“Vagina Monologues” Tells Women’s Stories

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Upon the close of campus Sex Week, “The Vagina Monologues” will grace the stage at the University of Utah’s Post Theater.

“The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play by Eve Ensler which first debuted in New York’s off-Broadway theater in 1996. It has since evolved and traveled across the country eliciting praise and controversy throughout the years. The play features a number of different monologues or vignettes highlighting various feminine experiences and exploring the emotions that accompany them.

From topics such as sex, menstruation, rape and love, “The Vagina Monologues” evokes powerful commentary and perspective.

“Most people who have seen it seem to appreciate the insight that the show provides into so many different women’s stories,” said Darrah Jones, second-time producer and eighth-year performer in the show.

“The Vagina Monologues” is not a stranger to the U and has played a great role in advocating and supporting general women’s health and safety within the community. Proceeds from the performances are donated to local causes. Last year’s performance raised over $3,000 which was subsequently donated to the U’s Sexual Assault Support Advocates. This year’s proceeds will be donated to the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah.

The play has the functional ability to evolve, with the option of incorporating new monologues into the lineup. This year’s production will feature a new monologue, “I Call You Body,” which, according to Jones, will “address the oppression perpetrated against women’s bodies and discuss reclaiming the power our bodies have as an act of resistance.”

“The Vagina Monologues” is pushing the boundaries of comfort in pursuit of topics worth talking about by featuring portrayals of violence and oppression. “It gives voice to different perspectives we may not have heard before, and the actions of telling those stories are a gift that may shift some people’s perspectives of the violence that women and girls face,” Jones said.

Additionally, in hoping to deconstruct stigmas and stereotypes, “The Vagina Monologues” lends an honest voice to topics that, though important, are oftentimes avoided. “Naming this piece ‘The Vagina Monologues’ is an act of resistance in itself,” Jones said. “The word ‘vagina’ is not illegal, bad, or wrong — we wish to remind people of that in hopes that we can dismantle the stigma around the idea of vaginas, and the word itself.”

The objective of this production is the definition and representation of womanhood. “While the reclamation of the word ‘vagina’ and the symbolism in the name of the show is important and significant, not all women have vaginas. Having a vagina is not the measure of womanhood,” Jones said. “Trans women are women. Trans individuals are disproportionately affected by sexual assault, and other interpersonal violence. This must no longer be overlooked. It must be discussed and dismantled.”

Centering on vivid details and honest portrayal, “The Vagina Monologues” does contain graphic content, strong language and themes, including sexual violence. We urge folks to be thoughtful about their boundaries when considering attending this performance,” Jones said.

“The Vagina Monologues” will be hosted at the Post Theatre, 7 p.m. on Feb. 25, as well as 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 26. Tickets are $18 for general admission. $10 for students and may be purchased at the door.

l.radnall@dailyutahchronicle.com

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