This year, the annual College production of the Vagina Monologues will take place in a women’s restroom. Though the play will be presented in Montgomery 25, director Nona Landis, a junior, is hoping to transform the appearance of the stage.
The Monologues will be performed over Valentine’s Day weekend on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 and 13 at 8p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. The performances will consist of the canon monologues as well as two additional pieces, one chosen by the director and one written by the play’s creator, Eve Ensler.
“Every year Eve Ensler writes a monologue for a specific campaign,” said Landis. Last year’s was about Hurricane Katrina, and this year the monologue will be about the Congo.
The cast of the Monologues is made up of students from every class, including, according to Landis, “a lot of people who hadn’t done much theater at St. Mary’s before. It draws out a lot of people who maybe wouldn’t come out for another theater production. It draws a different caliber of actress.” Her goal was to include anyone who was interested in the performances, if not in the acting portion than at least in the production.
The cast this year includes a number of freshmen, including first-year Taylor Sturm, who will be performing in “A Six-Year-Old Girl Was Asked.”
Sturm chose to audition for the play because of the subject matter. “I’m interested in women’s issues,” she said, “and the whole thing is about women getting her feelings out.” She plays the part of a six-year-old in her monologue. “I like the piece because it’s about the innocence of someone who hasn’t been exposed to the world,” Sturm said.
“A Six-Year-Old Girl Was Asked” is one of the lighter monologues. There has been controversy surrounding the Monologues since they were written, primarily for their graphic depiction of sexual experiences.
“Although there are humorous monologues, there is also a very ugly and painful aspect as well. It’s meant to make the audience uncomfortable and open their eyes to a lot of issues,” said junior Hannah Borababy, who will be performing with Sturm.
That discomfort is not bad, according to those involved in the production.
There’s a stigma there,” said junior Helen Coy, who will be performing “My Vagina is a Village” along with first-year Camilla Rangel. Many people are ashamed or afraid of the subject matter, she said. “Honestly, I encourage people not to feel guilty about that.”
Those involved in the production feel strongly about brining women’s issues to light. “I felt like I definitely needed to take part in this,” said Rangel. “I needed to get out of my comfort zone.”
“I really loved [performing] last year. It’s incredibly empowering to talk about something that’s kind of shoved under the rug,” said Borabay.
Though women are the subject of the production, “It’s important to get the word out that this is a show men can watch,” Landis said. Anyone interested is invited to attend.
The performances will take place during Valentine’s Day weekend.