Westfield State presents annual production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’
Westfield State University students and faculty members will perform “The Vagina Monologues” on Thursday, February 11, Friday, February 12, and Saturday, February 13 on Dever Stage. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on February 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 13.
“The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play made up of varying numbers of monologues read by women. The monologues cover a range of topics including women's sexuality, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender (LGBQT) experience, domestic and systematic abuse against women, women's health, as well as how women are viewed and interacted with on a societal level.
The performances are scheduled annually around V-Day, a movement to end violence against women and girls, held on February 14. This year’s production is directed by Lily Gates ’16 of Fall River, Mass. (senior director) and Samantha Geissler ’17 of Enfield, Conn. (junior director).
Gates said that “The Vagina Monologues” creates an array of emotional responses for audience members. “It will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly think,” Gates said. “It's an unexplainable experience.”
Each year there is a different spotlight monologue. For 2016, it is “My Revolution Begins in the Body," which addresses violence against women. Geissler said this monologue in particular has a strong message.
“It shows that we as women are not going to tolerate this violence that we endure and that we will rise above,” Geissler said. “Nothing is going to stop us, which is a message that every girl should hear.” Though the play was originally written in the mid 90’s, Geissler said that the messaging remains relevant.
Faculty advisor Hillary Sackett, assistant professor of economics and business management, said the play highlights the true meaning of feminism.
“Modern day feminism (third wave) celebrates much more than female empowerment, taking on issues such as LGBTQ rights, institutional racism, classism, and colonization,” Sackett said. “Modern day feminists recognize that all forms of oppression are linked and cannot be uprooted in isolation. Thus, I believe ‘third wave feminism’ to be a truly inclusive movement, expanding the boundaries of the feminism of our mothers and grandmothers while challenging mainstream power and privilege of dominant groups.”
Dever Stage is located in Parenzo Hall. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission. Baked goods will be sold and there will be a raffle. The proceeds from the show will be donated to the YWCA Westfield New Beginnings program, which provides shelter, counseling, and advocacy for women and children who have been victims of violence or abuse.