Point Park Globe

‘The Vagina Monologues’ to be performed on V-Day

Written By Sara Cronin, For The Globe

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Written and composed of various women’s voices and stories from across different ages and cultures, The Vagina Monologues is a play that is being put on this upcoming Friday night and is something that students won’t want to miss.

The Vagina Monologues were written by playwright Eve Ensler, a feminist and activist for women. Ensler’s play seeks to create conversations on topics that are otherwise ignored or uncomfortable, and boldly tells the reality of some women’s lives through monologues that touch on subjects such as sexuality and violence against women.

“Be prepared to laugh and cry and to be on a little bit of a rollercoaster,” Michelle Do, a sophomore screenwriting major, said. Do is performing one of the monologues in the play this Friday.

“I think people are thinking that it’s a raunchy show about vaginas, and that’s not the entire purpose of it because there’s so much more to it,” Do said. “Be prepared for that range of emotions that we’re going to throw at you.”

The monologues the actors will be performing range from being both humorous and funny, to also being awkward and sad. However, the overall purpose of the monologues is to expose the reality of some women’s experiences and situations and to allow people to think and talk about topics that are normally kept in the dark.

“People should expect to hear a lot of emotional stories, but also to learn a lot not only about experiences that they may have gone through, but also experiences from other people in different countries across the world that they may not even realize are happening,” Sara Buchdahl said.

Buchdahl is a freshman theatre arts performance and practices major, and is the co-stage manager of the play.

“I think [people] can expect to laugh and will want to have conversations about really important topics,” Buchdahl said.

Melissa Barnhill, a graduate student who is working toward a doctoral degree in community engagement, applied to receive the script and was able to get the production team together, as well as set up auditions for the play.

“I think art is a great way to activate conversations for social change, and the monologues are perfect for that,” Barnhill said. “I just wanted to be able to bring that to Point Park.”

In applying for Ensler’s script, Barnhill explained that there is an agreement that all of the money that is raised through attendance must be donated to a local women’s organization.

Barnhill presented five local organizations for the cast members to vote on to choose where the donations would go. The organization with the most votes was Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR). PAAR, a local organization that is dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse in the Pittsburgh area, is also active in working to end sexual violence in the community.

“Right now we’re in a weird political time where a lot of nonprofits doing this type of work are not getting funding and so it’s nice [for PAAR] to get a check that’s not grant related and they can do whatever they want with it and it’s there for them to use for whatever they need,” Barnhill said.

It’s also important that attendees know that they are not only attending the show for entertainment, but that their attendance is also going towards a local organization that is making changes in their own community.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to not only come and hear stories of people who have been through hard situations, but to also know that they are making a difference watching the show,” Buchdahl said. “It’s about knowing that their money will be going [to PAAR] and hopefully helping people around Pittsburgh who have dealt with [sexual violence].”

PAAR is not only helping those around the Pittsburgh area, but also students here at Point Park as well.

“I know PAAR is really engaged with Point Park and they do work so closely with a lot of our students,” Barnhill said. “I taught last semester and one of my students had to access their resources and the counselor came to her on campus. I’ve heard only good things about them.”

The cast of the Vagina Monologues is excited to put on the show this upcoming Friday, and is looking forward to initiating conversations and creating a sense of awareness.

“There’s a moment where we’re all going to put on this pink item on each other to create unity among us, and I think the entire show is excited to come together with other strong women and just bring this project to life on stage,” Do said. “It’s really about women, it’s about us, and it’s about our struggles. This [play] is just so powerful and it brings us all together, so I’m really excited to be a part of that sense of unity.”

The Vagina Monologues will be held at the George Rowland White Auditorium, located in the University Center from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday.  All student tickets are $5, including students outside of Point Park and high school students, and can be bought online. Regular admission is $20.

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