V-Day presents touching rendition of “The Vagina Monologues

Katie Kasper

In the Lawrence V- Day Chapter’s 2010 performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” the theme of one of the monologues was, “My vagina’s angry.” Actually, my vagina was quite happy with the performance. If it could say two words, it would say “trés bien” while wearing a beret and smoking a cigarette – my vagina is very French, you see.
Written by Eve Ensler in 1996, “The Vagina Monologues” consists of several narratives and facts about “pussies, coochie snorchers and cunts.” The monologues, ranging in subject from a 70-something-year-old woman who has never experienced an orgasm to a girl who became a sex slave at the age of 15, are based on the accounts of over 200 women. The women were asked to relive their sexual experiences and to describe their vagina: What would it wear? What would it say?
Ensler’s play has been translated into over 45 languages and performed in over 130 countries, initiating vagina awareness around the world. Inspired by her experience with “The Vagina Monologues,” Ensler founded V- Day, a movement to stop the abuse of women, in 1997.
The proceeds from the Lawrence V-Day Chapter’s performance will be donated to local and global charities that work to stop violence against women. The monologues were performed this past weekend in the Esch Studio by a panel of women dressed all in black with just a touch of pink.
With its unique ability to make audience members laugh and cry at the same time, “The Vagina Monologues” should be performed with emotion and an almost guilty, sometimes pleasurable, sense of confession.
Although most of the Lawrence V- Day Chapter’s performance followed these criteria, the monologues would have been more convincing if completely memorized. A forgotten line is easier to forgive than an impassionate reading. Emily Galvin cleverly incorporated her script’s folder into her performance of “My Angry Vagina” by using it to guard her vagina from a gynecologist.
Another unique aspect of the Lawrence V- Day Chapter’s performance was Marika Straw’s addition of the “college moan” to her monologue, “The Woman Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy.”
At the end of her monologue, Straw demonstrated the different moans – clit, vaginal, doggy, diva, etc. – with the addition of a “college moan,” for which she quite convincingly emitted the orgasmic moan, “I. hereby. re. affirm . the Lawrence . Uni . versity . Honor . Code!” I will never recite that code the same way again.
Ensler recently added a new monologue, titled “Hey Miss Pat,” to her play. While Marvanna Avery-Cash’s performance of this monologue was powerful, the monologue itself just doesn’t fit. Instead of approaching the abuse and neglect of vaginas like the other monologues and the title of the play, “Hey Miss Pat” portrays post-Katrina New Orleans.
Ensler bites off more than she can chew and dilutes the potency of “The Vagina Monologues” by including “Hey Miss Pat,” which would better fit in a play titled “The Political Disaster Monologues.”
As a whole, V- Day did a great job with Ensler’s very intimate material, and the proceeds went to a great cause.