New year, new vaginas

Jake Tapley

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Editor’s note: There was misprint on the time, location and cost of the Vagina Monologues. Also, 90 percent of proceeds go to Albion Fellows Bacon Center. 10 percent go to the spotlight campaign: Women of Haiti.

Childbirth, feminism and sexuality are just a few of the issues that will be boldly addressed in USI’s production of the Vagina Monologues.

Though there are a certain set of monologues that they do every year, new monologues are added in light of current events and relevant world issues regarding violence against women.

Unlike most theater pieces, there are no props or memorization involved in the preparation or performance of the monologues.

“This shifts the attention to the actors’ personal interpretations,” said Mary Stoll, philosophy assistant professor. “Because everyone’s interpretation is different.”

This year is the 6th year Stoll has been the director, organizer and producer of the Vagina Monologues.

Stoll said although they cannot change the text of what is said, truly diverse experiences can still be had.

“We try to make it different every night,” said Alice Shen, English professor and two-time monologue performer. “We can decide where the emotion goes.”

Shen said she encourages all of her students to attend, knowing that it might not be what they were expecting.

She said recognizes that the play is for more mature audiences, having a bit of controversial material in it but thinks that the title acts as a warning label for the general public.

Stoll said she thinks that many of the people that come to watch it don’t know what they’re going to get.

“A lot of people think it’s gonna be all about women talking about getting raped,” Stoll said. “But (the Vagina Monoglogues are) actually really funny.”

Though she admitted that there are some serious and heart wrenching moments, Stoll was very adamant in the amount of humor present in the Vagina Monologues.

“It’s a faux pas to talk about vaginas,” Stoll said. “But, really, there’s a lot of funny shit to say.”

First year student performer, Alexandra Levine, finds the monologues to be powerful.

“The Vagina Monologues are about the experiences of women around the world,” Levine said. “Every monologue is actually transcribed from real interviews with women.”

Levine said she finds the raw, authenticity of the monologues very appealing.

“It’s not like a movie where it’s the same thing every time,” Levine said. “We actually try not to look at past videos.”

The Vagina Monologues will perform at 7-9 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 in Forum 1. Entry fee is $7. 

All proceeds go to charity, 90 percent of proceeds go to Albion Fellows Bacon Center, and 10 percent go to the spotlight campaign: Women of Haiti.

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