The Student Feminist Organization invited women to audition for “The Vagina Monologues” Tuesday. Graduate student Stacy Ward, head of the organization at Fort Hays State University, is in charge of the event. According to Ward, the monologues are widely misunderstood by the public, mostly due to the title.
“People don’t really look into what it’s about or what it’s for,” Ward said.
“It’s about raising awareness about domestic violence and women’s issues in general.”
The play is a collection of monologues in which women tell personal stories about important moments or turning points in their lives.
The author of “The Vagina Monologues,” Eve Ensler, based the stories on interviews she conducted with a variety of women about their experiences, and about their vaginas. The characters to be portrayed in the play come from all walks of life, from a 75 year old virgin to a dominatrix who specializes in pleasing women.
Aside from the monologues, the performance contains some quick-fire question-and-answer sections in which the characters answer such questions as “if your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?”
Ward explained that the main emphasis of the performance is “to get lots of women working together.”
The performance of the monologues, which will take place in February 2009, is part of a nationwide “V-Day Movement,” which began with “Words of Choice.”
Ensler is the originator of the V-Day movement, which officially began in 1998 with a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” featuring many famous actresses, including Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg. As part of V-Day at FHSU, Ward plans to set up many other events to raise awareness about women’s issues in addition to the performance of the monologues.
“It’s a great cause for women,” Ward said.
“The Vagina Monologues” ran into some trouble at FHSU in the past. Many individuals protested against the performance in March of 2006.
“There may be some opposition this time,” Ward said, “and we are prepared for that.”
Despite the objections the last performance received, Ward hopes that the show in February will help raise consciousness about women’s rights in the FHSU community.
“A lot of people came to the last performance,” Ward said, “and people realized it was a good thing to have here in Hays.”
The auditions themselves were not structured like a normal play audition. A small group of interested individuals, both men and women, gathered in Cody Commons to discuss the play and ideas for the performance. The women interested in acting in the play were able to read the script and choose which monologue they would like to perform. At the moment, the women who have chosen roles will work mostly independently until the next meeting is scheduled.