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The Female Theatre Artist “Right of Passage”

February 23, 2015

Many women that work in theatre at some point come across doing in some way, shape, and form a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” This month I had finally dipped my toe into working on the play that to some is considered the female theatre artist’s “right of passage.”

In December I applied for the rights (and got them 2 days later) after a friend of mine gave me the idea to do the play. It seemed like the right time since not only had I never done the play before, but I was in a place where I felt I needed to express my voice on women’s issues. Thankfully, it seemed the world agreed since getting everything together seemed to really fit into place from finding the perfect venue to the right cast.

From watching the show several times in the past, while I developed a strong appreciation for it, I never thought about my own artistic choices I’d want to put on it until preparing to do the show. The first thing I realized I wanted to do was to actually make the stage look like a vagina (with the actors sitting on the outside layer and one chair upstage center representing the clitoris). Most performances of the show have actors sit on stage anyhow so why not do it in a way that help show what the show is about? On top of that, the actors got to perform inside a vagina (and how many people get to say that one in their lives?). Also it allowed me to really think about what I wanted regardless of what I’ve seen before. Several monologues that we meant to be for one person, I divided up into 2 or 3 people to represent a wide variety of women or really show different personalities. On top of that, a lot of actors in this production never did or even saw the show before, so they went purely with their own instincts. I felt that that was perfect, since it really allowed us to go an artistically free route, as oppose to go with the traditional ways the show is done.

The best part of the show was that we really created a beautiful ensemble of women. The women not only all did a beautiful wonderful job, but everyone really became friends with one another. They all loved the cause, the production, and working with one another. From this, we also had sold out performances every night, and raised a lot of money for charity (our production also held an auction that went to a local organization in NYC to help stop dating abuse). The only downside to this show really was that we couldn’t have more performances (most a part of the show really wanted us to continue).

From such a wonderful experience, I’ve decided that if I’m able to I’d love to do another Eve Ensler play next year. Maybe I’ll do “The Vagina Monologues” again one day and put a different spin again, but now I’d much rather really explore various aspects of women’s issues and female sexuality in her work.

sarah sig

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    February 23, 2015 10:48 am

    This is the first year I haven’t done the show and it has made my February feel really empty. This post got me all excited though! Yahoo!

    • February 28, 2015 2:09 am

      Yeah as someone that’s never done it before (but did see the show every year in college), it was really an inspiring experience. You should look into “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer” if you hadn’t yet. 🙂

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