The intimate setting of Donovan’s Pub did nothing to deter Colgate students and townspeople alike from viewing this year’s performance of The Vagina Monologues. Colgate’s production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues was shown this past weekend, on Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, February 14 at 2 p.m. Performed annually nationwide around Valentine’s Day, The Vagina Monologues frankly discusses issues of love, insecurity, violence and sexuality regarding women.
The members of this year’s performance sought to highlight the importance of the show while recognizing its many shortcomings. Director of The Vagina Monologues, senior Providence Ryan, explained the necessity for inclusivity in a show discussing serious issues that affect many people.
“It is important for the audience to understand that in many ways, this show is very incomplete. There are many identities that it does not acknowledge, and it exists in a very explicit gender binary. I hope that folks will begin having a conversation about the ways that the show is valuable, but also the ways in which it is very racialized, classed, ableist and binaried,” Ryan said.
The show began with an introduction, delivered by sophomores Kelsie Atwater, Sydni Bond and Dyani Davis. They spoke of the importance of these monologues about vaginas, as this part of the female identity is often wrapped up in secrecy.
Senior Monica Hoh delivered a monologue titled “The Flood,” about an old woman who refrained from sex and relationships for decades due to an embarrassing sexual experience as a teen. The shame she felt for her natural bodily reactions was palpable through Hoh’s performance. Fortunately, the character benefitted from discussing what had happened.
“You got an old lady to talk about this stuff, you feel better? Actually, I’ll tell you the truth. You are the very first person I talked to about any of this stuff. I feel a little better,” Hoh said as her character.
A particularly powerful set of monologues, “They Beat the Girl Out of my Boy,” featured sophomores JuliaPage Joseph, Mariam Nael and Taylor Washing, junior Sharon Nichol and senior Monica Murphy as transgendered females who struggled with their true identities and societal pressures.
“My Vagina Was My Village,” depicted a brutal sexual assault and the impact it left upon one woman. Performed by senior Alanna Ticali and junior Hailey Biscow, audience members learned of the contrast between this woman’s life before and after a gang rape. Their positive and negative monologues intertwined at the end, displaying irreversible damage.
“They invaded it. Butchered it and burned it down. I do not touch now. Do not visit. I live someplace else now. I don’t know where that is,” Biscow and Ticali said in their monologue.
Sophomore Anika Rutah delivered a monologue that epitomized the show. Entitled “My Revolution Begins in the Body,” her character spoke of not needing permission to do anything. This declaration rounded out the show. Following the performance, the entire core cast came together to thank the audience and director. Ryan was extremely thankful for the experience.
“The most challenging part about directing was definitely the artistic aspect of things. It’s a realm I’ve never delved into before. But luckily for me, I got to work with an amazing core team of women who are all so talented in a vast variety of ways,” Ryan said.
The core team consisted of students Sahara Zamunio, Dayna Cambell, Grace Thomas. Nicole Jackson, Victoria Taratino, Samantha Hom and Charity Whyte.
Donations for this show went to Victims of Violence, a central New York organization that provides services to people affected by sexual assault.