“My dream is that people will find a way back home, into their bodies, to connect with the earth, to connect with each other, to connect with the poor, to connect with the broken, to connect with the needy, to connect with people calling out all around us, to connect with the beauty, poetry, the wildness.” –Eve Ensler
Connection. That’s what the V-Day Movement is about. Connection is what seeing and being apart of The Vagina Monologues is about. All of us are operating in a society that normalizes rape, sexual assault, and degradation. We are connected through the responsibility to change that society. V-Day and The Vagina Monologues show that we have already started the change. Through V-Day, which is “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls”, The Vagina Monologues was born which works to “raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.” Steps are being taken by leaders like Tashmica Torok, Laura Swanson, and the cast of The Vagina Monologues to better our society. These women are strong. These women are standing up. These women are saying “No” to a system that doesn’t work and a society which allows that system to continue to fail. We invite you to feel that connection. Meet the women who exemplify the change we want to see in our society.
Tashmica Torok, the founder and executive director of The Firecracker Foundation, is the first beneficiary of “The Vagina Monologues” to also be a cast member of the production. Her monologue is a description of childbirth; the directors of this year’s “The Vagina Monologues”, Laura Swanson and Janelle Moulding, both could not recall a time that the MSU production had an actress who had gone though childbirth before performing this particular monologue. The production is proud to have Tashmica’s own experiences color her performance of and connection with her monologue.
Laura Swanson is one of the directors of the 17th season of The Vagina Monologues. She is a student at Michigan State University studying Telecommunications Media and Information, specializing in Documentary Film. Laura is completely devoted to the empowerment of all. She is the Producer of an award-winning Documentary Film “Every Two Minutes” which showcases the stories of 17 survivors within the Lansing Area community. In November of 2014, Laura was awarded the National iAspire Grant from the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation and was featured on The Dr. Phil Show for spearheading projects to end sexual violence on U.S. college campuses. She is currently producing her next documentary film regarding Human Trafficking within Michigan. Laura is a supervising advocate with the MSU Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Team and a Director of The MSU Vagina Monologues. In addition to her advocacy work, Laura is a member of an acoustic all-female band and is developing a Dance Therapy class for survivors of sexual trauma, set to begin March 2015.
The cast members of “The Vagina Monologues” are all passionately devoted to the V-Day Movement in order to stop the sexual assault and violence against girls and women. Each woman in the cast has her own personal reason why this movement is so close to her heart. Some of these brave women have been kind enough to share their thoughts on The Firecracker Foundation’s blog. These women and the rest of the cast are giving their gift of speech to anyone who will listen at the “Meet the Cast” event on February 28. Receive their gift; hear their stories, personal experiences, and reasons for being apart of the V-Day Movement and “The Vagina Monologues”.
Miranda is from Trenton, Michigan, but currently lives in East Lansing, earning an English Major and Theatre Minor at Michigan State University. She is a cast member of “The Vagina Monologues” and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the important piece. Miranda is fond of volunteering, reading literature, and taking part in MSU’s Wharton Center Student Marketing Organization in her spare time.