Monologues help bigger cause

Bradie Gray

When senior philosophy major Hanna Friz decided to be a part of the Vagina Monologues, she had no idea she’d be demonstrating the various types of moans caused by intense orgasms in front of a live audience.

During her monologue, “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” Friz portrayed a sex worker describing the sensual aspects of her career – which involved rolling on the floor demonstrating a “triple-orgasm moan” in front of a crowd of people.

The preparation for this sketch took much more than memorizing lines.

“I don’t advocate this, but I watched a lot of adult movies and things like that,” Friz said. “I studied a lot of animal behaviors, and I prepared myself for not getting embarrassed.”

She also listened to and watched previous Vagina Monologues and got help from the other women performing to prepare for her sketch.

All the practice Friz put in paid off when the audience erupted with laughter during her performance, some stifling their giggles with their hands and others slapping the desks in front of them in hysteria.

“I was satisfied with the reaction, but I’m just happy I didn’t fall on my butt because of these heels!” Friz said.

The Vagina Monologues made its 8th annual appearance at USI last night with the help from the Philosophy Club, Faces of Feminism, Gender Studies and the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice Clubs as sponsors. The performance was made up of 17 individual monologues recited by various female students and faculty who volunteered.

Mary Lyn Stoll, assistant professor of philosophy and adviser to the philosophy club, has organized the Vagina Monologues since its first year at USI.

“I actually originally did the Vagina Monologues at my previous school,” Stoll said. “There were a lot of kids there excited about gender roles and overcoming violence against women and girls and they talked me into being a part of it. And when I came here, our scholastics president at the time, Jessica Jones, was also interested in it so we decided to go ahead and put it on here.”

Stoll, along with the rest of the performers, have worked on the monologues since the second week of the spring semester to create a memorable show.

“There’s no requirement for drama background or theatre background for our performers, but because of that, we have to practice, practice, practice,” Stoll said. “We workshop every piece for over a month two times a week, two to three hours a night for each practice. It’s just a lot of work on everyone’s part to put it all together.”

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler that was originally ran at the Westside Theatre off Broadway in 1996. It is now performed around the world every year with every script slightly different than the year before.

“This is something that people do all over the world.  It’s not just USI, it’s not even just Evansville,” Friz said. “It’s people in Africa, people in India, people in England, people in France.  There are people all over the place working on the same thing. Since gender based violence is global, it’s good to know that the fight against injustice is happening around the world.”

All proceeds from the two-night event go the Willow Tree of Posey County, a domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy service, and 10 percent of proceeds go to the V-Day spotlight campaign, One Billion Rising.

One Billion Rising is a campaign to draw global attention to the U.N. statistic that one in three women on the planet will be raped, beaten or mutilated in her lifetime.