“If your vagina could speak, what would it say?” It would say that Salem College put on the show of a lifetime. Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” was performed at Salem College on Feb. 2-4. It was co-directed by Katie Hilderbrand and Nelly Gomez Amaya with co-fundraising by Karina Gonzalez and Dulce Rivas Rangel and technology work by Molly Blanchard. Gonzalez and Rangel were able to raise money for the Refugee and Immigrant Services of Lutheran Family Services through donations and concession sales.
This production began as a series of interviews and became a play written by Eve Ensler in reference to women’s relationship with their vaginas. It grew into “The Vagina Monologues” with some pieces based on one story and others based on a collection of stories. The play touches on the subjects of confidence in one’s vagina and its appearance, the trembling realizations of and results of sexual assault, the struggle of living as a transgender woman, the embracement of orgasmic sex and more.
Bre Herman, a first year at Salem College, lost her theatre virginity by performing “They Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy…Or So They Tried…” along with Daisha Bunn, Nicole Heckemeyer, Nakiya Ingram and Bailey Zenker. When asked about her comfort in reference to this piece, Herman said, “I’ve always been a person very much affected by stage fright. I turned to the people in my group for support. Being on stage with them made me more comfortable.” She said that participating in the monologues helped to improve her self-confidence.
“It made me more open about talking about things, like vaginas. It helped me realize that other women have similar issues like my own and it should be acceptable to talk about them,” says Herman.
“The Vagina Monologues” stand out for many reasons. The play touches on a concept seen as taboo by the majority of society. Herman believes “The Vagina Monologues” are special because they give voices to people who don’t normally have them. They raise awareness for many women who feel as though their problem is their own and is not shared by others.
The audience responded well, laughing and smiling all throughout the comedic pieces and holding back tears during the heart-wrenching ones. While sitting in the dark theater and watching fellow Salem sisters performing on stage, there was a sense of understanding.
The audience was connected to the performers and the performers to their characters. As women, we go through the same issues and ‘#struggles’ in regards to our vaginas. By laughing at and reflecting on these issues, those involved in the production and viewing of are able to unite and be proud of their vaginas and the many things they stand for.