April 2, 2014 —
Vagina. There’s something about that word. People struggle to say it and often try to mask an unfavorable reaction when hearing it. Others will laugh and make jokes or sometimes even add a lewd remark. In any case, the word vagina grabs your attention. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Eve Ensler chose the title The Vagina Monologues for her play. This year will mark the third performance of The Vagina Monologues at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
The Vagina Monologues is based on two-hundred interviews conducted by Eve Ensler. The first performance was given off Broadway in 1996 and Eve Ensler performed her piece for HBO in 1998. Since then, The Vagina Monologues has blossomed into a key element in VDay, an international effort to raise awareness and provide funding to various women’s anti-violence groups. Last year there were over 10,000 productions of The Vagina Monologues presented across the globe by community groups and colleges, even in countries where the oppression of women is substantial.
The content may be easy to guess from the title, but what is not so obvious is the range of emotions experienced during the production. You will laugh at some of the ludicrously “over the top” pieces presented and moments later, your heart will sink and your stomach will knot when you hear the horrors told in some of the women’s stories. One monologue asks the question, “If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?” while another tells the tale of systematic rapes committed during the Bosnian War. What is important to remember is the stories told on the stage are non-fiction, the words were spoken by real women, and the atrocities recounted happened to real women; women much like those in your families and communities. Violence against women is not defined by race, creed, or socio-economic class. It happens across the board.
The cast must be female and performers in FM’s production range from eighteen to sixty-plus years of age, including faculty, staff and students from the College performing side by side with members of our community. It’s a great opportunity for the College and community to come together and make a difference. Together, we raise awareness as well as financial support. For all involved in the production, both on stage and behind the scenes, it is a labor of love.
All proceeds from FM’s production of The Vagina Monologues go to help victims of domestic violence and abuse. The two annual benefactors are The Family Counseling Center of Fulton County and Montgomery County Domestic Violence & Crime Victim Services. In addition to ticket sales, the show includes an auction of numerous items generously donated by local businesses and artisans. The first year raised approximately $4000.
The date for this year’s show is Saturday, April 12. There will be a 2:00 p.m. matinee and a 7:00 p.m. evening performance in the College’s theatre. If you have never seen a production of The Vagina Monologues, this is your opportunity. For more information, please follow us on Facebook “The Vagina Monologues at FM” or contact the organizer at VDayFM@gmail.com.
Sonnet Gravina is a Math Instructor and the Director/Producer of FM’s Vagina Monologues.