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‘The Vagina Monologues’ sets out to start a conversation

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Lily Katz

“The Vagina Monologues” had its opening night Feb. 24 at the Temple of Music and Art in honor of V-Day, a global movement of activism to end violence against girls and women.

“The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler, is based on actual interviews with real women and their experiences. The play introduces the assembly of female voices in an expedition through what many may call a forbidden zone. Throughout the 90-minute play, there are numerous female voices portrayed, such as a six-year-old girl, a vagina workshop participant, a feminist who finally found a man who enjoyed the sight of “it” and a Bosnian survivor of rape.

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Madz Smith-Ledford, a sophomore resident assistant, was co-director of “The Vagina Monologues.”

“Really the point of it is to start a conversation and to get to the voices that were not heard,” Smith-Ledford said.

Smith-Ledford said the working woman is written in a way that makes it seem like Hispanic women, so having all that mix helps support the idea of diversity.

“It is really meant to show the entirety of the female experience to break down taboos and destroy the walls that we have created in our society by talking about simple things like moaning and vaginas,” Smith-Ledford said.

Gayatri Sadachar, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and cognitive science, decided to become a part of the play after watching her friend perform in “The Vagina Monologues” at another event last year.

 “I have to be a part of this,” Sadachar said after seeing her friend perform. “These are the types of women I want to surround myself with.” 

She said all the issues covered in the play are so relevant that it would be a great opportunity to be a part of something that discussed these issues and to be a voice for those who can’t be heard.

“Our experiences are multi-dimensional,” Sadachar said. “I don’t want to speak for all women, but I know for me it is hard to not try to reach those superficial standards that we set for ourselves. When you don’t meet them or you feel pressurized to do so, you do not feel like yourself.”

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Rachel Lindzon, a pre-business freshman, said she found the performance inspiring.

“There was a bit of a controversy in my hall,” she said. “There were some people that did not feel it was necessary for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ to be advertised, and not a lot of people felt comfortable going.”

Sadachar said she wants women to understand they are valued and there is support for them out there.

Along with raising awareness for V-Day, “The Vagina Monologues” proceeds will go to the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. Smith-Ledford said they raised about $900 for SACASA from ticket sales for the three showings. However, this amount does not account for the money raised from selling “pussy pops,” chocolate vagina lollipops and other donations.

SACASA assists victims of sexual assault and provides professional mental health services, community education and medical services. SACASA is located at 1600 N. Country Club Rd. SACASA can be contacted at their 24-hour crisis line at (520)-327-7273.

“The Vagina Monologues” will have two other showings on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., and Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. Keep in mind, this show has cursing and references to sexuality, rape and violence.

Follow Kirshana Guy on Twitter.


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