Brutally honest “Vagina Monologues” provides platform for discussion

“The Vagina Monologues,” a play originally written and performed by Eve Ensler, sheds light on something largely ignored by our current society: female sexuality and, more specifically, vaginas. For over a decade, this play has been performed at universities and venues internationally and encourages discussion of the various relationships women have with their bodies. The content is awkward for some but enlightening for all, as these 90 minutes of monologues are the longest time most people have the opportunity to discuss their sexuality. For many, it is also the first time.

“It’s just very real and very raw,” co-director senior Emily Withers said. The blunt dialogue of this play features the word “vagina” more times than people have probably heard in the rest of their life combined.

This poignant production matters because there is “a lot of confusion and ambiguity surrounding women’s bodies,” freshman Jes Heppler said. In this production, she performs the monologue “Reclaiming Cunt.”

The intent of the monologues is to get people talking about topics that could be considered taboo, embarrassing or awkward.

“The most important part of this show is to get people talking,” co-director senior Megan Sassenhausen said.

“I think it really changes some people’s perspective,” Withers added.

The monologues encourage each woman to revolutionize her individual relationship with her body and sexuality and to “get rid of some of that discomfort [with her body] and move forward,” junior Christina Mortellaro said. Mortellaro performs “My Angry Vagina” with senior Julia Antenucci.

The production covers a myriad of topics, from uncomfortable trips to the OB-GYN to the trauma of rape victims of the Bosnian War. An audience member should enter expecting to laugh, cry and, most importantly, think.

The play not only proves that “women are not a homogenous gender,” according to Heppler, but strives to create a common bond among women.

With an incredibly profound and dedicated cast, the performance is truly unique, despite the fact that people perform it around the world every Valentine’s Day weekend.

This is both Withers’ and Sassenhausen’s first time directing “The Vagina Monologues,” and both spoke positively of working with the cast.

“It makes you sexually confident to be involved in something like this,” Withers said.

“As long as it starts a conversation, that’s all we can really ask,” Antenucci added.

“The Vagina Monologues” will run from February 13 to 15 at 8 p.m. in the KnightSpot.