One Billion Rising


“One in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime,” according to the One Billion Rising, a movement launched for the sole purpose of calling for an end to violence against women. This year V-Day, an event organized by the same group that created the Vagina Monologues, was celebrated at Marist College on February 14th with the talented cast of this year’s Vagina Monologues in the breezeway. They sat there to show that they are unwilling to accept violence against women and wore t-shirts all day stating that they were part of the One Billion Rising movement.

Every year the Marist College Club of Theater Arts puts on the Vagina Monologues with all donations going toward an organization in the local area that works to combat domestic violence. Local businesses donated raffle prizes and students at Marist College showed their support through personal donations as there was no charge to view the production of the Vagina Monologues.


This year Marist College raised a whopping $938.52 for the Domestic Violence Services of Dutchess County! The Domestic Violence Services helps to support women who are in destructive relationships, have experienced violence, or need assistance and provides essential services to help the women remove themselves from abusive situations. This year’s production was student directed by Jennifer Laski and Marissa Russo. I asked Marissa to talk about the rewarding experience directing this production. She stated:

“As directors, it was our goal to make the show different from what was seen last year. So, if anyone at Marist saw it last year, they should expect a different show! The monologues are not just for women to see, all are invited and encouraged to attend. They are funny, thought provoking, sad, truthful and incredibly moving. It is our hope that people will leave our show with a greater appreciation for women, and wanting to make a change in the world.”

ImageHighlighting some very talented seniors performing this show for the last time and also some members that are brand new to MCCTA, I can honestly say that I was personally moved by this production. Whether it was anger represented in the monologues by Marcela Desemone and Michelle Scarr, to the more humorous monologues performed by Steph Johnson and Gabriela Manuela, to a monologue that made you stop and think performed by Shelly Wenthen and Grace Shin, all of the scenes showed the true purpose of the Vagina Monologues.

There was not a bad moment in the whole show! If you would like more information or to see the ways you can continue to help this worthy cause below is the V-Day website. Will you be part of the one billion rising? 

– Shannon Dempsey ‘16

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