In preparation for Women’s History Month, members of the Trinity community have organized several events and activities for students and faculty members to participate in. To kick off the celebration, faculty members and students performed in a production of “The Vagina Monologues” last Tuesday. The play featured several monologues of various topics regarding the experiences women have had, including sex, rape, orgasms and menstruation, among others.
Many students entered the Stieren Theatre that night unsure of what to expect.
“I had always been hesitant to go to one of these shows because it sounded intimidating and I honestly had no idea what the format was going to be,” said junior Katherine Wilks.
“I had never seen “˜The Vagina Monologues.’ I’d heard good things about it and I’ve wanted to watch it, but I never had a chance to,” said sophomore Hester Lee.
The performances quickly succeeded in capturing the attention of its audience members, as they brought stories of differing topics to life.
“I really liked it. It was interesting to see something candid about vaginas and stories about such experiences. I’d definitely recommend it to others. None of [the performers] were my teachers, but seeing familiar faces made it more tangible and understandable,” Lee said.
Several of the performers put on shows that precisely captured the experiences of their stories, while also providing entertainment in a comfortable environment.
“The monologue about visiting the gynecologist was the most interesting. The moaning performance by the theatre teacher was also really entertaining,” Lee said.
Some of the performers have had previous experience with the play either as audience members or performers.
“I’ve done it before, but it’s been really fun for me to do different voices. As a poet, these are monologues, so the idea is [that] you’re performing someone’s story and embodying their voice,” said a professor of English and a performer, Jennifer Browne. “It’s really different to sort of locate my body in the experience of a woman who was brutalized in the war in Bosnia. I’ve also done being in the presence of birth, and as a mother, that was a really moving experience.”
Many of the performers identity a personal need for the tradition of the performance to continue at Trinity, as they relate to it and understand it on several realms.
“I think for me, we keep performing it because there remains a need to perform it. The stories of this performance haven’t gone away. They’re being played out right now in the political realm where people, whether or not they have a vagina, are trying to win votes based on what they should do with vaginas. We did “˜The Vagina Monologues’ because we need “˜The Vagina Monologues’,” Browne said.
Audience members agree that the performance is an inspiration for understanding and expressing the female experience.
“I hope that this show continues to be an avenue for women to be more comfortable with talking about the female experience,” Wilks said.
Others who have been familiar with the production still enjoyed the performance because of the closeness it brings by including Trinity community members.
“As a feminist, I loved it. It was a second time attending and I enjoyed seeing it [performed] by both students last year and teachers this year,” said Mary Feit, a sophomore communications major.
The impact of the performances could still be felt even after the show ended.
“[“˜The Vagina Monologues’] transcended my expectations and made me very excited to be a female. Some [performances] were humorous, others were emotionally heavy,” Wilks said. “I found myself talking with my friends about some of the monologues and how accurate and relatable they were.”
Students were inspired by their personal beliefs to support the show and consider its messages.
“I want to see some balance between males and females. Also, these monologues cover a range of different woman’s issues that need to be discussed, and I think that’s why this is important for Trinity to put on,” Feit said.
All proceeds from the show were donated to the Rape Crisis Center in order to further promote the significance of Women’s History Month and bring awareness to the issues many women face today.