Recap: Eve Ensler’s New Play Post-Show Discussion with Lilian, Anya, and Sarah. The Tony Award-winning author, performer and activist Eve Ensler, whose The Vagina Monologues is an international sensation, comes to MTC with a powerful new play based on her critically acclaimed memoir. While working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ensler was stunned by a life-threatening diagnosis. Her experiences were told with her signature brand of humor, elegance and social consciousness.

“As an international women advocate, I must admit that this was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Congratulations to the Brilliant Eve Ensler and her team on a truly transformative and inspiring play. Outstanding performance and production.❤ I absolutely recommend this play to everyone.” ~ GC4W Founder/CEO Lilian Ajayi-Ore

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Ensler’s personal journey uncovers surprising connections between her body and the earth, and how illness can be both transformative and transcendent. Directing this bold, unflinching and inspiring piece is Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

GC4W Founder & CEO Lilian Ajayi-Ore stayed for a post-play discussion about how Eve’s story resonated with her personal experiences, organization’s activities, and the manner in which her projects have paralleled Eve’s work and transformational message.

BEYOND THE STAGE Post-Show Talkback Series:

Following select performances of In the Body of the World, audience members are invited to attend ‘Beyond the Stage’, a series of curated post-show discussions led by a group of artists, medical professionals, scholars and activists in support of the play. Special Guest Speakers include Cynthia Nixon (Tony Award-winning Actress, Activist), Christine “Mama C” Schuler Deschryver (Director of City of Joy and V-Day Congo), Mayo Clinic Oncologists, Valisia LeKae (Broadway Performer, Motown The Musical!), and more. The discussions are free of charge and are open to anyone attending that performance. The schedule, which is subject to change, can be found at MTC thanks Jan Warner, who is supporting the Beyond the Stage talkback series in memory of her husband, Arthur Warner.

EVE ENSLER (Writer, Performer) is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist, performer and author of the theatrical Obie Award winning phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Ms. Ensler’s plays include Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man, Extraordinary Measures, Necessary Targets, OPC, The Good Body, and Emotional Creature. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir; New York Times bestseller I Am An Emotional Creature; and her latest critically acclaimed memoir In the Body of the World which she recently adapted, debuted and performed at the American Repertory Theater to rave reviews directed by Diane Paulus. Her play Fruit Trilogy was performed at the Women of the World Festival in London and The West Yorkshire Playhouse in March of 2016. Her film credits include an HBO film version of The Vagina Monologues (2002). She also produced the film What I Want My Words to Do to You, a documentary about the writing group she led at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. The film premiered and won the Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance Film Festival and premiered nationally on PBS’s “P.O.V.” in December 2003. She recently co-directed the documentary short One Billion Rising which premiered in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Ensler is founder of V-Day, the almost 20-year-old global activist movement to end violence against women and girls which has raised over 100 million dollars. V-Day, led Ms. Ensler to also found One Billion Rising, the biggest global mass action to end violence against women in human history in over 200 countries. She writes for The Guardian, Time Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”

DIANE PAULUS (Director) is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. A.R.T.: Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on the first National tour), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department. She was selected as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014” and Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014.”


LILIAN AJAYI-ORE is the Founder and Chief Executive Office of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), an award-winning not-for- profit organization headquartered in New York City, with a reach of 3.5 million people worldwide, one of the leading international non-profits of the millennium in the areas of gender equality, women empowerment and youth empowerment. She is a current doctorate student at the University of Pennsylvania GSE. She has a degree in International Relations from Harvard University and served on the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations. Lilian is currently a University Professor at NYU SPS.

ANYA PEARSON is an accomplished actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist. Anya is the inaugural winner of the prestigious $10,000 Voice is a Muscle Grant from the Corporeal Voices Foundation run by best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch. Her choreopoem, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, will be presented at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater on April 24, 2018. Made to Dance in Burning Buildings is a fusion of poetry, theatre, and violent and visceral contemporary dance poses the question: how do we heal from trauma? She is also producing a documentary, which follows her passionate quest to empower other survivors and dissects rape culture as a whole.

SARAH BOU-RHODES, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS began her field work with MSF, an international medical humanitarian organization, in 2012. She started as an administrator working in a series of refugee camps in South Sudan and in a hospital in southern Afghanistan. During her most recent missions she worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Iraq as a capital-based HR coordinator, developing and implementing field HR policies.
She currently works with MSF in New York as a career manager, placing staff in assignments worldwide. She holds a BA in International Studies with Political Science and an MA in Conflict Studies and Peacebuilding.


SAMMI CANNOLD is the Associate Director of In the Body of the World and also recently served as the Associate Director of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (dir. Rachel Chavkin) on Broadway. Recent directing credits include Ragtime on Ellis Island and Violet on a moving bus at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T) as well as concerts and workshops at A.R.T., 54 Below, Playwrights Realm, New York Theatre Barn, and Primary Stages. She has also served as an A.R.T. Artistic Fellow and a Sundance Institute Fellow. Sammi holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Harvard University.