Picture this: it is a Friday night at West Chester University, and there is a production being performed on campus. But this is not just any production. It includes a bunch of monologues about vaginas.The Vagina Monologues was performed Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24 in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m., and featured 22 West Chester students.
The directors of the performance were Brianna Boone, Lauren Busfield and Natalie Shaak, and the program was put on by the Women’s Center, whose director is Robin Garrett.
The Vagina Monologues was written by Eve Ensler, and this work was based on her interviews with more than 200 women from all different backgrounds.
According to the Vagina Monologues program, this piece “celebrates women’s sexuality and strength, and exposes the violations that women endure throughout the world.” The production did just that.
It is the basis of the V-Day progress, which is a “global movement to stop violence against women and girls” (www.wikipedia.org). V-Day promotes events to increase awareness and raise money for anti-violence organizations. The “V” in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and of course, vagina.
There were 19 monologues, with narrations in between each by Jackie Chilcote. There were scenes covering all aspects of a girl’s vagina. Some of the monologues discussed what a vagina would say and wear, what an angry vagina deals with on a daily basis and the odd things that happened to girls when they first got their period.
The most humorous monologue, hands down, was “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” performed by Caroline Schneider.
In this scene, she portrays a woman who loves the moaning sounds women make when they are having an orgasm and demonstrates the sounds one could make. Some of these sounds included the college moan, the Catholic moan, the Diva moan and the ultimate surprise triple orgasm moan.
While there were humorous parts to the production, there were also serious parts. Throughout the show, Chilcote would mention different statistics and facts about women who had been abused.
One of the most moving monologues was entitled “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy.Or So They Tried,” which was a story about transgender abuse.
The scene discussed boys who always believed they were girls, the torture that came from it as they grew up, the process of a gender operation later on in their lives and the ridicule that went a long with it. The actresses in this monologue were Jessica Barksdale, Jami Eick, Kayla Fehr, Seraphina Ferraro and Ashley Manta.
What was slightly disappointing about this year’s performance was the lack of audience interaction during “Reclaiming Cunt,” which was a woman’s exclamation for the word she loved so much, “cunt.” Last year, the cast members had chants for the audience members to repeat back, and the cast ran through the auditorium.
This year however, the spectators were only told to repeat the word back once or twice. However, the ensemble did walk around the concert hall and asked “how is everyone’s vaginas tonight?,” which made up for it.
While the audience was predominately female, there were males in attendance as well who were also asked how their vaginas were doing during intermission.
There was an insert included in the program just for men about why they were there and how they could help with violence against women.
According to the program, “men can be allies in the work to stop violence against women. In fact, without men as allies, the violence will never stop.”
At the conclusion of the show, vagina pops, which were in the shapes of vaginas, were sold in the lobby with flavors such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. The performance raised approximately $3200.
All proceeds of the event will be donated to the Chester County Domestic Violence Center, the Chester County Crime Victims Center, Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children and V-day’s Spotlight Campaign for Women in Conflict Zones.