Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beatniks on Conkey - Hammond IN

"Beatniks on Conkey" is a small theatre just South of downtown Hammond.  Different shows can be seen from the Hammond Community Theatre, The DJayma Show, and the most recent one that I went to see, the 2012 V-Day Hammond Benefit Performance of "The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler", presented by the Beatnik Babes (Anrea Creasbaum, director / performer; Lisa Farver, performer; and Bonnie Johnson, organizer) and the other performers who auditioned.

The theatre is small and comfortable.  Saturday nights performance I would estimate sixty in the audience.  As we entered we were greeted and I believe all felt very welcomed.  I arrived about 30 minutes early and I would say the theatre was about one quarter full at that time.  There is sufficient parking, however given the bitter cold night I suspect people were arriving a little early to find parking as close as possible.

There were hors d'oeuvres and beverage before the performance.  There was also a silent auction, and I believe another raffle, all to raise money for the V-Day campaign and Haven House.

Silent Auction Items

At the time I would have guessed, but I never asked (figured it out later), the ladies that were dressed in black greeting and mingling with the audience were the actors for this nights performance.  

Now, if you do not know about V-Day and Eve Ensler, I strongly suggest you research and read about Eve's activism to end violence against women and girls, because I would do a great injustice trying to explain.  Then, after your research, go see "The Vagina Monologues" anywhere it might by in production.  If you do not walk away with a renewed sense of what humanity is, well lets just say, your not human. It is that simple.

Given what V-Day is for, and being my first time seeing this monologue, needless to say I was a bit on edge what to expect, what to feel at the end, what I wanted to walk away with.  And this was after the research.  In all it was a great experience, insight as to who we are (more so who women are), who we have become, and who we do not want to be.  I have to give great credit to the "The Beatnik Babes" and other actors, who invited us in, made us comfortable before the performance, and both comfortable and uncomfortable during the performance. 

It was a good performance by all. I will have to give Gail Komer a special thanks for her performance! And to Abigail and Lareasa for such a contrasting dual performance.

Cast Photography by Betty Howe

The performers, in no particular order:

Liz Simmons
Amanda Dietrich
Becky Longhauser
Dawn Baldwin
Kimberly McCullom
Jennifer Pellar
Andrea Creasbaum
Stephanie Collins Washington
Kate Carpenter
Cecilia Baader
Lareasa Smith
Ana Flores
Gail Komer
NaJeane Brown
Abigail Michelle
Mary LaLuna
Jennifer Stevens
Liz Farver

You can find more information on V-Day at

Beatniks on Conkey
418 Conkey Street
Hammond, IN 46324
(219) 852-0848

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