Shira Engel ’14 reviews the annual Wesleyan performance of “The Vagina Monologues”.
This weekend marked the belated true meaning of Valentines Day for most Wesleyan students: The Vagina Monologues. More valued than pink candy hearts are the cast of student actors dressed in purple and black, spilling their souls out on the stage of the ’92 Theater. It is no surprise that all the shows were sold out.
Even though the audience was encouraged to shut off their cell phones, they were also encouraged to be loud when appropriate. For The Vagina Monologues, this meant screaming “cunt” in response to one particular monologue, and then cheering at enacted orgasms.
What is beautiful about The Vagina Monologues is that it balances the sad with the hilarious, the tear-jerking with the gut-wrenching. A part of the national V-Day movement started by Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues is a way to artfully spread awareness of the violence against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And the proceeds of those $4 tickets that came straight out of student accounts went to Planned Parenthood of Connecticut and the national V-Day movement.
While a tribute to the Congo, the show is not only about Congolese women. The diversity of the monologues is their common thread. They range from the voices of sex workers to the voices of elderly women learning to rekindle their sexuality.
The actors were fearless. From freshmen to seniors, they rose to the task of reproducing a production that happens all over the country. It was their fearlessness that evoked a raw production that had the audience gripped, hooked, and responding emotionally. Even with the evident sadness, I left inspired and happy, satisfied by monologues that were about the expression of truth, in a variety of forms.
To learn more about The Vagina Monologues, visit the V-Day website.