By Ama Debrah
This weekend Columbia University V-Day is presenting the annual Vagina Monologues. All the proceeds go to Girls for Gender Equity, which works to improve the psychologically and economic improvement of women by providing opportunities for women through education, organizing, and physical fitness. Last night, February 17th, I attended the opening performance.
The performance opened with an original monologue by members of Girls for Gender Equity. Another aspect that made this performance stand out was the way in which Director Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood used the presence of all the cast members in almost every monologue. During some monologues, the cast members were present on stage as if watching the performer at a poetry café, while in The Vagina Workshop, the cast members remained on stage with yoga mats and participated in the class along with the performer.
Though at times humorous and satirical, the Vagina Monologues also deals with very serious issues of domestic violence, rape, and genital mutilation. It’s a testament to the skill of the talented women involved in the production to be able to convey light-hearted, sensual monologue while also performing extremely emotional and difficult to hear scenes, sometimes all within the same monologue.
Along with favorite monologues, for example, the empowering and brutally-honest My Angry Vagina or the hilarious The Woman Who Loved Vaginas, the performance also featured two originally student-written works, Ode to Eve and Juarez, which were just as poignant and powerful as the established monologues.
Ama is a sophomore at Barnard and Food Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Image Courtesy of Columbia University Vagina Monologues.