Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, directed by junior Nona Landis, were performed over Valentine’s Day weekend to a crowded audience. On opening night, Friday, Feb. 12,every seat in Montgomery 25 was filled.
“Turnout was just excellent, even with all the bad weather,” said Landis. “And we even had a fair number of guys in the audience. One of my male acquaintances came up to me after the Saturday show and told me that he initially only came because I wanted him to, but that in the end he was so glad he did.”
“There was a really responsive audience,” said sophomore Jess O’Rear, who assisted with the production and direction of the Monologues. Audience members clapped and laughed at some of the performances, and during the 2010 Spotlight Monologue, called, “A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery,” “there was a really emotional response,” O’Rear said.
“There were people crying during it.”
This year’s performance was set in a women’s bathroom, a choice made by Landis near the beginning of the creation of this year’s show. “I feel it’s a place of both community (there’s a lot of talking, crying, and commiserating that goes on in women’s bathrooms) and privacy (it’s a safe place to cry or simply be by yourself),” Landis wrote.
“The idea of the Vagina Monologues is to bring to the forefront things that aren’t always spoken about in public,” said O’Rear. The bathroom setting, “really really emphasizes the idea that this is something we’re not supposed to be talking about, somewhere we’re not supposed to be in the public sphere.”
“It’s sort of an indicator of a space that’s only for women,” said Emily Atkins, who performed the monologue “Because He Liked To Look At It.” “It’s somewhere where…normally no one will bother you.” The set was created by sophomores Johanna Galat, Elena Gross, Atkins and O’Rear.
“I thought it was a really interesting take on the monologues,” said sophomore Jonathan Wagner, who attended the show on Sunday, Feb. 14. “I thought they were presented really well this year, bringing in levels of social awareness, gender identification, and theatrical integrity…the triangle blocking approach taken for [The Memory of Her Face] was really interesting on a number of theatrical levels, branching between the revolving nature of women in similar heartbreaking situations ending on a straight line signifying unity for women and all people moving forward to fight a cause.”
“I think the whole production was really well received,” said Atkins.
The Monologues raised over $1,700, which will be donated to V-Day. According to the program handed out at the show, “V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works.”
There were about 30 people involved in the production of the Monologues, including the performers.