“Rise! Resist! Unite!” The timely and inspirational theme of this year’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Oglethorpe University’s student run theater club, Rehearsal Room C, held two shows last Friday and Saturday at 9:30 pm benefitting the Ahimsa House, an organization that helps both humans and pets safely escape and overcome domestic violence.
On Friday, the show opened with a performance from local folk singer, Kareen Lomax. A series of 18 monologues were performed by women sporting red handkerchiefs, a nod to Naomi Parker Fraley, better known as her famous depiction, “Rosie the Riveter.” The monologues were taken from a collection of interviews conducted by activist and playwright, Eve Ensler.
In 1994, Eve Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues” after interviewing dozens of girls and women about a controversial interview topic – their vaginas. What Ensler found was tons of women waiting to share stories dealing with their sexuality, rape, abuse and other gender based issues. Many of these women and girls had never been given the voice to share their stories before Ensler brought light to this subject.
The show ran Off-Broadway for five years and then toured across the nation. Ensler found her show to be more than just a work of art; she began to realize its true power in moving men and women to seek out action in ending violence against women.
Today, thousands of communities and college campuses in over 200 countries and territories retell Eve Ensler’s monologues and celebrate her mission to inspire women and girls to be comfortable with their bodies.
“‘The Vagina Monologues’ are liberation, allowing women to talk about their body and their experience unapologetically,” said Savannah Rootes, performer in this year’s Monologues. “For me it is a chance to embrace my sexuality, an aspect of my life that has always made me nervous. It feels good to feel comfortable sharing my love for women and being a woman.”
Although our nation has come a long way in its fight for gender equality, there are still hundreds of issues that must be addressed and improved. “The Vagina Monologues” helps to keep these topics in discussion. Those who support this show refuse to let these important issues become buried and blurred in our nation.
The extremely honest, open, and diverse group of monologues call attention to the many issues the world continues to face. Every woman who performs these monologues embodies the spirit of empowerment that is crucial to making improvements in the lives of women and girls.
“The Vagina Monologues” benefits all who come to watch. No matter what level of knowledge you hold concerning feminist issues, the show will provide you with a new understanding and viewpoint.
“We can hear facts and statistics all day, but hearing personal stories gives the listener a whole new level of empathy that can help those on the outside of the issue understand a new point of view that may challenge the way you think,” said Rootes.
With the help of supporters and performers, “The Vagina Monologues” will have a promising future in supporting feminist issues throughout the world.
“Everyone can benefit from helping with “The Vagina Monologues,” whether that is through performance or volunteering or sheer support,” said Rootes.