By Oliver Joszt
The story that caused a revolution in sexual attitudes throughout the world, all because of one body part, is coming to the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.
Directed by sophomores Andi Carpe and Vanessa Baawuah and hosted by Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues will have a three-day run. The stories of The Vagina Monologues portray real women’s stories of intimacy, helplessness and sexual self-discovery.
“It’s not going to be your regular monologue play,” Baawuah said. “The women in it are very serious about it. You will be shocked, but it won’t be really uncomfortable. It will be really exciting.”
It is an emotional and entertaining tour that explores female perceptions of their vaginas through a series of stories, anecdotes, interviews and experiences collected from hundreds of women.
The Vagina Monologues does not hold any punches. It takes a taboo topic and brings it to center stage.
“No one ever talks about their vaginas,” Carpe said. “The Vagina Monologues says, ‘Hear us, hear what we are about.’ It gives a voice to women and their vaginas.”
Vox members are directing, acting and performing crew work for the show, with help from students in other organizations.
Vox members tried to bring out various themes that arise throughout the play. No one single person is the same.
“There are black women, white women, straight women, gay women, women who love their vaginas, women who hate their vaginas,” Carpe said. “Viewers can accept a plethora of emotions, basically. You’re going to get some really funny parts, you are going to get some really sad parts about women who have gotten raped and you are going to hear about childbirth. You are going to hear about the ups and downs of being a woman and having a vagina.”
The Vagina Monologues is performed on college campuses around the world in conjunction with V-Day, a global movement that supports anti-violence organizations throughout the world. Donations help the organizations to continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest and sexual slavery. V-Day exists to help stop violence against all women of the world.
All of the proceeds from The Vagina Monologues will go to Womanspace Inc., which is a local nonprofit agency that provides a variety of services for families that have been impacted by domestic violence.
Both Carpe and Baawuah agreed that not only do they hope to raise money for a good cause, but they also want to raise awareness and open people’s minds.
“The word vagina is really strong, and people usually don’t say it in public,” Baawuah said. “The women on stage are liberated as they speak about it because they don’t get the chance to talk about it.”
The challenges of putting the play together was a pleasure for those involved with the production. Sophomore Jennifer Orlowsky stressed the work ethic of the entire cast.
“I’m excited to be in The Vagina Monologues because I thought it would be a fun experience, and I get to work among fun, talented, beautiful women,” Orlowsky said.
Going in, audiences may have their own ideas on The Vagina Monologues’ unconventional subject matter. However, Carpe believes that the show will challenge any preconceived notions.
“I know people are intrigued,” she said. “I want people to come out and let go of their prejudices and let go of any negative feelings they have about being a woman and talking about their vagina. Don’t hide it, shout it loud and proud.”
Be advised that there may be strong language.