“The Vagina Monologues” puts a spotlight on women’s issues

By Marissa Bean
Arts Editor
Issues of sexual assault and domestic violence are the focus of "The Vagina Monologues." Photo courtesy of Taylor Almeida.
Issues of sexual assault and domestic violence are the focus of “The Vagina Monologues.” Photo courtesy of Taylor Almeida.

An annual spring tradition is returning this year to Bridgewater State University.

Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” is returning to campus in order to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence.

Three performances will be held: two on May 2,  at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and May 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets will cost $5 for BSU students with ID, $6 for faculty and staff, and $8 for the general public. All proceeds will be donated to A New Day in Brockton and Joanna’s Place in Weymouth. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to make a donation to a women’s shelter.

The show is directed by senior Megan Devaney and juniors Kayla Mulvey and Taylor Almeida. All three women have participated in the show previously, and were chosen by the previous directors to direct the show this year.

Auditions were held earlier this year, and every woman that auditioned received a part in the play. Previous acting experience was not needed, and each woman in the cast was assigned a part based on their strengths.

There were many difficulties with finding a sponsor for the show this year, since “not a lot of people are willing to sponsor such an abrasive play,” Mulvey said.

All three directors cited the help of Colleen Rua of the Theater Department in getting the show off the ground.

Despite the difficulties, the directors want to provide the best show possible, and they thoroughly enjoy working together.

“I’m [directing] with two really awesome girls,” Mulvey said. “We work really well together and we get a lot done. I feel like we’re trying to pave the way for the next girls that are directing.”

Sexual assault and domestic abuse are two main themes of the play.

“I have a monologue that I share with two other castmates, and it’s about domestic abuse,” said Lexie Heusser, a junior performing in the play. “So it’s one of the sadder monologues, but it’s very eye-opening. I think it really shows exactly what a woman goes through. A lot of people don’t understand that choice is taken away and a lot of people think, ‘oh, why don’t you just leave?’ Well, it’s not that simple as that. The show really helps show that sometimes the easiest choice is not that easy and clear.”

Other monologues describe the past experiences of a woman. “I play a six-year-old girl in one of the monologues I’m doing. Another one of them is a memory of sorts where it goes back into one of the events in this homeless woman’s life before she becomes homeless,” said Alyssa Delude, a sophomore who performs the monologue with five other women.

Many of the monologues center around the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence, but not all of them are dark.

“It’s like a roller coaster of emotions,” Almeida said. “With one monologue you’ll be ready to cry and the next one you’ll be laughing. I think they put the monologues in a really good order. There’s happy, informational, angry, sad, and I think they work really well together.”

The directors hope that those that attend will learn something from the play.

“I want them [the audience] to respect one another, to respect women specifically,” Devaney said. “To become more aware of the problem that still exists today…As a woman I believe that gender equality is not where it should be right now, so any little thing we can do to help that makes me feel good.”

Almeida said, “I really want people to learn to respect their own bodies along with other people’s bodies. I’d love for men to come to the show and know how women feel about their own bodies, how they deserve to treated, and women need to know how to treat themselves and how to respect themselves, too.”

The message of the play is stressed by everyone involved.

“The whole point of it is to raise money,” Mulvey said. “In the end that’s the only reason we’re doing it: to raise money for women. Yes, it’s fun to perform on stage. Yes, it’s stressful to direct a show…We want people to hear the stories of these monologues.”

Marissa Bean is the Arts Editor of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter @MarLaur16.

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