As most of you know every year SHARPP hosts a student production of The Vagina Monologues. The original production by Eve Ensler, will have you laughing, crying, and smiling. The Vagina Monologues is made up of varying monologues read by different women. Each monologue touches on a feminine experience such as sex, love, rape, menstruation, birth etc. The common theme through the monologues is empowerment. It all started when Eve Ensler interviewed 200 women about relationships, sex, and violence against women. The monologues were then created. This play is a big component in V-Day, a movement created by Ensler to empower women. The movement has raised over $100 million which goes to help organizations meant to protect and empower women. The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
This is a show you do not want to miss! I went to a rehearsal and could see all the hard work the directors and cast has been putting in. They take every line in each monologue and understand the meaning to be able to act it out correctly. I have never been in theater and to say I was impressed by the rehearsal would be an understatement. The student- actress I saw rehearse her monologue was great! She really took the time to put herself in the position of the girl in the monologue. The directors watched, listened, and gave feedback. They even read the monologue out loud them self to allow the student to do charades to it. This would allow her body movements to match up with the monologue as well. Based on the rehearsal I saw, I couldn’t be more excited to see the entire show.
The two directors of this years Vagina Monologues are students Lisa Dittman (left) and Kayleigh Kane (right. They have been working very hard to make this show possible. I got the chance to interview Lisa about this years show.
Why are you interested in being the director of The Vagina Monologues?
“I have always been interested in the social aspects behind gender inequality and stereotyping of genders. I also volunteer as community educator for SHARPP here on campus. The topics that TVM deals with are of high importance to me and I like how this show touches on how many societal aspects of being a ‘female’ play out in our everyday lives. Before last year, however, I had not have heard about the Vagina Monologues. By coincidence a friend of mine was auditioning for the show at UNH and I decided to give it a shot as well. Then I began looking up Eve Ensler and the VDAY movement. It was thrilling to see how other women too were fed up with the shaming and hushing of female experiences. The way the show breaks the silence was what made me want to return as director this year. While I do wish that the show were a little more gender inclusive, it blew me away and I wanted to give other women the chance to be part of this wonderful show and process of finding a sort of peace with how they are through the words of others”
How has you experience been preparing for the show?
“The show, although the spoken lines never change, is very versatile. It has been exciting to see how both theater majors, and incoming freshman that have never acted before were able to connect to the overarching themes and develop their own interpretations of ‘The Vagina Monologues’. The preparations for the show are different than for most other pieces, and there is a focus on the social justice issues it addresses, as well as the personal development of the individual actors. To me it was just as important to see the actors ponder over their lines, as it was to put together a ‘good show’.”
What can we expect for this year’s show?
“This year’s show will be very personal. We have focused on interpretations of the individual actors, rather than a directed and absolute version of the presented material. With our theme this year being “spring growth and blossoming’ an interesting aspect of the show will be the transformations that the cast shares with the audience from the beginning to the end of the show. It will be interactive and engaging. We hope to make the show a communal experience. And of course it will be great”
What does The Vagina Monologues mean to you?
“The Vagina Monologues are a beginning of awareness. They’re a stepping stone into deeper exploration. I think this exploration will be different for each individual, but it is important to take the time and figure out who we are and how we feel. The show helps understand that beauty varies in shapes and sizes, and perfection must not be perfect. It brings individual joy, suffering, and hope into a communal realm. To me TVM are a stepping stone into connection and improvement”
Will this show appeal to men too? Why or Why not
“This show should appeal to anyone. It might, at first glance, appear to be a ‘women’s show’, but that is not the case. I believe it is relate able to men as well. Many of the themes encompassed include general emotions or phases such as excitement, searching for self, or exploration of possibilities. And the struggles some of the women face are not purely feminist issues. In general, I dare to say, that this show is about the connection. We all come from the womb of our mother. So, even if it seems out of the ‘male zone’… I think it is important to remember, that we are all one interconnected community and without either men or women, there is no life. In light of the awareness aspects of this show, I think we need to remember, that this show is great and fun, but without an audience it losses part of its purpose. Men have daughters, mothers, or partners. They too can connect to the shows beauty”
The Vagina Monologues will be taking place this Friday, February 26th & Saturday, 27th from 7-9 in the MUB Strafford room. Tickets are available in the MUB ticket office. Don’t miss out on this moving, hysterical, and empowering production!