Six of the women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, gathering to watch their stories told onstage in The Pussy Grabber Plays in New York City on Monday
Courtesy Natasha Stoynoff

On Monday, Natasha Stoynoff and other women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment attended The Pussy Grabber Plays

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January 16, 2019 10:33 AM

On Monday night, Natasha Stoynoff and five other women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment gathered in a small, packed dinner theater in New York City to see their stories portrayed onstage in The Pussy Grabber Plays.

They’d all just met for the first time minutes earlier, in an upstairs dining room at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan.

Stoynoff hugged each as they said hello. “I felt like I’d known each woman forever,” says Stoynoff, a PEOPLE contributor.

“It was like meeting a bunch of sisters,” she says. “We share this common experience. Finally meeting them was something I needed and wanted to do.”

Stoynoff was there to watch an ironically upbeat, catchy musical number she co-wrote called “The Interview,” based on her account of being forcibly kissed by Trump while on assignment for PEOPLE at his Mar-a-Lago Club in 2005.

(The president has denied her allegation and similar claims by more than a dozen other women.)

On stage Monday night, actress Lora Lee Gayer, playing Stoynoff, channeled the anger Stoynoff felt — and couldn’t express — at the time of the alleged attack.

“I’m a polite Canadian girl, and I’ve never said ‘f-you’ to anyone, ever,” Stoynoff said before the show. “It’s hard enough for me to speak about this at all. I had to couch it in a song to make it more comfortable for me to retell it.”

RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence — Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Assault

The cast of The Pussy Grabber Plays with six of the women whose stories inspired the show
Courtesy Jenny Anderson

Reacting to an operatic chorus of “f— you, f— you,” the audience cheered and clapped. At the end of the number, Gayer introduced Stoynoff, who stood from her chair and raised both arms.

“It was totally surreal to see someone play me onstage. It was wild,” Stoynoff tells PEOPLE. “She made me laugh, which was good. That’s the reaction I was hoping to get from the audience, and we did.”

Each of Monday’s plays were introduced by best friends Kate Pines and Sharyn Rothstein, who came up with the idea, in part, out of frustration that Trump has not suffered any consequences for his alleged sexual misconduct, unlike scores of other men in this #MeToo era.

Pines and Rothstein also don’t want the stories of the 19 women who have come forward to be forgotten.

“Courage is contagious,” Pines says, “and I feel like all of these women were so courageous.”

Trump accuser Rachel Crooks (left) with actresses from the play based on story
Courtesy Jenny Anderson

In the audience, Stoynoff sat with with Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of forcibly kissing her on the lips while working in Trump Tower.

After going public with her allegation during the presidential election, Crooks made an unsuccessful run for a seat in the Ohio state legislature.

RELATED: Trump Sexual Assault Accusers Find Unlikely Heroine in Stormy Daniels

In contrast to Stoynoff, Crooks participated in her own play: an emotionally jarring reenactment of the alleged 2006 Trump Tower kiss. As she returned to her seat, she and Stoynoff hugged.

“I told her, ‘That was amazing,’ ” Stoynoff says, “[and] that it made me cry.”

Tasha Dixon, the 2001 Miss Arizona who claimed that Trump walked in on naked Miss USA contestants, played herself in “Five Beauty Queens Walk Into a Bar,” penned by This Is Us writer Julia Brownell.

Tasha Dixon (left) played herself in The Pussy Grabber Plays 
Courtesy Jenny Anderson

Samantha Holvey, Jill Harth and Karena Virginia, who also have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, also all attended the show.

All proceeds from the evening are going to the New York Women’s Foundation.

“We share a bond,” Crooks says, “and as awkward and unfortunate as it is — we don’t like to be bonded by Donald Trump — they are such wonderful women.”

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