"Vagina Monologues" supports movement against domestic violence

Publication Date

In honor of the international V-Day movement, students will once again perform “The Vagina Monologues” by noted playwright Eve Ensler, showing their support for women battling sexual and gender-based violence.

The episodic play, which deals with various aspects of the female experience, is directed by Women’s Union President Helena-Jasmine Sowah ’13. It is entirely student-produced, with performances Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 and 6 p.m.

The performances also will include a video and spotlight monologue by Ensler, created in support of the One Billion Rising movement that is demanding an end to violence against women and children. The global campaign gathered force after the devastating Dec. 16 gang rape in Delhi, India, which drew into sharp focus alarming rates of violence against women worldwide.

According to the campaign, one in three women alive today – or one billion women – will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.

“I’m glad we can put this show on,” said Sowah, who has been involved with “The Vagina Monologues” throughout her time on campus. “This year is critical because of all the unfortunate things that have been happening to women. Anything I can do to help the cause is important.”

Members of the cast are: Maishka Antoine ’16, Kyra DeTone ’16, Rose Dumbrigue ’16, Omneya Ghanem ’16, Melanie Gonzalez ’13, Kylie Gorski ’16, Yisy Grullon ’16 (co-director), Rosiane Lima ’16, Heather Mendinola ’16, Kiana Miller ’16, Lindsey Miller ’16, Maria Ojeda ’16, Sophia Powell ’16, Lauren Resnikoff ’16, Rachel Ross ’16, Jessica Sanford ’16, Cosette Shachnow ’14, Maliha Valliani ’16, Maya Whalen-Kipp ’16 and Olivia Williamson ’16.

The Women’s Union is staffing a table in Reamer Campus Center from noon to 2 p.m. through Friday, Feb. 22, selling $5 tickets to the show as well as T-shirts and lollipops. Proceeds will benefit the WYCA Domestic Violence Shelter in Schenectady.

Since its launch in 1998, the international non-profit V-Day movement has raised more than $75 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues.”

“Being a part of the ‘Vagina Monologues’ is a very enlightening experience,” said Sanford. “The show itself, with its controversial and shockingly upfront language, has given a voice to many women who have remained in silence about their abuse for so long. It’s an honor to take part in such a revolutionary production, even years after its original debut.”

Meanwhile, a number of other events are planned on campus in conjunction with the One Billion Rising movement. They include a “Miss Representation” documentary on the perception of women in power (Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., Davidson Hall); “The World Before Her,” a documentary highlighting the challenges of being female in India (Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Green House); and a Pan Hellenic Council open discussion on sex.

In addition, Amnesty International will sponsor “Speak out Against Gender Violence!” on International Women’s Day (March 8, 12:30-2 p.m., Reamer Campus Center Pit).