As part of the international V-Day movement, students will stage three performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” noted playwright Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play about the female experience, in Old Chapel this weekend.
The shows are Feb. 17at 6 p.m., and Feb. 18 at noon and 2 p.m. They are co-directed by Angie DeDona ’19, Dalila Haden ’19, both board members of Women’s Union, and Cassandra Padilla ’17.
Tickets, at $5 apiece, will be sold throughout the week in Reamer Campus Center.
Ensler’s 1996 work launched the global non-profit V-Day movement, which has raised more than $100 million to end sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. Activists in schools, communities and youth groups around the world present benefit events throughout February. The play also supports the global One Billion Rising movement that is demanding an end to violence against women and children. According to the campaign, one in three women alive today – or one billion women – will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.
All proceeds from the Union performances will be donated to Girls Inc., a Schenectady organization that inspires girls to be “strong, smart and bold.”
“I am in love with the Vagina Monologues,” says DeDona, who remembers the confidence, liberation and empowerment she felt when performing it for the first time last year. “It is truly a transformative experience because you connect with your mind, your body, and just own it. There is no shame allowed on that stage. Every word demands time, practice and respect because you are delivering such an important message.”
This year, as co-director, she worked hard to assemble cast members who would bond as “comrades in this fight for inclusive gender equality. Each actress was chosen with such care and deliberation for each monologue that I know the play is going to be incredible.”
Hannah Ellen ’19 will perform the episode titled "I Was There in the Room," which chronicles Ensler’s personal experience of her granddaughter’s birth.
“This piece beautifully demonstrates the admiration of female power as well as the emotions, love, and pain that go into creation,” says Ellen.
Other performers, most of them active in Women’s Union, include: Emily Alston ’19, Emily Andrews ’20, Suleydi Betancourt ’19, Christie Dionisos ’19, Christina Dykas ’18, Victoria Grandel ’19, Christa Guerrier ’19, Brianna Gutierrez ’17, Gillian Henry ’17, Emily Hiller '18, Ariella Honig ’17, Audrey Hunt ’17, Rebecca Lippitt ’19, Iseinie Mendez ’17, Rachel Meyers ’19, Erin Molloy ’20, Ademilola Oyetuga ’20, Vaishally Shah ’20, Gillian Singer ’19 and Shreya Srivastava ’20.