Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Artistic Director, received the 2011 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award this year.
The award recognizes an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of humanitarian, social service, or charitable organizations.
Here’s some of what Ensler had to say upon receiving the award:
I share this award tonight with hundreds and thousands of extraordinary activists across the planet, and particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, my sisters in the Congo who have suffered and who are now beginning to rise up against incredible atrocities.
This all began in a little tiny theater way, way, way downtown when I said the word vagina. And I kept saying the word vagina endlessly and then other people began to say the word vagina and then millions began to hear the vagina and what it taught me is that when we say what were not suppose to say, when we tell secrets, when we tell the truth, people come into their power and they come into their voice.
Theater is the only place that’s really left where this is possible. It happens in the present, it happens in collaboration, it happens in community. And I really believe that theater can be the pathway to revolution where we break the chains of our denial.
So tonight I’m going to accept this award on behalf all those who found their voices, their vaginas, their courage in the theater. And I call on all of us to remember why we were drawn to the theater, and to be braver, bolder, and more outrageous. I thank you all very much.
I could not think of another activist more deserving of this award. I have been a huge supporter of Ensler’s and her work since I discovered The Vagina Monologues. She never ceases to amaze me with the creative and incredible work she does around the world to put an end to violence against women and girls, and with her at the forefront I know this vision will one day be a reality.
If you’ve never head of Ensler, The Vagina Monoglues, or V-Day check out the incredible video below:
Photo by ginnerobot used under a Creative Commons license - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/3288547000/