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Theater for social change in Bakersfield

Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 12:56:16-05

V-Day Bakersfield was started 13 years ago as a way to create awareness on ending violence against women and girls.

"Something that started 13 years ago basically within the theater community has now become a full blown movement and is attracting people that have done theater before", says Maria Mercado, director of V-Day Bakersfield.

The global movement found it's way to Bakersfield after organizer Guinevere P.H. Dethlefson thought it would be great to share her love of theater for social change, but it soon become a way for her to deal with an abusive past.

"I had a past a childhood of abuse and experienced rape and being abused by a boyfriend as well," says Dethlefson.
 
V-Day Bakersfield features 3-day performances of Eve Ensler's award winning vagina monologues.
 
'There are some that are going to shock you, there are some that are going to make you laugh, and there are some that are going to make you uncomfortable, and then bring you in and warm your heart", says Mercado.
 
Proceeds from this year's event will benefit local charities committed to ending violence against women, including combating human trafficking
 
"Part of it is shifting awareness too and shifting the blame from prostitutes as criminals to looking at them as part of a victim of an overall problem", says P.H. Dethlefson.
 
These women are hopeful their powerful words onstage will spark change and encourage others to speak up.
 
"It's important for our women and for our men who are there with us to watch this to get more comfortable and to just make sure violence against women and children ends", says Mercado.
 
Performances are this Friday through Sunday. To purchase tickets visit: vdaybakersfield.org