Volume 95, Issue 76

Friday, February 15, 2002

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"Authentic" restaurant feels cheap and fake

Western gets ready for Purple Shorts

Like a rocket in your Pocket, these Dwellers bring the funk

Vagina opens up to the Western audience

Disc of the Week

Space rock takes flight in London

Rollerball = worst movie ever

Shits and Giggles

Vagina opens up to the Western audience

By Megan O'Toole
Gazette Staff

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 students.

"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 said.

"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, Nelson said.

"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 extremely powerful."

The Vagina Monologues will be performed at The Spoke tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m..

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Copyright The Gazette 2002