By Marissa Gugala – 1851 Staff
Lasell held its ninth annual Vagina Monologues performance in Yamawaki auditorium on February 23-24. Sponsored by Peer Health Education and the Counseling Center, the event addressed social stigmas surrounding rape and women’s reproductive systems, while empowering people to redefine their bodies.
The event featured posters bearing phrases such as “Respect my existence or expect my resistance,” “Rise, Resist, Unite,” and “Support your sisters not just cis-ters.” The auditorium was decorated in red and black, as were the cast members. Red and black are the traditional colors of the Vagina Monologues. The cast members also prepared white note cards for the performance to symbolize the idea that these were other people’s stories.
Eve Ensler created the Vagina Monologues in 1994. Skits were written from interviews with various women who shared true stories about female experiences. Topics include sex and reproductive health. Allison Whitcomb, advisor to Peer Health Education and the Vagina Monologues, described its importance saying, “Given the political climate and social climate, just everything that is going on, it seems so relevant and really important.”
All ticket proceeds are donated to charities related to issues the production addresses. Last year’s performance drew in over $1,000. Whitcomb said, “We’d really love of course, to hit that goal or come over it again.” Weather made attendance difficult, but the two-day performance brought in $650.
Ten percent of the profits go to the V-Day foundation and 90 percent to a local charity, this year being the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, greater Boston’s only rape crisis center. It is geared towards ending sexual violence through healing and social change. The V-Day foundation is a global movement to end violence against women. Annual productions of the Vagina Monologues are put on by volunteers and college students through V-Day campaigns. The Vagina Monologues won an Obie Award, an off-Broadway show’s highest honor.
“The play is entirely directed and performed by the students,” said Whitcomb. Preparation began early in the fall. Event auditions and meetings were run by junior Co-Directors Raegan Cleary and Danielle Hogan, who both appeared in the play. Cleary said, “I am very proud of everyone coming together and all of the hard work everyone put into it.”
“Everyone worked on their stuff so individually but it came together so much better than I could have ever hoped for,” Hogan said.