By Molly Ashline, Staff Writer
It is not often that one can walk into a dark theater on a chilly night in Greensboro and hear the words “vagina” and “cunt” repeated hundreds of times, but that’s what the Vagina Monologues are about.
This tradition of saying semi-taboo words reached its fifth year with the completion of a three-night vagina fest last week, running from Feb. 12-14. The show was held in the Stephen D. Hyers Studio Theater in the Greensboro Cultural Center and was directed by Cheryl Edson.
The performances are based on the monologues Eve Ensler derived from interviews with over 200 women on the subject of vaginas. Eighteen Greensboro-area women performed the monologues this year.
The Vagina Monologues are more than just saying specific words. In Greensboro, they are a part of V-Day. According to Edson, V-Day is “a global movement throughout the world.” V-Day works to end violence against women and the proceeds from the Vagina Monologues will benefit the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation.
‘’To prevent and stop domestic violence by offering preventative tools and by bringing awareness to the community on a state and local level,” reads the foundation’s mission statement.
The ability for the Vagina Monologues to exist in and give back to Greensboro relies on the interest of the performers.
Devon Currie, the organizer of this year’s show, said, “We have several women who have done it every year that we’ve done it, and every year we get new folks to come out and take part.”
Though the show is not offensive, it is meant to be provocative, and despite the enthusiastic interest of many, Currie did allude to some indirect protest.
“We had to go back some places that we tried to publicize, and our poster will be down over and over,” she said.
Currie also mentioned that the Greensboro Cultural Center is the third venue V-day has used for the Vagina Monologues. Previous venues were Open Space Café Theater and Glenwood Coffee and Books. Like the venues, the monologues in the show also change.
The Vagina Monologues represent a large spectrum of women’s experiences with their vaginas. While there are many light and funny topics that involve tampons and moaning, others represent extremely serious topics like rape and shame.
One monologue that appears in Eve Ensler’s original show is based on the struggle of Bosnian refugees. Tiffany Nicole Luard and LaQuinta Sanchez gave a haunted performance of the monologue entitled, “My Vagina was My Village.”
They played dichotomous roles of carefree village girl and distant refugee, and the rape and abuse the girl faced is slowly revealed throughout the monologue. By the end, most of the audience was on the brink of tears.
Another monologue also brought the audience to tears but from laughter rather than sadness.
Alice Mitchell moaned her way to greatness with the monologue “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy.”
This particular monologue was about a sex worker whose only clients were women and who is obsessed with the different moans women make.
All the monologues are meant to emphasize that vaginas are apart of women, trans, cis, or otherwise. They are meant to empower and console women in a quasi-Sisterhood of the Traveling Vaginas.
“My Short Skirt” was one monologue that resounds with arguments surrounding sexual violence on college campuses. With a swing of her hips, Ellen D. Leverette proclaimed, “My short skirt and everything under it is mine.”
The last performance included the entire cast and was called “My Revolution Begins in the Body.” The cast stated proclamations of strength, progress, beauty, and vision for the future.