Local vaginas speak out against violence

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“We were worried about our vaginas.”

This introduced Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, a selection of women’s testimonies on everything from “cooches” to childbirth. Ensler’s interview questions " like “If your vagina could talk, what would it say?” " result in humorous and moving renditions of women’s voices and views on “down there.”

Topics range from a 70-year-old woman talking about her “cellar” to teenage girls discussing menstruation. Exceptional monologues included Fayola Jacobs as a skeptical member of a “Vagina workshop,” and Amanda D’Uva’s different orgasmic moans.

Inspired by the phrase “love your tree” from Ensler’s new book The Good Body, director Lauri East captured natural themes of growing and roots for the setting and costumes. The word “vagina” was printed in various languages on the actress’ T-shirts. “Vagina facts” about rape and abuse between monologues added a realistic and often disturbing introduction to the women’s stories.

East delivered a moving speech on this year’s spotlight campaign, raising awareness of sexual violence in war and conflict zones. She talked about the importance of education and the difference speaking out can make to end violence.

Although incredibly funny at times, the show was based on one serious issue: violence against women. All proceeds went toward local groups, including the Women’s Community House and the London Sexual Assault Centre.

The President’s Committee on the Safety of Women on Campus has cut funding for next year’s show. The V-Day Exec and Monologue cast have started a petition to regain funding.

Producer Danielle Tegart believes the V-Day Campaign “is about empowering yourself from within. This movement needs to grow and continue.

“The committee needs to be involved. They are stating that they don’t want to be in a growing campaign to end violence,” Tegart said.

The possibility of no play next year is disappointing for those emotionally and physically involved in women’s issues. Tegart suggested signing the petition and contacting the committee to take back a show responsible for raising $20,000 for local groups and women’s networks across London, encouraging the V-Day mandate of “Reclaiming Peace.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette