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Women in the spotlight: ‘The Vagina Monologues’

The cast of The Vagina Monologues make V’s, the show’s symbol, in the finale Feb. 26. Photo by Tori Edgar

For 11 years, Chapman has been hosting an annual performance of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” Ensler created the play and a series of monologues based off interviews with women in the 1990s. Universities around the country now host the show as benefit performances annually. Chapman is one of them.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life has hosted the show throughout its time here. This year, the show ran Feb. 24 – 26. “The Vagina Monologues” gives center stage to a variety of topics and issues concerning women and their role in culture. Some of the topics covered in this year’s show were female empowerment, sex and relationships, sexual assault and other violence against women. Each year, the monologues given to Chapman and other universities are chosen after applying to perform.

Mia Babayan, a senior business administration major participated in the photo campaign.
Photo courtesy of Chapman’s The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues’ is an iconic play, and the global community surrounding it is thriving, vibrant and diverse,” said Aidan Wood, a junior television writing and production major and co-director of the show. “It feels good to have contributed to that community, even in a small way.”

Each year, the cast and crew donates proceeds from the show to a local Orange County nonprofit organization. The cast includes 16 women and the crew includes two directors and one producer as well as various Residence Life staff volunteers during the show weekend. The team decided to donate this year’s profit to Casa Teresa, which helps women who are pregnant or have children and are facing financial struggles.

Nathan Worden, resident director of Glass Residence Hall and adviser for “The Vagina Monologues” said 379 people attended the show between the three days and $2,883 will be donated to Casa Teresa.

 

Alice Tsui, a senior film production major and cast member Photo by Tori Edgar

Q: What drew you to being a part of this performance?

A: This is actually my second year being in the show, but when I auditioned the first time, I was definitely inspired by seeing the performance the year before. I saw ‘The Vagina Monologues’ for the first time as a sophomore, and it completely moved me to the point where I knew I had to audition the next year. I was lucky enough to get in as a junior, and that experience was wonderful, so I auditioned again this year.

Q: What monologue did you perform?

A: The monologue I performed this year was ‘The Woman Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy.’

Q: What did you learn about yourself from it?

A: I actually identified with my monologue a lot this year. It was out of my comfort zone, and even though I usually love stuff like that, it really pushed me to be comfortable with myself physically. I had a great time performing it.

Gabriella Bruno-Crow, a junior health sciences major and cast member Photo by Tori Edgar

Q: What drew you to being a part of this performance?

A: I saw it my first year at Chapman and I remember watching ‘My Vagina was a Village’ and just being shaken to my core. It was tragic and beautiful, and after the show, I really considered myself a feminist because there are so many things that we as a society don’t talk about that I wanted and needed to talk about, and this show was my first experience of not being afraid to do so.

Q: What monologue did you perform?

A: I actually performed ‘My Vagina was a Village’ which I was both terrified and honored to do, since I knew how much it impacted me as an audience member.

Q: What did you learn about yourself from it?

A: I think I learned that there are ways of being vulnerable that we don’t always consider. Doing that monologue, even practicing it, was draining and heart-wrenching. The first night, I made eye contact with an older couple in the front row during my monologue, and the woman had to break away because she started crying, and the man stayed eyes-locked just bawling and holding his wife’s hand. Words can’t describe how much that affected me.

Sam Crainich, a senior film production major and cast member Photo by Tori Edgar

Q: What drew you to being a part of this performance?

A: I was drawn to ‘The Vagina Monologues’ from the moment I saw it performed my freshman year. I knew that I wanted to be a part of it at some point because it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different facets of womxnhood (The x is used in place of the ‘e’ to avoid the -men suffix in ‘women’, to fight against the patriarchal linguistic standard). As a cast member, you’re able to learn and grow as a group, and we really work on building each other up while telling these wonderful stories.

Q: What monologue did you perform?

A: I performed ‘the Flood’ about a 72-year-old Jewish lady from the Bronx.

Q: What did you learn about yourself from it?

A: My monologue specifically taught me how important it is to be aware of your sexuality and own it. Don’t let others repress who you are and also that your body should never be something you are ashamed of.

Aidan Wood, a junior television writing and production major
and co-director

 

Q: What drew you to being a part of this performance?

A: I was drawn to being a part of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ because the production offered me the chance to grow as an individual, a director and most importantly, a community member.

 

Q: What did you learn about yourself from it?

A: I definitely became more aware of my vagina and the role it plays in my life. Understanding our bodies is critical for developing self-awareness, but it’s often overlooked – particularly parts of our body that are taboo. We need to be intentional, consistent and compassionate in the way we think about our bodies.

 

Andrea Thomas, a senior creative producing major and co-director

Q: What drew you to being a part of this performance?

A: Before I was a creative producing major, I was a theatre major. I had seen the show before and loved the message behind it and the simplistic style of it. I was eager to get back into theater and this was an amazing opportunity that Residence Life offered.

Q: What did you learn about yourself from it?

A: Each one of the stories told in the show are personal experiences and don’t necessarily have to be yours. Be proud of where you are in your journey of discovering your vagina.

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