“The Vagina Monologues” Set for April 8 at Gilliam Center for the Arts

The Center for Student Development and the Theatre Department invites UVa-Wise students and faculty to attend and participate in “The Vagina Monologues” on April 8.

But what is “The Vagina Monologues”, and what is up with the name?

Assistant Professor of Theatre Michael Hunt has teamed up with Tabitha Smith and Sara Schill from the Student Development Department. This will make the third year that the two departments have worked together on the play, originally written in 1996 by Obie Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler.

“The monologues are connected with Take Back the Night here on the UVa-Wise campus, and are often produced in conjunction with international V-Day, but the content is wide ranging,” said Hunt. “It covers a breadth of vaginal experiences and relationships”

The monologues are different each year. Play participants choose from a big book of monologues that come from interviewing a wide range of women –  older, younger, married, lesbians, single, college professors, and actors – about their vaginas. Each experience with the sometimes uncomfortable topic of vaginas varies, which makes the monologues so unique.

Thus, the title.

The play’s title and subject matter can create curiosity or push people away here on campus, but Hunt says the title goes straight to the importance of its monologues.

“The name is essential to the message,” said Hunt. “Young men sometimes comment – only sometimes jokingly – that there should be Penis Monologues. The fact is, the male POV dominates cultural conversations, and is usually unchallenged. This is an opportunity to hear voices and stories often ignored.”

There are still some positions available for any female student or faculty/staff who would like to read a monologue.

All monologue texts are available on the Moodle page, Vagina Monologues. All participants can pick which monologue they would like to read. The self-enrollment key is ‘vpar2016.’

Although males will not be reading any monologues this year, they are still encouraged to attend.

“Part of the function of the performance is to help everyone understand more about vaginas,” said Hunt. “This year it was decided that males wouldn’t be asked to perform or read monologues. It’s important that women speak in their own voices”

“The Vagina Monologues” starts at 1 p.m. April 8 at the Gilliam Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre. For more information, contact Hunt at mkh2e@uvawise.edu.

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