Vicksburg actors take the stage to raise awareness for women’s issues

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Westside Theatre Foundation is set to present a play with a title that may raise a few eyebrows.

However, one can’t turn a blind eye to a show that helped launch V-Day, a global non-profit movement that has raised more than $100 million for groups working to end violence against women.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. June 2 at the Strand Theatre,717 Clay St. three local women will perform “The Vagina Monologues.”

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Written by Eve Ensler in 1996, the play is made up of personal monologues that focus on women’s issues, many of which can be uncomfortable to discuss but are nonetheless important for both women and men to understand, appreciate and respect when it comes to the anatomy of the female body.

“This show says things out loud that people don’t like to talk about, and it forces you to confront ideas that people don’t want to think about,” Jai Dobson Reeves said.

Reeves, one of three actors performing in the show, admitted the monologues can make you feel uncomfortable, “But in a good way.”

Nia Hurst and Nikki Ciciora are the other two women taking the stage with Reeves.

“These monologues have to be told,” Ciciora said, because they are pertinent and relatable.

“I got emotional doing one of the monologues,” Ciciora said. “Because I could relate.”

Speaking as the father of three daughters and having a mother, grandmother and sisters, Jack Burns, the director of the play, said he feels “The Vagina Monologues” is a show with a message.

“It’s like a lot of theater. It’s holding the mirror up to society and putting things in perspective,” Burns said. “And like Jai said, it’s OK to talk about this (the female body and sexuality), especially now with the emphasis we have on emotional wellbeing. If half the population (women) is walking around repressed about their bodies, then that’s not good.”

Hurst said if the play was called “Women’s Monologues,” the content would be very similar.

“It explores the whole spectrum of womanhood,” she said.

Reeves said the entirety of “The Vagina Monologues” is “definitely” a show where one can experience everything from “deep belly laughs to some deep crying.”

And from these emotional expressions, an underlying message of self-confidence is realized.

“I think one of the most beautiful and wonderful things about this show is that it also talks about you becoming comfortable with yourself,” Reeves said.

Burns, like Reeves, said, “Most people are going to come here, and they are going to laugh and cry. And they are going to be shocked and identify with some components of it (the play) and they are going to go, ‘Yeah that was awesome.’”

Additional performances of “The Vagina Monologues” are June 3, 9 and 10. Tickets are $10 and available at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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