“The Vagina Monologues” strives to demystify while raising awareness
Half of the world has it. Almost everyone came through it. Why, then, is it so hard to talk about?
“The Vagina Monologues” is aware of the cultural sensitivity to the V-word. This inherent discomfort is why they repeat it, over and over, from the introductory monologue to the very last scene. They scream it, they whisper it, they say it with hard accents, and they print it on buttons to hand out to students.
As an actress in the show, Jessica Levin, a 19-year-old sophomore theatre and sociology major, said she feels these issues are very important and hopes the performance will bring them to the surface of conversation.
“People can learn that it doesn’t have to be taboo,” Levin said. “We can talk about sex and taboo things and it’s OK because society is growing forward.”
The performance is in its third year at CU but promises to be different. A new monologue will be performed that was written by a CU student, as well as other acts that weren’t done in years past.
The monologues cover a wide range of topics and experiences; however, insecurity, panic, amazement, anger, and empowerment resonate through each scene.
The idea for the show began when Eve Ensler conducted more than 200 interviews with a wide range of women. What she heard were stories that she felt needed to be told. That’s when she wrote the monologues and put them onstage.
Performed in New York City since 1998, “The Vagina Monologues” sparked V-Day, an organization to end violence against women and girls. Many college campuses participate in V-Day, holding performances and donating money to local organizations that help meet the national goal.
Aside from contributing to the cause, Robyn Marcotte, a 31-year-old senior English major and the actress in charge of fundraising, said there are other important reasons why she is encouraging people to see the performance.
“We’re hoping to raise awareness,” Marcotte said. “Feminism doesn’t have to be a man-hating thing. It’s about creating community.”
Community is represented onstage well; the cast always remains in support behind the actress reciting her monologue, a setup that is different from years past. Although most of the women had never met before the process began, their rehearsals now resemble a get-together of close friends.
Donning fake accents and red heels, they deliver long monologues convincingly and passionately in rehearsal. Whether the stories they tell will make the audience laugh or want to cry, their performances always elicit strong emotions.
Kelly Gibson, the director of the monologues and a 20-year-old senior theatre and English major, urges people to think again about bringing their guys to the play.
“One of the main goals of the V-Day campaign is to educate men and make them feel like they can be a part of it,” Gibson said.
“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed Feb. 29 through Mar. 2 at the Old Main Chapel Theatre on the CU campus. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at the door or for a discount at the UMC Connection.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Morgan Keys at firstname.lastname@example.org.