Valentine's Day brings the annual performance of the Vagina Monologues on campus.
Instead of heading out for a romantic evening on Saturday, a handful of women have a much more important date – speaking about vaginas.
The Vagina Monologues is an all-female play by Eve Ensler, and will be performed this weekend on campus for Valentine’s Day, or as the performers dub it, V-Day.
Each monologue brings to light a difficulty or a frustration that females have had to deal with in society, said Ellenore Holbrook, co-director of the Vagina Monologues here on campus.
“Some of the monologues range from domestic abuse to the annoyance of shaving your vagina,” Holbrook said. “We don’t usually talk about vaginas and genitalia, and we need to.”
Holbrook said there’s a very close connection between members of the cast, which she attributed to the amount of openness cast members have about theirpersonal lives.
“There was someone at rehearsal who said, ‘I feel like I’ve known you my entire life.’ And I just stood there and said, ‘You’ve only known each other for three days.’ So that’s the kind of impact this (play) can have on someone.”
The play was originally released in the 1990s. However, Ensler has continued to add monologues throughout the years.
“Most of the monologues are written from actual interviews Eve Ensler did with women,” said Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator for the LGBT and Women’s Center. “She added a monologue specific for trans women years ago, so they do change. I think depending on the performance you go to, the group chooses which monologues to perform as well; there is a number you can choose from.”
The deep-seeded link between the play material and its performers forms a lasting connection.
“I participated in the Vagina Monologues myself – I think it was 1998 – and was just phenomenal. It was just one of the best things I ever did,” said Susanne Dietzel, director of the Women’s Center. “So, I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Vagina Monologues.”
This year’s cast had auditions before winter break, and performers were chosen for more than just their acting experience.
“(The auditions) weren’t so much to check your acting ability, but how well you can work in a group,” Holbrook said. “We focus on passion and their commitment to the show and their ability to be cohesive with the cast.”
The ticket sales will be donated to My Sister’s Place, an Athens domestic violence agency.
“I think it’s a great date night,” Dietzel said. “What could be more fun than to listen to a play about vaginas?”