By Shira Gould || Staff Writer
The Vagina Monologues is an award-winning play first performed in 1996 at the Westside Theater. This past week, V-Warriors brought it to Franklin & Marshall.
The play was written by Eve Ensler in 1996, and was purposed to explore the way society sees vaginas, or if they see them at all. Discussing vaginas was seen as a big faux pas, so many women did not have education about their vaginas. In fact, many people were unaware of female circumcision, rape and even day to day issues pertaining to that part of the female anatomy. Ensler made it a goal of hers to open the dialogue, and to encourage women to explore their bodies with pride, rather than be embarrassed by them. The play focuses on the “beauty” of that part of the body, and affectionately refers to it as a flower, of sorts. Yet, the stigma remained, which is why Ensler had women of all ages and nationalities discuss all of the complex issues associated with the vagina.
The play is based off of a series of interviews with real women. Each of the women were asked questions about her, as one of the monologues called it, “down theres.” While some monologues contained great humor, others were much more serious. Some were about rape, lack of sex education, embarrassing stories, or best sexual encounters.
Each story was real, taken directly from the mouths of those who experienced it. The only difference was the touch of diplomat humor.
While many people believe that the Vagina Monologues lack relevance today, the cast asserted that it is more relevant now than ever. The current political climate has brought back severe degradation for women across America. Some monologues included references to President Trump’s language in a video that was released this past summer, which showed Trump using vulgar language to describe encounters with women.
Throughout the entire month of February, colleges across the country are able to put on a production of the show for free with one caveat: they must donate to charity. This year, Franklin & Marshall’s production of The Vagina Monologues donated to the Milagro House, which provides shelter, counseling and education to impoverished women and children. It is a place for women and children to begin rebuilding their lives. They provide services that allow for women and children, who have suffered from abuse, mental illness, or addiction, to recover, and to rebuild their self-esteem. They focus on providing educational opportunities that will allow for upward mobility, and that will lead to developing a better life. This year, there were 700 shows performed all across the country, each raising money and awareness for different causes related to women.
Overall, the show was a quick effort. The V-Warriors held auditions this past November, and pulled it all together the week of the show. The scripts were ready, because they were adapted from real interviews from about twenty years ago. All that was needed was the twist to make it relevant to college women’s lives today.
First-year Shira Gould is a staff writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.