About a dozen Wilson College students will perform in “The Vagina Monologues” on Fri, March 7 at 7 p.m. and Sat, March 8 at noon in Thompson Hall. The event will raise awareness of violence against women and will touch on “taboo” topics such as sex and female genital anatomy.
The production is based on Eve Ensler’s book The Vagina Monologues. Ensler interviewed a diverse group of women about their experiences with their bodies and sexualities. She wanted to give women an outlet to discuss these subjects, so her interviews evolved into a book, which later evolved into a set of monologues.
Director Heather Humwood ’14 and co-director Jordan cox ’16 organized the performance as a way of ensuring that Wilson remains a women-centered institution, despite the school’s decision to become co-educational. “The Vagina Monologues” are a catalyst for an open and public discussion of a broad range of issues effecting women. Humwood thinks that the production is especially important for Wilson students due to the lack of racial and gender diversity on campus and she hopes the production will be eye opening for students.
“I wanted to bring something interesting to campus,” said Humwood. “It’s not a me thing, it’s a Wilson thing.”
To make her vision a reality, Humwood contacted the Women’s Study Advisor Group and Asst. Prof of Biology Laura Altfeld, who offered to fill in as the advisor for the play.
“This event is important given the content of the monologues, as related to aspects of the feminine experience,.” said Altfeld.
Humwood hopes that the involvement of the Women’s Studies Advisor Group involved will increase the chance that “The Vagina Monologues” production will continue after she graduates.
Humwood and Cox put up flyers last semester to gauge potential interest in the play. Most students expressed enthusiasm about the possibility of the event. Some students, however, have defaced the flyers or posted handwritten notes expressing their disapproval of the event.
“I believe it was done out of ignorance,” said Humwood. “I don’t think they truly know what ‘The Vagina Monologue’s are about.”
A diverse group of students will perform in “The Vagina Monologues.” Two Women With Children (WWC) students, two international teaching assistants, and an Adult Degree student will all perform in the event this weekend.
“I am really excited and anxious,” said Angelica MontoyAvila. “It is not hard for me to talk about this topic. But it is difficult to make contact with the audience and to remember my lines.”
Jennifer Gipe ’15 added, “It’s funny because some of the parts are matched pretty well with the people that are in it which makes it more fun.”
Humwood and Cox made the production as low-stress as possible for the performers. Performers do not have to memorize scripts, and they can pick their wardrobe for the event from their own closets.
Non-involved students are also expressed excitement about the production underway.
“It’s really cool to have something called ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and for it to support women both in a comical way and a serious way,” said Sarah Wain ’17. She added, “I would have loved to have been a part of it-but maybe next year.”
Tickets cost $3 for Wilson students and $5 for community members. The money will be donated to Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit organization that benefits women in Chambersburg as well as the V Day organization, which helps women across the world.
Contact Heather Humwood at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.