Cast, audience enjoy Vagina Monologues

Proceeds from production fund relief effort in New Orleans

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Scence from Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues are frequently thought of as feminist rants. Contrary to this view, the V-Day campaign and the monologues themselves are dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating femininity.

Performed this past weekend, The Vagina Monologues were a force to be reckoned with. Despite a decrease in publicity this year, the show was performed to a nearly full McKellar Room, in conjunction with A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer, which was created specifically for the 10-year anniversary of the V-Day campaign. The show this year featured the customary monologues and new optional monologues.

A celebration of womanhood, the monologues covered topics such as short skirts, the use of the word “cunt” and the wonders of vaginal exploration.

The cast was ethnically diverse, and the performers’ enjoyment was evident in their delivery and body language. “The Flood” was extremely effective at engaging the audience; it was inspiring, touching and humorous. Although some performers had problems remembering lines, the ad-lib only improved the personal feeling of the monologue delivery.

Despite the great attempt at maintaining the original messages of each monologue, the humour was occasionally lost in the lines. Some performances, such as “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” managed to combat this with the performer’s talent at faking a vagina’s moans. Indeed, the performance reminded many members of the audience of Meg Ryan’s famous coffee shop fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally and inspired roaring laughter in the auditorium.

“I’ll have all of what she’s having,” one audience member said during the show.

This year the V-Day campaign donated its proceeds to the New Orleans relief effort, so a monologue about New Orleans was performed, entitled “New Orleans is the Vagina of America.” This same monologue was performed by a male in the afternoon’s A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer, however the evening’s rendition was more angry and heartfelt. Its placement and presentation were well thought out.

Sadly, performances were marred by lighting and sound problems, sometimes losing a mic for entire monologues. Although these problems were noticeable, they did not affect the cast or the performance dramatically. Even with some members of the audience behaving in an obnoxious manner, the majority of the audience greatly enjoyed the performance " as did the actors. Involving the audience was a clear objective, with Amber Moyle demanding the crowd reclaim the word “cunt” by screaming it out together.

The closing act of the play, a rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Revolution” was performed by a male guitarist and a female singer; the first time a man has appeared onstage during The Vagina Monologues at Western. The song was valiantly sung, although it might have been more effective as a spoken-word poem to the music, as some of the lyrics were lost.

This year, The Vagina Monologues celebrated the spirit of womanhood as only it can, and every woman left feeling more proud of her vagina than ever. Producer Sarah Scanlon perhaps said it best: “We are all vagina warriors.”

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