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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Monologues’ aim to raise awareness

    Cast members of The Vagina Monologues rehearse their skits Monday in the Social Sciences building. The Vagina Monologues will show through Saturday at the DuVal Auditorium at the University Medical Center.
    Cast members of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ rehearse their skits Monday in the Social Sciences building. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ will show through Saturday at the DuVal Auditorium at the University Medical Center.

    The V-Day: Vagina Warriors club is showing the annual performance of “”The Vagina Monologues”” tonight despite the controversy that has followed the feminist-themed show since it was first performed.

    “”The show is this amazing, energetic way to encourage people to stand up and do something about stopping violence against women,”” said Cyndi LaFrese, a deaf studies sophomore. “”And it’s hilarious. It celebrates everything about being a woman.””

    “”The Vagina Monologues,”” written by Eve Ensler, premiered in 1996.

    The Vagina Warriors received criticism for the show and how it raises awareness about violence against women.

    “”There’s so much stigma behind the word ‘vagina,'”” said Jennifer Stephens, a sophomore studying English and creative writing. “”(The show) is also addressing the fact that it shouldn’t be controversial and women should be able to freely talk about their bodies, and it shouldn’t be taboo.””

    The production is one of many V-Day College Campaigns put on independently by organizers at colleges and universities around the world, according to the V-Day Web site.

    IF YOU GO:

    Tickets: $10 for the general public,
    $8 for students

    Performances:
    ? Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. in the DuVal Auditorium in UMC
    ? Friday, at 7:30 p.m. in Social
    Sciences, Room 100
    ? Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. in Social Sciences, Room 100

    V-Day, held on Valentine’s Day, is described as “”a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.””

    Lisa Gernak, a theatre arts senior, said each campaign must be approved by V-Day.org, and 10 percent of the funds raised are donated back to the organization. The other 90 percent of the funds go to the OASIS Program for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence.

    Last year, the group raised about $14,000 for OASIS. They hope to raise $15,000 this year, Gernak said.

    In addition to selling tickets, the Vagina Warriors sell T-shirts, chocolate vaginas, flowers and armbands. The money raised from armband sales will go to the V-Day spotlight “”‘Women in Conflict Zones’ to ensure that wartime sexual violence remains in the media and public eye,”” according to the V-Day Web site.

    But some people disagree with the program’s methods, Gernak said.

    “”A lot of people get really uncomfortable with the word ‘vagina,'”” Gernak said. “”People think it’s a mockery because of the way we choose to raise money, but the show is such a powerful thing.””

    Mandy Murphy, a nutritional sciences senior, said she has performed in the show for the last two years because it’s an issue not discussed every day.

    “”It really changes your life and brings things to your attention you might not have thought about before,”” Murphy said. “”Just to see the reaction you get makes you want to do more to help stop violence and spread the word and strive for equality, because we really don’t have it.””

    Jessica Samoy, director of this year’s performance and president of the Vagina Warriors, said it’s not a surprise the show is considered taboo.

    “”It’s supposed to bring a different perspective to something that is very often overlooked,”” Samoy said.

    Controversial or not, members point out there is at least one sold-out show annually.

    “”The first night the first year, we started the show a half-hour late because there was a line out the door,”” Samoy said. “”We only had two performances that year, and they were both sold out.””

    Every year the club starts from scratch again because all the money raised is donated to the cause.

    “”We don’t save anything. We start with $0 every year,”” Samoy said. “”But it makes us work really hard because we want to put on the show.””

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