February 19, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 78  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

THEATRE REVIEW

The Vagina Monologues
Starring: Ensemble cast
Produced by: Kelly Wilson

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

The lineup for Western’s production of The Vagina Monologues filled a good portion of the University Community Centre’s second floor, and a volunteer dressed as a giant vagina was selling “pussy pops.”

The show — whose proceeds went to the Women’s Community House, a safe house for abused women and children in London — filled The Wave.

The play was a version of Eve Ensler’s well known work, which was written after Ensler interviewed many females about their vaginas. The play has sparked the V-Day mission, a movement bringing awareness to and calling for an end to violence against women. This year’s play was produced by Kelly Wilson, with stage direction by Mandy Alves.

The show consisted of a number of monologues telling stories about vaginas and “vagina warriors,” ranging from light pieces divulging all the different terms women use to refer to their private parts (including coochie snoocher) to more difficult pieces about women dealing with abuse.

Then there was the loudest monologue of all, entitled “Reclaiming Cunt.” As the monologue progressed, cast members crept into the audience to enhance the finale: a loud, repeated statement of the word in question.

One monologue had the audience overtaken with laughter, when the character discussed the different kinds of moans that emanate from different women during sex. The speaker acted each one out, including the “wasp moan,” which consisted of silence.

Others left the audience in silence. Monologues such as Islamabad, Baghdad and Juarez recounted horrific tales of abuse, bringing the V-Day focus into light.

A second recipient of the show’s proceeds was Amnesty International, who along with V-Day organizers, plans to lobby the Mexican government to find and bring to justice the perpetrators behind the disappearance of 300 women from Juarez, Mexico in the last decade. Some of the women were found dead in ditches, having been raped and mutilated, and no one has yet been prosecuted. This situation was the focus of one of the monologues.

The show engaged the audience, drawing them into absorbing anecdotes, tickling them with laughter and also making them aware of some terrible examples of violence against women.

As well as being enjoyable and drawing the audience into the experience of the play, the show was also very challenging. It is easier to believe violence such as that in Juarez, Mexico does not exist today. The play took everyone out of their comfort zone by broaching the taboo subject of vaginas, and then made them aware of the persisting problem of violence in our world.

 

 

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