Friday, February 15, 2013

Vagina Monologues: annual event raises awareness, empowers women

by Rachel Diebel, A&E Writer

    Instead of curling up to watch a chick flick and eating chocolate this Valentine’s Day, many Pacific Lutheran University women will be doing last-minute rehearsals for a different kind of holiday: a celebration of women.  PLU will celebrate the 15th Annual V-Day with two performances of “The Vagina Monologues.” 

First-year  Brenda Winters helps depict a female experience during the 'Vagina Monologues', which will be held in the CK in the  Anderson  University Center at 7 p.m. tonight. Photo by Quinn Huelsbeck.
    Directed by Ariel Roberts, Nina Hartsel, Bethany Petek and Marina Pitassi, “The Vagina Monologues” is an award-winning play by Eve Ensler, presented in the form of various monologues. 
    All of the monologues are about the hope, pain and humor of being a woman.  “The Vagina Monologues” is performed around the world as part of the annual V-Day celebration.  V-Day is a global campaign to raise awareness of and end violence against women and girls. Open auditions for the show were held  during fall semester.  

    Hopefuls could choose one of four monologues and read through it in front of the directors, who also taped the auditions.  

    Actresses were chosen from these tapes, which also included students on study away.  The participants have been working hard all J-term to get ready for the performances.  They had to memorize their monologue and have meetings with the directors for feedback on their performances.  

    “I wanted to do it because I thought it would be a cool experience and a good way to learn more about different ways of expressing feminism,” first-year Anna Loose said.  First-year Maylen Anthony agreed and added, “it made my inner feminist happy.”  Another actress in the show, first-year Alex Clayton, said she felt that “it was a really important project for a feminist.  As a feminist, how could I not try out?” All of the performers said they feel strongly about the importance of the show.  

    “Even though this is the 21st century, women are still fighting to be seen as people,” Clayton said.  “'The Vagina Monologues' is a place where we do count, where we’re the only thing that counts.”

    Many may think, the show is  only about women.  “Feminism isn’t just believing in equality for women but in equality for all people, because there’s so many definitions of gender and sexuality,” Anthony said. 
    “When men ask me — ‘what about the penis monologues?’ — I say that the penis monologues have been happening since the dawn of time.  Men think it’s not relevant to them, but it’s relevant to everyone,” Loose said.  “Everyone has women in their lives. It’s about understanding them better.”

            The performances will be on Feb. 15 and 16 in Chris Knutzen Hall at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $5 for students with ID and $10 for the general public. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Rebuilding Hope, the sexual assault center for Pierce County.