Monologues raise issues

By Sonali Basak


How much do you like the word “vagina”? Can you scream it out on stage?

The women of V-Day Bucknell will perform the Vagina Monologues on campus Feb. 4 and 5. The show begins at 8 p.m. on both nights at Harvey Powers Theater. Tickets will be on sale the week leading up to the performance.

V-Day is a global organization to set out to promote awareness and take action against violence toward women. The production is organized and performed entirely by V-Day Bucknell. This year marks the 10th annual performance of the Vagina Monologues at the University.

The production is pertinent to the campus environment and a global scale at large. National focus on the issue for the past two years has been centered around dilemmas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 2011 campaign against violence focuses primarily on Haiti.

This year’s performance stands apart from other years partly due to changes in character and dialogue to reflect issues in Haiti as well as local issues concerning campus climate.

“The show can open your eyes against violence towards women across the globe, but you can’t walk away and pretend that it’s not about here. These issues don’t only pertain to women 1,000 miles away,” organization coordinator Allison Mayhew ’11 said.

Due to recent issues of sexual assault and violence on campus, the organization hopes that the monologues will resonate amongst members of the campus community. Both Mayhew and show director Caryn Clark ’11 agree that recent campus climate issues make the production not only real, but also personal.

“It’s easy for the audience to understand these women because they are real,” Clark said. “Not all of them have had formal training in theater, but it makes the performance more relaxed and open to interpretation and change each year.”

According to Clark, the women in the show experience a journey, providing the audience with “a transformative experience” in which both the audience and cast learn a lot about themselves and each other.

Mayhew joined V-Day Bucknell after seeing the performance for the first time her first year at the University. “I saw these girls that were outgoing, blunt and moderately vulgar, and I realized, ‘I can talk about vaginas on stage,’” she said. “Since then, I’ve realized how talking about vaginas in such an outward way can be used to reach people and locate deeper societal issues.”

Mayhew and Clark state that the monologues, along with all V-day efforts, address a problem that requires an ongoing dialogue.

“I hope that the show keeps people talking,” Mayhaw said. “It’s not the type of thing where you can snap your fingers and everything will be OK.”

The campus can help the cause by making a donation, buying a tagline in the program and buying a ticket to the show. The organization is also selling t-shirts and flowers. Ninety percent of funds will go to Susquehanna Valley Women in Transition. The remaining 10 percent will go to the National V-Day foundation.

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