On the last night of February, “The Vagina Monologues” took place in Boyd Recital Hall.
The production was directed by Maddy Roberts, a senior theatre major. The play featured several monologues about the vagina’s “voice,” as well as women exploring their own sexuality by taking control of their vagina. The monologues spanned far-reaching topics, including feminine products, shaving, sex abuse and current events. One line in particular had an implication on comments made by President Donald Trump about ‘grabbing’ women by their vaginas.
“My version for the piece was centered around resistance,” Roberts said,
“and women and people with vaginas coming together as a community to resist in a way because of the current political climate.”
Roberts explained that the lessons that the audience should take from “The Vagina Monologues” are those that relate to modern politics and events within our news cycle.
“I really did what [I could] to make sure that current events were involved in the production because I didn’t think there was a way to ignore it and do the production justice, but at the same time I didn’t want to make the whole show about that because the only way to get through this is to laugh and come together,” she said.
According to Roberts, even a powerful message doesn’t make the artistic process of directing easy.
“[Directing was] so hard, it’s always so hard,” she said. “I want to continue to do this, but it is the hardest thing I have ever done.”
Directing the show wasn’t the only difficult part of the process, though; auditioning cast members was also a trying experience.
“That was also really hard because I am a theatre major and I had a lot of my friends and peers audition,” she said. “We had forty-something people show up to audition. We had people send video auditions because they couldn’t make it to the live auditioning, so making those cuts to the final sixteen was really difficult, but the campus has a lot of talent. It’s amazing.”
Roberts then talked about what she wanted people to take from this.
“I think, honestly, I wanted them to enjoy themselves,” she explained. “What the audience takes away is sort of up to them, but I just hope they had a good time and heard voices from people that they might not have ever heard from.”
Senior studio art major Allison Dempsey also learned a valuable lesson from “The Vagina Monologues” regarding the social stigma around women’s bodies.
“Even though I feel very empowered most of the time,” Dempsey said, “I realized that [concerning] most of the culture around a girl’s vagina, we don’t talk about it, we don’t look at it, and [this show] was very eye- opening.”
According to Dempsey, “The Vagina Monologues” were “fantastic,” as well as personal.
“I have done one of them [a Vagina Monologue] before, so I have a perspective on it that wasn’t the best experience for me,” Dempsey said. “That was fantastic seeing it again, very empowering. All of the girls up there did a fantastic. You could tell they were passionate about what they were saying.”
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