The Vagina Monologues “What Would Yours Say?”

The Vagina Monologues

Betsy Bloom

When was the last time you laughed or cried about vaginas? When was the last time you did both in the span of two hours? If you attended one of this weekend’s two per­formances of The Vagina Monologues at The Palace Theater, then it was probably very recently. The Thursday and Friday night performances, both of which were huge successes, included a “Clittail Hour” prior to the show where members of the Colgate community ate, drank and socialized.

The Vagina Monologues are not new to Colgate. The show, which is both stu­dent-acted and directed, is put on every spring and only continues to get more popular. In addition to empowering and informing members of the Colgate community, the show also has a larger mission: 90 percent of the profits are donated to Vera House: Syracuse Area Domestic Violence Coalition.

The Vagina Monologues are the brain­child of Eve Ensler, a female activist, play­wright and performer. She first penned the work after interviewing 200 women about their relationship with sex, violence and the female body. The piece was meant to be a celebration of the vagina as well as a pub­lic service announcement against female subordination, violence and rape. After its inception in 1996, the play has achieved enormous success, earning the admira­tion of critics and audiences. Receiving the Obie award in 1997, it has been performed by countless groups, from students at Col­gate University to such well-known women as Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Fonda, Susan Sa­randon, Glenn Close and Oprah.

Ensler also founded V-Day, “a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.” V-Day works to raise awareness about female violence by spread­ing awareness and working to empower women across the world. V-Day has orga­nized benefits, events and community gath­erings to help combat the cycle of domestic violence. The movement continues to grow, with a presence in 130 countries worldwide and events held all over the world, from Louisiana to Palestine. It has received nu­merous awards and recognitions, including one of Marie Claire‘s top ten charities in 2006 and one of Philanthropedia’s High- Impact Non Profits in 2012.

This year’s performance at Colgate was definitely worthy of great critical acclaim. The show, which was skillfully directed by senior Dena Robinson and junior Christina Liu, deftly handled the hilarious, heart­warming and heart-wrenching stories of the vagina. Robinson and Liu were also mem­bers of the 30-person cast that did an in­credible job instilling humor, joy, sadness and life into the personal anecdotes that comprised the monologues.

I had the pleasure of attending Thurs­day performance, where Diandra Rivera’s hilariously awkward, joyous and unabashed rendition of “The Vagina Workshop” (title self-explanatory) left the audience clutch­ing their sides in laughter. The show’s more serious monologues were also handled won­derfully. Coco Vonnegut and Jenn Rivera gave a moving and beautiful performance of “My Vagina Was My Village,” a monologue inspired by the horrific rape of Bosnian women during the Bosnian War of the early 90s. In fact, each and every performer did a wonderful job, truly embodying the essence of the show: female awareness, celebration and empowerment.

Contact Betsy Bloom at

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