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Teresa Dedolph is directing this weekend's English-language version of The Vagina Monologues, but it's the Spanish production that she's talking up.

"This is the first time it's been performed in the U.S. in Spanish," she reports by telephone. "That's pretty cool."

Monólogo de la Vagina is set for Saturday night at El Pueblo Neighborhood Center on the South Side, following the Friday night staging of Eve Ensler's original English script at downtown's Rialto Theater. Mounted as part of V-Day, the international campaign fighting violence against women, the productions will direct 10 percent of their profits toward women's programs in Afghanistan. Other proceeds will help local projects.

The Vagina Monologues, a seriocomic but searing look at women's sexuality, has been running since 1996 in New York, where it won the Obie. A changing cast of actresses takes on its solos, performing dialogue that Ensler gleaned from intimate interviews with dozens of women. The monologues cover everything from delicious sex to brutal rape, from child abuse to childbirth, and from tampons to titillation. Ensler recently added a "piece about women in Afghanistan," says Dedolph, noting that the playwright had traveled to Taliban Afghanistan before September 11.

The play itself has gone all round the world, though Tucson got its first production just last February. Performed by a dozen local actresses as the centerpiece of Tucson's V-Day activities, it attracted an alternative and activist crowd to the Rialto. Last fall, UApresents brought it uptown, luring the city's middle classes to a traveling production staged at Muse.

"We saw a need for a Spanish-language production," Dedolph explains. "The play has come here twice and one thing we noticed was that the audience that showed up was pretty white."

So this time around, the V-Day--and Dia-V--organizers tracked down a translation that had been given life on the boards in Mexico City. Monica Davis, who directs it here in a staging produced by Borderlands, adapted the language to suit a Tucson audience, says Dedolph, who last year performed at V-Day with the Radical Cheerleaders.

The two plays are just the highlights in several days of women-centered activities, including a MenstruRama and a poetry contest. Details follow. For a complete list check out tucsonvday2002@yahoo. com.

A poetry contest will go on at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 21, at the Epic Café, 745 N. Fourth Ave. The winner gets two free tickets to the Friday night play and a chance to recite the winning poem at the play's pre-show. For information call 624-6844.

The Vagina Monologues will be performed in English by a local cast at 7 p.m. Friday, February 22, at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St. Come early for the pre-show. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Reader's Oasis, The Bookstop, Bentley's and Wingspan.

An Intuitive Shamanic Healing Workshop goes from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, February 23, at WomanKraft, 318 S. Stone Ave.

Writing for Power and Art for Power workshops, hosted by the Women's Artist Collective, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at the Shane House, 218 S. Fourth Ave.

Period: MenstruRama, sponsored by Las Sinfronteras, takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at the collective's new space at 137 E. Congress St.

Resource fair and workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at El Pueblo Neighborhood Center, 101 W. Irvington Road.

Monólogos de la Vagina, begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at El Pueblo Neighborhood Center, 101 W. Irvington Road. Tickets are two for $5, available at the door or in advance at Yoly's Music (620-0830) and Vida Rock Café (434-8279).

More by Margaret Regan

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