Spectrum Theater presents 'The Vagina Monologues'
Student cast comes together to address women’s issues
Spectrum Theater presented The Vagina Monologues this weekend, in a whirlwind production just four weeks in the making. Director Victoria Ford, a third-year College student, and assistant director Elizabeth Ballou, a second-year College student, developed the production, which featured 12 different monologues, offering a comedic take on a host of issues women face today.
Originally written by Eve Ensler in 1996, The Vagina Monologues is performed at universities across the country around Valentine’s Day. This year, Spectrum’s production included a male cast member, a first in the organization’s history of producing the show at the University.
As the first male member of the cast, first-year College student Brian Walter played a transgender person, adding a fresh spin to the canon of monologues.
“It’s been really cool to have a whole spectrum of people with different backgrounds, different everything,” Walter said. “I think [the diversity has] really added to what [the show has] become.”
The cast featured large variety of acting backgrounds. Some actors had participated in the Vagina Monologues for four years, while others had been involved with different acting groups, and one actor had never been on stage before.
“What we’ve tried to do this year is make it more of a group ensemble feel,” Ford said. “We’ve turned a few of the monologues into group dialogues, and expanded upon that, and really just have a presence of everyone being on stage at once.”
Third-year College student Audrey Ogendi played the “angry vagina.” She pointed out the negative stigma many people associate with the word “vagina”.
“The vagina is like the heart,” Ogendi said. “The vagina takes full sacrifice and so can the heart. The vagina can let people in and out — so can the heart. People say that it’s a bad word, but no, it’s not.”
The cast members depicted a variety of different types of women. Monologues from the perspectives of old women, young women, black women, lesbian women and more were included.
“Each monologue mentions a vagina and [the show] is about vaginas, but it’s actually just about women and the vagina is really just a vehicle to discuss women’s issues,” Ford said.
Ford said the event is an important opportunity for opening up a dialogue about women’s issues, both among women and across genders.
“It’s just something that really needs to be happening, especially in a college environment during the heat of rush when those sort of issues could be happening,” Ford said. “Until the problems go away in our society with relation to women, we need to have this show every year.”