Stage & Dance

The Girl Project is about to have its ‘Voices HEaRd’

Emily Congleton, a sophomore at Woodford County, High School, practiced a monologue titled “Silhouette” for “Voices HEaRd” to be presented Friday and Saturday at the Woodford Theatre.
Emily Congleton, a sophomore at Woodford County, High School, practiced a monologue titled “Silhouette” for “Voices HEaRd” to be presented Friday and Saturday at the Woodford Theatre.

Vanessa Weig, a co-founder of The Girl Project, will realize a dream this weekend of creating a production that highlights various perspectives on womanhood.

The dream is “Voices HEaRd,” a collection of performance art at the Woodford Theatre. The proceeds will benefit The Girl Project, an arts-meets-activism program based at the Woodford Theatre, and Green House17, an advocacy agency that offers services to survivors of domestic violence and their families in 17 Central Kentucky counties.

Weig, also the director of the project, said she and The Girl Project have wanted for years to create such a show . The group tries to have a yearly community event, and Weig said the group plans to hold “Voices HEaRd” annually in the future and partner with various organizations.

Weig said “Voices HEaRd” also promotes collaboration in Central Kentucky, and now is the time to have such a show that offers a different perspective of the world.

“The project is about gaining a greater understanding of everyone,” Weig said.

Any organization that is about reflecting back to young women how incredible they are is something I want to be a part of.

Andrea Bendewald, actor

Weig said the call for submissions opened in November, and “Voices HEaRd” has works by artists from Louisville, Paducah, Lawrenceburg, Lexington, Versailles and Georgetown. Weig said about 47 artists, including those featured in a gallery and those who created backdrops, will participate. The performers include teenagers, adults and four men.

“One of the things I love about this project is that there is diversity in voice, age and gender,” she said.

“Voices HEaRd” also will have diverse performances. Weig said artists have prepared two- to five-minute monologues, comedy sketches, spoken-word poems and more. She said one artist, Jeni Benavides, interviewed a worker and a survivor from Green House17 and will perform monologues from those interviews. Future “Voices HEaRd” events will feature similar pieces, she said, when the group finds other organizations to partner with.

A group of female actors from Lexington called the Broad Brigade, a branch of Broads United, will debut at the event. Donna Ison, who founded Broads United, said she has worked with Weig before on The Girl Project. Ison started Broads United last November because she thought women need platforms for their voices to be heard.

“I guess the overwhelming feeling I had after this election was just wanting to say, ‘I am still here, I still have a voice and my beliefs have not changed,’” Ison said.

She said the Broad Brigade will perform a parody of “Welcome to the ’60s” from the musical “Hairspray” on Friday. The brigade’s song is called “Not Going Back to the ’50s.” Ison also will perform a spoken-word poem called “Battle Cry of a Bad-ass Broad.”

I guess the overwhelming feeling I had after this election was just wanting to say ‘I am still here, I still have a voice and my beliefs have not changed.

Donna Ison, The Broad Brigade

Friday’s performance will have a reception beforehand at the Woodford Inn’s Addie’s with drinks and snacks available while two of the artists in Voices HEaRd, Jenny Drake and Vanessa Davis, play music. Tickets for the reception cost $10.

After Saturday’s show, Andrea Bendewald, an acting coach and actress whose credits include “Suddenly Susan,” “Without a Trace” and “Seinfeld,” will host a workshop. Bendewald will teach the Art of Circling, a group meditation that reinforces community among participants, she said. Tickets for the workshop are $10.

Bendewald said she will be a part of an ensemble of artists at the end of the performance. The ensemble will recite two poems from Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman.” She also will deliver a piece called “America.”

“Any organization that is about reflecting back to young women how incredible they are is something I want to be a part of,” Bendewald said.

McKenna Horsley: 859-231-1687, @mckennahorsley.

If you go

“Voices HEaRd”

What: Collection of performance art focused on womanhood.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 24, reception before the show ($10) is at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Woodford Theatre, 275 Beasley Rd, Versailles, KY 40383

Tickets: $15-$30, a weekend pass for all events costs $50

Phone: 859-873-0648

Online: Woodfordtheatre.com

Workshop: Presented by actor Andrea Bendewald, 1 p.m. Feb. 25, $10.

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