The Midcoast-based Girl Power Productions will open its annual set of V-Day: Until the Violence Stops performances, featuring “The Vagina Monologues,” Saturday and Sunday, March 6 and 7, at the Chocolate Church in Bath. The local run will be Friday through Sunday, May 7 through 9, at Waldoboro’s Waldo Theatre.

The five performances will benefit New Hope for Women. In addition, this year’s production will benefit the rebuilding of the safe house for abused women in Port Au Prince, Haiti, that was destroyed in the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Continuing their 10-year V-Day participation, which has garnered recognition from Governor Baldacci and the State House of Representatives, Jeff Payson of Union and Ellie Busby of Nobleboro are pleased to bring this event once more to the Midcoast. This year’s production in Bath will feature Nancy Durgin, Elizabeth Davis, Laurie Brown, Stefani McAlsiter, Erin Blomquist, Barb Bowers, Chelsea Cartwright, Kim Fletcher, Nick Azzaretti, Glenn Dwyer, Geary Smith, Daniel True, Bill Vaughn and Busby.

The hilarious and heartbreaking monologues are a heart-opening experience. Based on true stories, they educate while they entertain in a show that is called back to the stage over and over. Somewhere on this planet right now a girl or woman is standing up for her rights, refusing to be cut or sold or beaten or raped or married off or denied school and resources.   V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, has grown in 11 years from one event in New York City to 4,200 events in more than 1,400 places on the planet.

Unfortunately, the United Nations statistic that one in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime remains true. Women and girls bear the brunt of war, economic exploitation, racism and a failing international economy. Director Busby said it is her deepest hope that everyone will continue to help in freeing the women in their homes, families, on their blocks, in their schools and at their jobs, in every corner of the world.

“Be bolder, speak louder, give everything. This is the moment. … Join us, have a wonderful time and help us to support New Hope For Women and to rebuild our safe house in Haiti,” she said.

Performances at the Chocolate Church will be Saturday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15; reduced rates for groups of 10 or more available by calling Busby at 563-2247. Tickets are available in advance at Damariscotta’s Maine Coast Book Shop and will be sold at the door.

The Waldo Theatre performances will be Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 9 at 2 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.