Over the weekend, I given the opportunity to attend two performances of The Vagina Monologues, an episodic play comprised of monologues celebrating and bringing attention to, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, vaginas.
The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play that features the stories of various women’s experiences with their vaginas. Eve Ensler interviewed over 200 women and then condensed their interview into individual monologues that highlight various issues facing women. The monologues themselves came from the actual words of real women of various ages, ethnicities, and social groups during a series of interviews done by the writer. In this production, I felt truly able to see my way through the experiences faced across time and distance.
Salem puts on The Vagina Monologues each year during the first weekend of February. This year it was held at 7:30 in the Drama Workshop from February 5th to 7th. Seniors Starr Green and Yanadira Mendez-Magana directed the Monologues and Juniors Nicole Dawn and Emily Gilmore ran fundraising for the event.
This year’s Vagina Monologues had a diverse cast, representing a large portion of the student body. In my opinion, all of the monologues were casted thoughtfully, with each performer expressing their monologue with conviction and passion. The monologues varied in tone from angry to funny to serious, and all of the monologues were important to showing a different side of the female experience. The monologues were done sleepover style, and the set included pillows, blankets, and chairs. After each monologue commenced, the performer(s) took a spot on the stage to watch the rest of the show. It was evident that many of the performers really worked at getting into their character by adopting accents, clothing, and identities that were not their own. The costumes varied depending on character, ranging from a granny wig and spectacles, to baseball caps, to slinky nighties.
Two of the most memorable were the characters of an old Jewish woman and a provocative British sex worker. The show also had emotional moments, including a moving transgender monologue and one from the words of a Bosnian rape survivor. The Vagina Monologues were free of charge to attend, but concessions and novelty items were sold; these proceeds benefited the Refugee and Immigrant Services of the Lutheran Church.
All photographs in this post were taken by Chelsei Crotteau.