A group of 25 confident women arrange chairs into a close circle, start a playlist of “girl power” songs and run through a series of provocative monologues. The brilliant cast of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler creates this atmosphere at each of their nightly rehearsals as the production draws closer.
Comprised of a series of riveting monologues, the production touches upon the often unspoken reality of the female experience. From rape culture to euphemisms for female organs, The Vagina Monologues probes at important issues that might not otherwise find a platform at Boston College.
Although the show has been performed at universities across the nation and even internationally, each production closely emulates the original. Eve Ensler discourages deviating from the script in order to ensure the purpose of her project remains intact.
“We stick to the script not only out of a respect for Eve Ensler, but for the women originally interviewed,” Grace Fucci, A&S ’17, remarks. “These stories are true and personal, and we want to preserve their words.”
Ensler annually shakes up the continuity of The Vagina Monologues by writing one of the “spotlight” monologues, which is only performed during the year of its creation. One of this year’s spotlights', entitled “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy,” relays the experiences of transgender women. This segment confronts a previously unaddressed issue, making the show relatable to a largely unrepresented community.
“It is a huge honor to represent these women who have gone through so much to access their basic rights,” comments Bernadette Deron, A&S ’15. “It is a truly remarkable struggle that needs to be discussed.”
Given the show’s controversial nature, certain audiences have prevented The Vagina Monologues from reaching their community. At Mount Holyoke College, the monologues were removed from the spring schedule of performances due to concerns about discriminatory content.
Fortunately, the BC cast views any opposition to their production as only a small obstacle to overcome. Each cast member courageously steps beyond the limits of her comfort zone to encourage public discourse about the reality women face in our society.
“The show was originally chosen because there are not a lot of opportunities at BC to express themes of sexuality, gender and female empowerment,” says Lili Chasen, LSOE ’15. “We may face a lot of backlash, but that is part of the rebellious fun of putting on a show like this.”
While honest discussions about the vagina may cause discomfort to some, performance talk-backs open a forum for all students following the show. This aspect of the performance allows students to voice any questions or concerns regarding the monologues to the most informed panel: the passionate cast.
The Vagina Monologues benefits V-Day, a campaign to end violence against women and girls. A portion of the proceeds from the show will also go to My Life My Choice, a local charity that aims to save girls from the streets and a life of prostitution.
Come and support Director Lili Chasen, Assistant Director Samantha Costanza, Stage Manager Grace Fucci and the entire cast this coming week. The 12th annual production of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler will hit Cushing 001 February 5, 6 and 7 at 8 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 through the Robsham Theater Box Office starting February 2.