• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Theatre to present ‘Voices HEaRd’

“Voices HEaRd” will bring artists from across Kentucky to the Woodford Theatre for a one-night performance to raise awareness about domestic violence and other issues faced by girls and women of all ages. The performance on Friday night, Feb. 24, beginning at 8, will feature the original works of more than 20 groups and artists, with actor Andrea Bendewald Rouse – best known for TV’s “Suddenly Susan” – headlining the event. Other featured performers in “Voices HEaRd” include Agape Theatre, Looking for Lillith and Allegro Dance Company. In addition to theatre and dance companies, “Voices HEaRd” will include spoken word artists as well as singer/songwriters, musicians and visual artists. “I think it’s going to be amazing with all the different people that they’ve gathered together, and all the different styles and types of performers,” said writer and producer Donna Ison, who will perform a spoken word piece. She also recently formed a Lexington-based performance arts group called “The Broad Brigade” to give women a platform to speak out on issues affecting them. This group of “like-minded broads” will make their debut at “Voices HEaRd” – performing a musical satire that will open up a dialogue on different points of view during a very divisive time, she added. Watching a performance, explained Ison, “… often does change people’s minds, or at least educates and enlightens them in ways that other things can’t.” Vanessa Becker Weig, director of “Voices HEaRd” and co-founder of Woodford Theatre’s Girl Project, said, “That’s one thing I’m really excited about, with this performance, is the multigenerational aspect to it.” Several Girl Project alumnae will share personal stories during “Voices HEaRd” at the Woodford Theatre. “They … are definitely doing their own type of activism, so that’s exciting to watch,” said Ison, who has led Girl Project workshops. Because “Voices HEaRd” does invite women and men from many cultural backgrounds to share their stories during performances, Weig said, “I definitely think everyone would benefit from seeing it.” “It’s very much about empowerment for girls and for women,” she explained. Tickets for “Voices HEaRd” are $15, $20 and $30. A $50 ticket includes admission to the performance as well as a pre-show reception at Addie’s at the Woodford Inn and a workshop with Andrea Bendewald Rouse at the Woodford Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. Also, $10 tickets are available for performance ticket-holders who would like to attend the reception or “The Art of Circling” workshop, which will focus on empowering individuals, strengthening community and enhancing productivity by sharing stories and listening. The “Voices HEaRd” performance, pre-show reception and workshop will support the Girl Project, an arts-meets-activism initiative at Woodford Theatre that allows young artists to explore how girls and women are misrepresented in American media culture, and Greenhouse-17, an advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse in Kentucky. For tickets, call the Woodford Theatre box office at 873-0648 or visit woodfordtheatre.com.

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