Excitement loomed around the annual production of “The Vagina Monologues,” a student-run and student-performed show at Salem College. Written by feminist playwright Eve Ensler, the monologues center around women and their relationships with their vaginas.
The monologues were performed on February 15th, 16th and 17th in Huber Theatre. The board consisted of co-directors Tamia House and Berenice Del Rio and co-fundraising chairs Cheyenne Carpenter and Katarina Radu.
The monologues were not without their hardships. As the opening night approached, there were many issues with booking a location in which to perform. While the monologues are traditionally performed in the versatile and intimate Drama Workshop, a black box theatre, the space was unavailable due to the mandated update of equipment.
The board was faced with the task of finding a new space to perform in. Options included Bryant Hall, the May Dell, Huber Theatre and Shirley or Hanes auditoriums, none of which gave off the same ambiance as the Drama Workshop.
“It’s always in the Drama Workshop, and just for the kind of show it is, it is both intimate and professional, it is really hard to find a space where those two things can coexist,” said fundraising chair Katarina Radu.
Radu also shared that when assessing location options, the board “evaluated everything about them, the good and the bad, and tried to look at what made the spaces unique… so even if we didn’t necessarily have the desired space, we figured that since it’s somewhere new we should try to make it new and fit it specifically to that place.”
Despite the hassle of finding a location, the board was able to creatively use the final space, Huber Theatre, to enhance the atmosphere. The set consisted of cozy but minimal furniture that did not overcrowd the stage but assisted in transforming the space.
Despite the absence of a lighting board and stage lights, a screen and projector located in the theatre was used to cast a light pinkish-orange glow during the lighter pieces and a red tone during the more serious ones. This simple fix was entirely successful in adjusting the mood of various pieces.
The cast was able to take the written monologues, many of which have been seen multiple times by Salem College students, and alter them to creatively craft memorable interpretations.
A few stand out pieces include “The Vagina Workshop,” performed by Kristin Draper; “My Angry Vagina,” performed by Peyton Corder; and “Reclaiming Cunt,” performed by M.K. Thompson.
It is always rewarding for Salem College students to revisit “The Vagina Monologues” each year, and this year even more so for the cast and board because of the challenges faced. Radu shared, “I’m just really proud of the cast and the board for handling every obstacle that we faced with excitement, creativity, and an open heart and mind.”