By: ASHLEY KATLUN
What started as a small theatrical fundraiser at IU South Bend to benefit local non-profit organizations has grown into a popular campus and community event.
Now in its seventh year of production, the Michiana Monologues started as a way to raise money, entertain and educate the public about violence against women through the anonymous stories of local women in the Michiana area.
Over 100 stories are submitted every year with a range of emotions, from funny and heartfelt to painful and heartbreaking. The overwhelming success and support for the Michiana Monologues prompted the production’s organizers to reach out to more people and venues in the community.
A new aspect of story submissions this year is oral stories that were collected in downtown South Bend and at the Civil Rights Heritage Center. April Lidinsky is the faculty adviser for Michiana Monologues.
“During several First Fridays events this fall and during Art Beat in August, we had a sound booth set up downtown where we invited people to sit down with us and tell a story into a tape recorder and then we worked with students to transcribe those, so those are part of what’s in the book this year, part of what’s going to be on stage this year,” Lidinsky said.
With a focus on community outreach, performances will be held at IUSB, Goshen College, the Civil Rights Heritage Center and the State Theater.
“The performance at the State Theater we are hoping is going to be very, very special,” Lidinsky said.
“That event will have a live opening band, we have professional American Sign Language interpreters that night, we’ll have free desserts and a cash bar, and our silent auction.”
The Michiana Monologues have grown into more than a fundraising event. The power of the monologues allow people to share their stories in a way that has an impact on the audience, and now the organizers are excited to share that experience with the rest of the community.
“I think people will leave having laughed a lot and feeling really inspired,” Lidinsky said.
Event dates, locations and times include:
· Feb. 27, Civil Rights Heritage Center, 7 p.m.
· Mar. 1, IUSB Campus Auditorium, 7 p.m.
· Mar. 6, State Theater, 7 p.m.
· Mar. 15, Reith Recital Hall Goshen, 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the Michiana Monologues visit the website at www.michianamonologues.org.