On Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13, Women’s Union hosted its annual rendition of the Vagina Monologues.
All proceeds from the event were directed to Girls Inc., a national organization that attempts to “inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold”, according to its website. This year, the event raised over $700.
Toni Batha ’17, president of Women’s Union, said, “The Vagina Monologues are a way of connecting personal stories to a larger audience.
On campus, this event makes vaginas a normalized topic of conversation, which is the first step in ending violence against women.”
“The Vagina Monologues” is a play originally written by Eve Ensler, which uses written experiences authored by women that describe individual perspectives on vaginas.
In this year’s production, a total of 17 monologues were read by a cast of 25 actresses. Some were read individually, while some were given by groups.
Commenting on the audition process for the actresses, Batha recalled, “We held auditions in November and assigned parts over break.”
Different actresses used unique, personal styles to reenact these monologues, thus making the play different from year to year, even with reused content.
Davina Tran ’17 commented, “Some of the monologues were extremely different from how they were acted last year. That’s what makes the Vagina Monologues so interesting because actresses have different interpretations of each monologue.”
Performances ranged from comedic to reflective, from quiet to raucous, from conservative to free-flowing.
One of the monologues, named “The Flood”, is written by an elderly woman reflecting on her first sexual experience as a teenager.
Angelica Rivera ’18 read this monologue from an armchair, her voice as soothing as a grandmother. The audience was quietly captivated by her story.
Another monologue, called “My Short Skirt”, is a piece that advocates against the perception of a short skirt indicating promiscuity.
Kiana Miller ’16 portrayed a passionate take on this piece, using strong postures and voice, all while wearing a bright crimson skirt. Her conviction left a profound impression on the audience.
A multi-actress piece, called “They Beat the Girl Out Of My Boy … Or So They Tried”, was played Suleydi Betancourt ’19, Em Hiller ’18, Angie Dedona ’19, Emily Alston’19 and Sam Bailey ’18.
They read a collection of memories from individuals who identified with the female gender while being born the male sex, and described the generally harsh childhoods these individuals had.
Ariella Honig ’17 portrayed a younger girl with a brilliant southern accent, who recounted a destroyed childhood as result of rape and then her sexual revival with another woman.
Honig had the members of the audience laughing and hurting throughout her piece.
Women’s Union has plans for the near future to hold events for Women’s History Month in March and also future discussions on self-confidence and body image.