by Kiana Contreras
I have to admit, I saw the benefits of The Vagina Monologues working even before the show debuted. It got people to say the word VAGINA without wincing, squirming, or laughing.
The play itself was nothing short of complete entertainment. I laughed, I winced, I squirmed, I contemplated, I cheered, I learned, but mostly, I laughed. The cast and crew of The Vagina Monologues produced a work of art, with just enough of its own flare to be a unique representation of an internationally performed show.
The cast was composed of women from all 5 Claremont Colleges, and even a surrounding community member. These actresses told the stories of some of the hundreds of women interviewed about their vaginas by the creator, Eve Ensler. With such a diverse cast, and such amazingly diverse narratives, I’m sure every audience member left with at least one personally relatable episode.
The Vagina Monologues boldly covered all topics vagina-related: hair, anatomy, pleasure, birth, pain, anger, naming, joy and self-discovery. There were plenty of on-stage orgasms, even some 5c specific ones, which if you ask me, were a standout within the play. The joke played on the stereotypes of each college, Pitzer’s came out to be “Divest me!!” and each received a roar of audience approval. There were also plenty of painful, sobering moments that made me grateful for the safe and supportive environment I find myself in as a woman. “My Vagina Was My Village,” a monologue about the thousands of rapes in Bosnia as a war tactic, silenced the audience with its power and fragility.
I also appreciated the producers and directors effort to recognize the gender binaries associated with The Vagina Monologues. Regardless of preferred gender pronouns however, I think the show is a must-see for everyone, for love of the vagina, the body, and freedom. The main message I took away from the play was exactly that. This is not to say that I felt imprisoned by the fact that I have a vagina. What I mean is that The Vagina Monologues have started a dialogue, freed women and men and ze’s and they’s and everyone, to actually talk about themselves, what makes them feel good or bad and the issues surrounding these topics.
The proceeds from the Claremont Colleges production of The Vagina Monologues supports the House of Ruth, a local organization dedicated to helping women and children whose lives are in danger. Knowing my small contribution went toward such an important issue, as well as opening dialogue on the 5C’s and around the world, made The Vagina Monologues that much more meaningful.
I was proud to get up from my seat and applaud The Vagina Monologues as part of a unanimous standing ovation.