Nina Hartley Headlines 'The Vagina Monologues' at Antioch

LOS ANGELES—By now, most adult industry members have heard of The Vagina Monologues, the award-winning play by Eve Ensler that has been performed in venues all over the world. But what they may not know is that the success of The Vagina Monologues has allowed Ensler to form an organization, V-Day, which is dedicated to preventing violence against women—and student activist Leslie Alexander has now brought the V-Day 2010 Campaign to the campus of Antioch College–Los Angeles.

"We had our first event in 2008," Alexander noted, "and then we had another one last year, and it's now become an annual tradition, and I know this because I was able to pass the organizer's torch to Kristen Sherman; I organized the first two V-Days, and this year I'm just directing The Vagina Monologues."

While V-Day 2010 Antioch has organized two "Awareness Day" bake sales this year, its biggest event will be its benefit production of Ensler's play, which will feature one of XXX's best-known, Nina Hartley.

"I am thrilled and excited to be part of a project that is so important to raising awareness about sexuality and violence against women and girls," Hartley said.

"Back in June I had heard Nina speak and I was totally blown away by her," Alexander told AVN. "Then I got a chance to hear her speak again, and this light bulb just went 'bing!' over my head and I approached her and asked her, and she didn't even let me get the sentence out before she said yes. She is seriously, bar none, the most amazing, generous, lovely human being I have ever had the privilege of knowing in my entire life. She is beautiful; I'm totally blown away by her."

The purpose of the V-Day global movement is to raise awareness of acts such as rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery, and the proceeds from The Vagina Monologues will be donated this year to, among others, L.A.'s Downtown Women's Shelter, Break the Cycle, and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Stop Domestic Violence Program. V-Day board members include mainstream actresses Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek and clothing designer Donna Karan.

The play will be presented this Thursday through Saturday, March 4-6 at 7 p.m. in auditorium A1000 of the Antioch campus, which is located at 400 Corporate Pointe, just off West Slauson Avenue and Bristol Parkway in Culver City. Tickets are $20 if ordered online and $25 at the door.