When Oakton resident Carol Campbell first conceived of "The Goddess Diaries" in 2009, she was trying to come up with a way to share women's stories in a theatrical setting.
Think "The Vagina Monologues" with a twist.
"I play the narrator. The women in this show are everywoman. They could be your sister, your daughter, your mom," Campbell said.
Now in its fifth production, the "The Goddess Diaries" will , capping off "Turn Off the Violence" week at the school. Funds from the show go to GMU's Victims of Violence Fund, which helps women who have faced domestic and sexual assault with any funding they need.
The show, which runs about two hours, includes eight monologues performed by eight women. The monologues - each less than 10 minutes long — touch on subjects ranging from child birth to weddings, menopause to . They are true stories, told by real women. There is also a musical component to the performance.
It was first performed in 2009 at the in Oakton. Those first shows sold out.
"It was such an empowering experience to wake up sleepy little Oakton," Campbell said. "We saw what good it could do for our community and beyond. It inspired me to take what I loved and turn it into something new."
The show was later performed at River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda and eventually traveled all the way to Charlotte, N.C.
Campbell been an active women's advocate for about 20 years, during which she has given advice over the radio, worked in feminist theology, conducted one-on-one counseling sessions, and co-produced and acted in "The Vagina Monologues" for a production at UUCF.
She's trying to start a movement. She took her experience from developing "The Vagina Monologues" — the trepidation she saw in people worried about going to see a show with the word vagina in it, the excitement of her fellow actors both before and after the show, the feeling she had after the show was well-received — and decided to broaden the focus.
"Through this show, you get to see this full spectrum of women’s stories," Campbell said. "They are powerful and they give you hope. That’s what so many friends said to me after they saw the first show."
She's trying to start a movement. She wants to see her show spread beyond Northern Virginia and Charlotte, and get her show on stages all over the world. Campbell sees her show as multi-generational, which can appeal to a larger audience.
"I do say it's PG-13 because there are a few things that are mature in there, but you can bring your daughter, your mother, your grandmother," Campbell said.
Each, she said, will walk out saying, "That's about me!"
“The Goddess Diaries” will run at the Harris Theater at George Mason University on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $5 for George Mason University students.
Oakton Patch Editor Nicole Trifone contributed to this report.