By Katharine Grubb
February 23, 2017
Let’s talk about vaginas. I know, what a way to start an article. But despite the countless immature people who have possibly cringed because of that word, this is an important topic that was recently brought to light when LHU’s HOPE Center hosted “The Vagina Monologue,s” a collection of comically awakening and informational short monologues all about vaginas and womanhood. The writer, Eve Ensler, interviewed a wide variety of women in order to create this production, and each year the monologues are updated with new interviews and the exhausted ones are slowly filtered out. The purpose for that is to create progressive representation for all types of vagina stories.
While most published plays require performers to pay a fee for production rights, “The Vagina Monologues” is free for anyone to perform during the month of February, as long as the profits go towards charity. The reason performances are free is because of V-Day, “a global movement and series of consciousness-raising events to end violence against girls and women.” LHU’s performance raised almost $800 for the Clinton County Women’s Center, and $85 to give back to the V-Day organization. Money was raised partially through ticket sales and partially through the sales of popular “pussy pops,” (upper right) candy pops shaped like vaginas. The pussy pops were an absolute hit with most people. They were sold the week before the show at the HOPE Center table in Raub, and at the door the nights of the show along with tickets. There were some that disapproved of the chocolate candy and did not think it should be sold where young children could see it. Alexa Bright, a sophomore social work major who works at the HOPE Center and sold the pussy pops during the week before the show, took to Facebook to confront those who opposed the candy being sold. “People think pussy pops are degrading to women. How? We melted chocolate, put that chocolate into a vagina-shaped mold (which you can get on Etsy) and then sold them to raise money and awareness for our cause. Pussy pops are degrading, but Tr*mp can “grab them by the pussy” and that isn’t? Another thing that boggles my mind is if you are a good swimmer, you can have sex with an unconscious body behind a dumpster and only get six months’ jail time, but of course the real problem is vagina-shaped chocolate on a stick.”
The show in question was incredible, and touched on subjects like sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasms, etc. – It was heavy conversation for those who haven’t dealt with that sort of thing, but relieving for those who have experienced it, and the show was chaptered by comical moments that evened out all the dark and revealing messages that made up a good portion of the show.
The cast was comprised of 11 members, a show produced by women, for women, about women. Included in the cast were Bridget Bachman, Kimberly Bressler, Alexa Bright, Amiyra Brodie, Catherine Brown, Ellora Figured, Meghan Mausteller, Morgan Petrencsik, Diosanny Rivera, Mary Beth Ruggiero and the director of the HOPE Center, Dr. Lisette Schillig. Along with that amazing cast came its supportive and enthusiastic stage crew. Stuart Harsch ran the lights and sound system while also keeping a sharp eye on any phone users in the audience, and the performance was recorded by Deja O’Riordan.
The show was funny and serious at just the right moments, it gave the audience statistics, and the acting was superbly human and vulnerable, despite the lack of complicated props. There’s something impressive to be said about someone who can confidently act without the use of props or set. I truly felt a part of the story, and it was great to see so much representation for vaginas, because they’re not talked about enough.