By Krista DeJulio – Co-Editor-in-Chief
Staged every February at Lasell and across the world, “The Vagina Monologues” was originally written and premiered in 1996 in New York City. The playwright of the show, Eve Ensler, also created the global campaign known as V-Day, to raise awareness of violence against women. Interviewing more than 200 women, Ensler has wrote monologues on femininity, sex, love, birth, and various names for vagina.
Seniors Tessa Dinnie and Haleigh West are this year’s co-directors and have been involved since their sophomore year. The two are also part of Peer Health Education, the club on campus that supports “The Vagina Monologues” each year, as well as the Counseling Center. They call the show their “passion project.”
In your own words, what is “The Vagina Monologues?”
Tessa Dinnie: A vagina monologue is a story or an anecdote of a women’s relationship with being a woman, her sexuality, her experiences, and they’re all very unique because no woman has the same vagina.
Why is this important to each of you?
Haleigh West: “The Vagina Monologues” is about every woman embracing her own story. The more we talk about [vaginas] the less people will be ashamed to talk about [vaginas].
TD: I got involved to promote something I’m passionate about. It’s a love child of ours.
What do you want the audience to leave the show thinking or feeling about?
TD: I think I want the audience to leave feeling empowered or aware. I had a friend last year who came who didn’t know what the show was about and she wasn’t prepared to be bombarded with “pussies” and “vaginas” and “cunts.” She understood why the show was done after. I think more people need to be open about having a vagina, and loving vaginas, whether you’re a man or a woman.
Why do you think it should be important to an audience member?
HW: The show just shows so many walks of life. There’s [a new monologue] added every year based on what’s going on in the world. It just brings up a lot of different issues. Issues people don’t usually think about. You’re going to both laugh and cry.
What’s your favorite memory from “The Vagina Monologues?”
TD: Last year I did “Reclaiming Cunt” and I got onstage and I wore this little short dress and I look down and the first row is entirely made up of people from Lasell Village, just gazing up and I said, “cunt.” And I’m just yelling the word “cunt” at a bunch of old people.
This year’s “Vagina Monologues” will take place in Yamawaki Auditorium on Friday, February 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. The show’s admission is $5, which will be donated to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.