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Vagina opens up to the Western audience
By Megan O'Toole
The word "vagina" has a notorious reputation for making people
uncomfortable, but Western is going to face it head-on this weekend.
As part of the Valentine's Day 2002 College Campaign, the Women's Issues
Network is sponsoring a benefit production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina
Monologues. The show is entirely performed and directed by Western
"People can't even say the word 'vagina,'" said Nicole Nelson, Women's
Issues Network co-ordinator and co-producer of the show. "The most
important thing is just for people to talk about it – to let everything
out, the good, the bad and the ugly."
She added that though the student-directed cast is all female, men are
encouraged to attend the performance as well.
Cast member Umbereen Inayet said the show promises to be empowering. While
the 23 monologues are quite simple, they nonetheless manage to address
many important issues, she said.
"[The show] pushes limits," Inayet said. "The setting will be interactive
and we encourage audience feedback."
According to Spoke manager Andrew Mes, this is the first time The Spoke
has hosted a production of this type. "We're all excited about having the
production here and it's nice that we are getting the opportunity," he
"Something like [The Vagina Monologues] always carries a bit of
controversy," Mes said, adding in the future The Spoke would be pleased to
host a similar production.
Primarily focused on the celebration of female sexuality, The Vagina
Monologues is creating a great deal of interest among students on campus,
"We have had a huge, overwhelming response so far – a lot of people came
out to audition. People are loving the idea," she added.
"It's so frank in dealing with sexual matters," said first-year social
science student Brendan Derry, adding that while the show doesn't make him
uncomfortable as a male student, it's not a show he would rush to see.
"It doesn't sound especially exciting or enticing," he said.
Nelson said she hopes the audience will leave the show with an increased
understanding of female sexuality. "This is a show that's open to
everyone," Nelson said. "It is a show that is both accessible and
The Vagina Monologues will be performed at The Spoke tomorrow at 2 p.m.
and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m..