From Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) -
Featuring "The Vagina Monologues" and the Debut of "The Johnson Chronicles"
YYP breaks new ground again. In 2002, this exciting, L.A.-based production company brought us the first all African American celebrity cast to perform The Vagina Monologues. Created by Eve Ensler in 1996, the Obie-award winning play has had numerous productions as part of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. This year YYP will mentor four star-studded benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues on behalf of the VDay 2009 Community Campaign: V-Day DC (February 7, 2009), V-Day Dallas (March 7, 2009), V-Day Los Angeles (March 21, 2009), and V-Day Atlanta Encore (April 4, 2009).
This year YYP also brings us The Johnson Chronicles--a "body memoir" of male perspectives on sex, relationships, and violence. The Johnson Chronicles is the creation of Peter J. Harris, an award-winning writer, broadcaster, publisher, and artistic director who has gained national recognition for his works on the lives of black men. Harris was inspired by a performance of The Vagina Monologues to develop a complimentary piece. The johnson (penis) speaks to men as the vagina speaks to women, helping them to understand the pain and deterioration that violence against women brings to individuals and communities. Audiences will be taken from boyhood to manhood with monologues on sex, fatherhood, and intimacy. Similar to The Vagina Monologues, The Johnson Chronicles will encourage reflection on uncomfortable truths through sketches that are alternately humorous and heartbreaking. A performance of The Johnson Chronicles will occur in Washington, DC on Friday, February 6, 2009.
YYP combines The Vagina Monologues and The Johnson Chronicles in its 2009 In Love We Trust Tour. This tour marks the first time that productions of The Vagina Monologues will be accompanied by productions that present male voices. The aim is to spark transformative dialogues between women and men. "I've been asked why I named the tour In Love We Trust," says Yetta Young, CEO and executive producer of YYP. "It's because I hope this tour will act as a facilitator of hope and reconciliation. If we just trust love in its highest form, I believe we can change lives and theater can act as a bridge to healing...Our tour is a love letter to women, a healing balm for men, and a call to everyone to end violence in any form. Men are the primary perpetrators of abuse and we can no longer afford to exclude them from the conversation."
YYP has assembled stellar casts to perform in The Vagina Monologues and The Johnson Chronicles. The ensembles will differ across cities, making each show unique. The talented personalities are donating their time and talent to bring attention to violence against women and girls. One of the cast members of The Vagina Monologues, Tamara "Taj" Johnson George--a singer in the multiplatinum R&B group SWV (Sisters With Voices)--states, "I was in an abusive relationship, so this is very personal to me. I encourage women to pull strength from within and love themselves. The fact is I relate to their situations. I am the woman who has survived domestic violence." Other cast members of The Vagina Monologues include Wendy Raquel Robinson, LisaRaye McCoy, Jill Marie Jones, Essence Atkins, Tocarra, Shar Jackson, Ella Joyce, Rolonda Watts, Yvette Wilson, Lisa Wu Hartwell, and Myra J.
The Johnson Chronicles will include theater and television veteran, Dorien Wilson, Hidden Beach recording artist and saxophone player Mike Phillips, and syndicated radio talk-show host Russ Parr.
Executive Producer Yetta Young was driven by her personal experiences with domestic violence to take a stand against abuse. As a teenager, she suffered physical and verbal abuse at the hands of a boyfriend who was ten years her senior. As an adult, she has seen that mistreatment is an all-too common experience for women. Finding personal solace in the theater, she decided to use it to fight for and heal other women who have endured abuse.
Young has been a fierce advocate of Eve Ensler's V-Day Movement, producing shows nationwide with many of today's top entertainers. Through her productions, she has raised money and awareness for organizations such as The Mary Magdalene Project, Alexandria House, The Rebecca Project, ULOAH, and Jenessee Center. Not satisfied to confine her work to the United States, she has raised money for women's organizations in Mozambique and Afghanistan. She also has mentored sister V-Day productions in Phoenix, Arizona and Toronto, Canada.
For more info: www.InLoveWeTrustTour.com
“The Vagina Monologues really shows what happens with women and violence and how it occurs in all communities, not just in the U.S. but world wide.” - Karen Edwards