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The college capstone experience

March 17, 2014

In order to graduate with a B.A. in Theatre, I am required to fulfill some senior capstone project, in which I put the skills I have gained over the last four years to the test. Some people direct a one act play; a few will write up journals about a role they have been cast in/backstage experience. I decided to organize/perform the campus production of The Vagina Monologues.

I have spent the last year (and money) working alongside the directors and my co-organizer as we prepared for February 2014. We planned it all out: held auditions, cast over fifty women, ran rehearsals every Sunday since September. In six months, we organized several major fund-raising events all leading up to the show itself. I carried a seven foot model of a vagina across campus through the snow and made VagPops to sell. Then I learned my lines for my monologue and performed in the show.

This was my third year doing The Vagina Monologues and I bet most of the people reading this blog are cringing every time I use the word “vagina”. Yes, this is the show that is the biggest female sex joke since Meg Ryan was at the deli and it’s the show that is part of the V-Day campaign. Until the violence stops is their motto – they are focused on raising money and awareness of sexual and domestic violence against women. This is a personal cause for me and I can’t imagine a better way to support it than by doing theatre and bringing these issues to a new audience every night. I remember seeing the show my freshman year and then walking out yelling and crying. The next year, I was in the show and my mom was in the audience. 

We had over fifty women in our show, all different majors and ages – all of them with a reason for being there. It took over a week to count all the money we raised to donate to a local shelter and that final number was worth every late night of last year.

With that, I fulfilled the requirements and used all my theatre skills obtained via B.A. – technical skills, people-skills (you don’t know “people-skills” until you try to convince the ticket office to print tickets with the word “vag” on them or get fifty girls to stop talking…without yelling), organizing/stage management, directing, acting, graphic design and social media, merchandise sales skills…as I told my parents, I’m getting a B.A. in Vagina Monologues with minors in blogging and stage combat.

Just one last piece to share: we have a tradition with The Vagina Monologues, at the end of the show. We ask for the audience to voluntarily stand-up if they are a survivor of abuse. Then we ask for anybody knows a survivor to please stand up.

Finally, we ask that if you are going to do something to stop abuse towards women, to please join us in standing up. Every single audience member was standing up.

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