Eve Ensler (born 25 May 1953 in Scarsdale, New York) is an American playwright and feminist activist best known for the play The Vagina Monologues.

Personal life Edit

Ensler graduated from Middlebury College in 1975. She married Richard McDermott in 1978 and divorced in 1988. She is the adoptive mother of actor Dylan McDermott, whom she adopted when he was 18 and she was 26.

The Vagina Monologues Edit

The Vagina Monologues were written in 1996 as a response to the guilt and embarrassment that many women still connect with their bodies and/or their sexuality. First performed in the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in SoHo, The Vagina Monologues has been translated into 45 different languages and performed in over 119 countries. Celebrities who have starred in the play include: Jane Fonda, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon and Oprah Winfrey. Ensler was awarded the Obie Award in 1996 for ‘Best New Play’ and in 1999 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Playwriting. She has also received the Berrilla-Kerr Award for Playwriting, the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, and the Jury Award for Theater at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Recent works Edit

Ensler has been involved in several films and has appeared on television on Real Time with Bill Maher (26 August 2005) and Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry (12 August 2005).

From October 2005 to April 2006, Ensler toured twenty North American cities with her newest play The Good Body, following engagements on Broadway, at ACT in San Francisco, and in a workshop production at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The Good Body addresses why women of many cultures and backgrounds perceive pressure to change the way they look in order to be accepted in the eyes of society.

Ensler's play, The Treatment debuted on September 12, 2006, at the Culture Project in New York City. This play explores the moral and psychological trauma that are the result of participation in military conflicts. It stars her step-son, Dylan McDermott.

Her latest work is the book "Insecure At Last: Losing It In Our Security-Obsessed World" (Villard; Hardcover; October 3, 2006). In Insecure At Last, Ensler gives us her first work written exclusively for the printed page. Insecure At Last explores how people live today, the measures people take to keep themselves safe, and how people can experience freedom by letting go of the deceptive notion of "protection."

Selected works Edit



  • V-World
  • I Am An Emotional Creature
  • Vagina Warriors
  • Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security Obsessed World
  • The Good Body


  • Fear No More: Stop Violence Against Women (2002) - interviewee
  • The Vagina Monologues (2002)
  • Until the Violence Stops (2003)
  • What I Want My Words to Do to You: Voices From Inside a Women's Maximum Security Prison (2003)

Activism Edit

Ensler is a prominent anti-violence activist. In 1998, her experience performing "The Vagina Monologues" inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day raises funds and awarenss through annual benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues." In 2007, more than 3000 V-Day events took place in 1150 locations in the U.S. and around the world. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $40 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

Ensler has led a writing group since 1998 at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, which was portrayed in What I Want My Words To Do To You.

She has received awards for her anti-violence work, including the 2002 Amnesty International Media Spotlight Award for Leadership, and the Matrix Award (2002). In October, 2002, she was honored as a "Lion of Judah" by the United Jewish Communities.[1][2] In May 2003, she received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Middlebury College.

In February 2004, Ensler, alongside Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Christine Lahti, protested to have the Mexican government re-investigate the slayings of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, on the Texas border.

Ensler is a very close supporter of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and went to Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. She supports Afghani women and has organized many programs for them. She organized one event named the "Afghani Women's Summit For Democracy".

Criticism Edit

The Vagina Monologues includes a section entitled "The Little Coochi Snorcher that Could". This portion of the play, as originally performed, has been criticized for including a lesbian "rape" scene of a 13-year-old girl by a 24-year-old woman who uses alcohol to lower the inhibitions of her victim. [3] This scene has been seen by some as supporting a double-standard of "good rape" when initiated by a lesbian as compared to rape intiated by a man, which presumably is considered "bad rape".

The scene was modified in later performances; the young girl's age was changed to 16, and the more inflammatory passages were omitted. The 2001 site, which co-ordinated performances, was emphatic that performances for anti-violence/campus events adhere to the new script. It stated, "You must use the version...that is included in the Performance Kit that you will receive. No other version of the play is acceptable for your production. Do not use the book of the play or versions of the script from previous College Initiatives."

External links Edit

"Eve Ensler on "good" bodies and bad politics -Mother Jones [4]

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Eve Ensler. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.