Female body gets a voice for V-Day

Sophomore Joshabel De La Cruz performs a piece during a rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues, which opens next week.By Amanda Thorogood

For three nights only, the Lawrenceville campus will experience a play that, according to sophomore Ellen Thompson, is “funny, sexy, witty and moving.”

Thompson, who is vice president of Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX), is talking about Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, which will be performed in the Yvonne Theater next week. VOX members are directing, acting and running crew for the show, with help from several theater students.

The Vagina Monologues is like this collage of diverse and interesting women who can tell their stories and help
others understand their struggles,” she said.

The Vagina Monologues is performed on college campuses around the world in conjunction with V-Day, which is a global movement also created by Ensler to end violence against women and girls. The “V” in V-Day stands for victory, valentine and vagina, Thompson said.

“V-Day activists are women and men who have often experienced violence and dedicated themselves toward ending such violence through effective means,” said sophomore Jacquelyn Day, the public relations chair for VOX and one of the show’s directors.

Helping with V-Day is “an amazing experience” for sophomore VOX secretary Lisa McDonough. She is proud to be connected with the production, V-Day and all that the two represent, she said.

“To think that what we are doing can help V-Day continue to help millions of people around the world is outstanding,” she said.

The monologues that will be read come from a compilation of interviews Ensler conducted within the United States and include lawyers, teachers, sex workers, corporate women, students and other diverse groups.

“The monologues are about the experiences, jokes and stigma attached to vaginas and those who have them,” said Thompson.

VOX members have also seen this as an opportunity to support a cause close to the Rider community by sending all donations to Womanspace, Inc., a non-profit organization, which provides services to victims of domestic violence.

“We have always admired Womanspace and the work that they do, and we felt that it was time to give a little back,” said McDonough. “No one is turned away and countless [women] have been helped.”

The Vagina Monologues will be the first play that VOX has ever done. Scripts were distributed to the cast before winter break and the group has been rehearsing since the start of the spring semester.

“While it is true that there are very few theater students involved in our production, we still have an amazing plethora of talent,” said McDonough. “I have seen women transform themselves and become their roles.”

“In the past few weeks I’ve stopped calling it a play or a production and started calling it an experience,” said Thompson. “There is so much you feel and see and begin to understand during the monologues.”

The Vagina Monologues can be seen in the Yvonne Theater on March 5, 6 and 7 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students with a Rider ID; $8 for faculty and $12 for general admission.

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