By Izzy Schellenger || Staff Writer
F&M V-Warriors hosted The Vagina Monologues on Thursday, Feb. 18 through Saturday, Feb. 20 in the Green Room Theatre. Originally written by Eve Ensler in 1996, this piece of political theater has since been performed in February at many different colleges and community centers around the world.
The rights for the show are owned by the V-Day Movement, which is a global non-profit organization founded by Eve Ensler with the goal of raising money to end violence against women. F&M began hosting this show with the help of a student grant, and it has been a well-attended, annual event ever since.
Ceci Plaza ’17 has been the student producer and director of The Vagina Monologues for the past three years.
“[The show is] based on Ensler’s interviews with women around the world and tries to capture the wide range of women’s experiences– the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Plaza said. It’s about raising awareness about violence against women in all its forms and how it takes place on our campus and elsewhere.”
The play consists of a series of monologues that focus on topics such as identity, childbirth, rape, domestic violence, menstruation, orgasms, and sexuality. All these topics illustrate the overarching theme of how the vagina should be seen as empowering for women. Society has constructed many misconceptions of the vagina that all link to stereotypes about women, such as weakness and fragility. The Vagina Monologues gives a voice to the women who have been silenced by our patriarchal society and raises awareness for marginalized and abused groups of women across the world.
The organizers of The Vagina Monologues set a goal of raising $3,000, and as of Thursday they raised more than $1,000. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Clare House, a domestic violence shelter in Lancaster.
In addition, for the first time the performance included members of the faculty: Jaime Blair, associate professor of biology, and Maria Flores-Mills, senior associate dean of the College.
Plaza explained the importance of attending the play and the significance of its message.
“There is something for everyone,” Plaza said. “By coming to see an amazing show, which I guarantee will entertain you, you’re also supporting women right here in Lancaster. We’re donating the proceeds to Clare House, a shelter downtown that serves women who are experiencing homelessness, unemployment, domestic abuse, etc. and provides services like job training and child care to help them get back on their feet. Making a difference in our own community reminds us that these issues of gendered violence apply to us, too. We forget that. We like to think that gendered violence happens overseas, in other countries. But it happens here, too, and this show is about being aware, about actively countering that violence.”
Ensler created The Vagina Monologues as a way to celebrate femininity, the vagina, and female sexuality. Over the years, the show has transformed into a powerful anti-violence movement that has raised more $100 million worldwide for organizations that support this cause.
Sophomore Izzy Schellenger is a staff writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.