By UPMA KAPOOR
Students can be skeptical when they see lip-stained fliers with “Vagina Monologues” written across the page. Fear not, for it is just another advertisement for one of the University of Mary Washington’s fastest growing performance traditions.
“The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play performed annually by students to celebrate and raise awareness about the feminine experience. Feminist activist Eve Ensler wrote the monologues by recounting her own anecdotes and interviewing other women about their relationships to their vaginas. The play conversationally discusses all things vagina, but also illuminates the injustice projected toward women with violence and destruction.
This is my second time performing in the Vagina Monologues at Mary Washington. What draws me to participate and makes these performances compelling are the monologues. They are performed by students who are interested in participating in the overall discussion of women’s issues.
Every year, the monologues feature different students performing different monologues, along with a new monologue that is relevant in national discussion with either a current event or trend. In 2012, the current event monologue was about empowering the message of “1 Billion Rising” to combat violence against women and catalyze a call to action.
And the empowerment is not only displayed by the actresses; ticket sales and proceeds from the event go to Empowerhouse, formerly the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence, a non-profit located in Fredericksburg that offers shelter, counseling, protection and assistance to victims of domestic violence.
“The Vagina Monologues” became an outlet for me to participate and engage with other students committed to equality and working to educate the community about a variety of issues. At a liberal arts college like ours, opportunities to perform and create conversation centered around change emerge often. “The Vagina Monologues” are no different.
Sophomore anthropology major Ria Firth is looking forward to the play. “I like to explore deeper into the vagina [by seeing the show,]” says Firth.
I assure you that it extends farther and will not only change the way you view vaginas, but women and society altogether.
Performances will take place Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall.