Benefit will raise more than cash

By
February 27, 2003

While channel surfing the television, I came upon an image of a woman with short black hair sitting on a stool. She was faking an orgasm on stage. To my embarrassment and surprise this woman was talking about vaginas. I couldn’t help but stay transfixed on the program. I quickly changed the channel, when my boyfriend popped his head in the room and said, “What are you watching?”-the show was “The Vagina Monologues” and the woman was Eve Ensler, the mastermind behind the play.

Although there is no Ms. Ensler, 15 Mills College students, will be performing V-Day’s, version of “The Vagina Monologues” this Friday in the student union.

V-Day, a non-profit organization, invites colleges and universities around the world to present benefit productions of “TheVagina Monologues” on their campuses to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls.

100 percent of all ticket sales and merchandise will go to A Safe Place, a non-profit organization in Oakland dedicated to stopping violence against women said producer Sara Dawn Patt.

“We did a search for domestic violence shelters in Oakland [A Safe Place] was the only one,” she said.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a series of performed monologues, about women’s stories of intimacy, vulnerability and sexual self-discovery.

Eve Ensler’s Obie Award-winning play gives voice to women’s deepest fantasies and fears, guaranteeing that no one who reads it will ever look at a woman’s body, or think of sex, in quite the same way again.

The production is student run and each monologue is a reading presented by an individual student.

“I am happy to express this monologue,” said actress Olivia Mora.

Mora’s monologue, ‘Hair,’ is about women who shave themselves to please men sexually.

“If you love the vagina, than you have to love the whole thing,” said Mora.

Other monologues include, ‘My Angry Vagina,’ performed by Erin Mandeson. She said it felt like she was born to play the part because she feels it is necessary to reaffirm a positive body image.

“We are made to feel like it’s dirty and we carry it around. Penises aren’t dirty,” said Mandeson, “The vagina is underrepresented.”

“It raises consciousness on the vagina…people don’t talk about it in our society,” said Patt.

Director Maryssa Wanlass said they will be performing the V-Day recommended stage reading but she will be adding her own twist to the style of the production. “It’s fun, upbeat and campy,” said Wanlass.

Wanlass’s twist to the style of the show will include all pink outfits and performers in drag, said assistant director Lauren White. When choosing actresses for the monologues, Wanlass said she was looking for numerous characteristics.

“We choose on acting experience, personality and what they could bring to the show,” said Wanlass.

“There is a wide range of experience which makes it more interesting,” said Patt.

“The Vagina Monologues” will run Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at 8 p.m. in the student union.


Benefit will raise more than cash was published on February 27, 2003 in Arts & Entertainment

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