanistan wear,) young women in Africa being circumcised, the rape of 30,000 women in the recent Bosnia/Serbia war and 700,000 women every year in the US, a personal one of Eve Ensler –the authoress of the play- as she watched her granddaughter being born, and the funniest one called "My Vagina Is ANGRY!"
Lynda read this one with lots of four-letter words, grinning at the laughing audience with her tongue between her teeth as she talked about the various indignities her vagina is forced to endure, everything from examination ("why can't they make those damn cold metal stirrup cups fur lined?") to douches, to "stuffing that F..KING DRY WAD OF COTTON UP ME." At one point, discussing underwear, she coyly purred "they should be made of soft cotton, with pink flowers, and a little furry dingus to fit inside me so I can come while I...push a shopping cart" (here she stood up and imitated that, moving her body suggestively,) "or...riding the subway," and she stood with her arm up like holding a strap, while she began to gyrate, purposely thrusting that magnificent chest in and out several times. The audience roared with laughter and Lynda had the time of her life, enjoying every risque moment (and movement.)
The play ended at 4:00, with only a few bows and almost no chance to take photos, and she quickly left.
Review by Mark Meader.
"All together, All talking about vaginas, All night long."
Directed by Michael Bryant - Michael is thrilled to bring such an important show back to a Mason stage. His directorial work includes last season's Baltimore Waltz and a workshop production of Getting Out. You may have also seen him perform in various roles in the area. He would like to thank his father for teaching him, by example, that women are to be valued and respected.
Jennifer Douglas-Craig - Anna, Baltimore Waltz, Ursula, Much Ado About Nothing, Kristine, A Doll House, Vagina Monologues, GMU; Lydia, Ruling Passion, TFA First Light Festival; Performance internship- Arena Stage, casting assis, tant- Carlyn Davis Casting, Education Outreach/dramaturgy- Round House Thea-` tre as well as YPT. Jen would like to thank the love of her life, Steve, whom she will be marrying this summer!
Millie Langford -a senior Theater major here at GMU who is pleased to be joining a cast of talented women for another production of The Vagina Monologues. Millie would like to thank God for her theatrical experiences and opportunities. A special thank you to Michael Bryant for such an opportunity. A thank you to Monica, Jen and Lorraine for making an unforgettable experience. Thank you to mommy, daddy, Aretha and the divas of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Lorraine Ressegger-Olivia- Twelfth Night, Marie- Red Noses, Studio 1, NYC; Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing, Shen-Teh/Shui-Ta, Good Person of Sechuan, GMU; Choreography credits include Kit Marlowe at Studio Second Stage and I Hate Hamlet at Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. Dedicated to Mom and Kelli!
Monica Simons -Last seen in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf as Lady in Red. This is her 3rd production with Sexual Assault Services. This entire year has been dedicated to self-empowerment, self-discovery and self-acceptance. Thank you God,Veleka, Kristina, Jessica, Millie, Marcel, Jenn, Renu, Janelle and Michael Bryant. I love all of you for supporting me through my dreams, goals and failures.
ABOUT GMU VICTIMS FOR VIOLENCE FUND
Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. This fund will assist women who are fleeing violence. The George Mason University Victims Fund benefits female victims of sexual and domestic violence. This new fund will provide medical assistance, transportation, personal counseling, telephone services, emergency supplies, food and safety services such as lock changes if a victim is in immediate danger.
About Women for Women International taken from their website, http://www.womenforwomen.org Women for Women International is an international, nonprofit response and development organization dedicated to providing interpersonal, economic, and education support to poor and vulnerable women who are survivors of armed conflicts and sustained periods of social, economic, and political upheaval. Women for Women International was founded in 1993 in response to the need of women survivors of rape and torture in the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Since then, Women for Women International has expanded to other countries where women are in need, including Rwanda and Kosova.
Through a strategic, three-phase operation encompassing direct aid (Scholarship Program), skills training (Renewing Women's Life Skills Program) and microcredit lending (Microcredit Lending Pro gram), Women for Women International focuses on helping poor, vulnerable, and rural women-women who might otherwise be forgotten.
V-DAY UNTILE THE VIOLENCE STOPS (taken from their website, http://www.vday.org)
Join the worldwide movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a global movement to end violence against girls and women. V-Day is a decision, an energy, a spirit, a day-Valentine's Day-for which annual theatrical and artistic events are produced in local, national and international venues to raise money and to transform consciousness.
LYNDA CARTER, most known for her role as Wonder Woman in the late 1970s, loves a challenge. In her professional career she has avoided an easy pigeon hole by diversifying her talents as far as imaginable. Her passion for involvement, however, extends well beyond her professional commitment. She is deeply involved in other causes, like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and charities for children. In order to develop compelling projects with strong female leads, she formed Lynda Carter Productions, producing works of her own and others. While not on location, Carter lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two children.