The University of Massachusetts Boston's Women’s Center and Theatre Art Department held three showings of "The Vagina Monologues" this past week. Donations were accepted from the audience to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. The BARCC provides assistance to victims of sexual violence and their families, friends, and members of their communities. They also conduct educational programs to increase understanding and awareness of sexual assault and rape.
A group of about 10 students performed select monologues from the Eve Ensler play that premiered off Broadway in 1996. The Vagina Monologues features a variety of stories about experiences that women face that would typically be taboo to speak about publicly. UMass Boston's production ranged from topics of sex, giving birth, rape culture, and the insecurities a lot of women feel about their bodies.
UMass Boston sophomore and marine science major Alyson Bouchard is the student program coordinator for the University’s Women’s Center. She assisted with the production of the performance and considers "The Vagina Monologues" to be both entertaining and empowering.
“I think the show uses humor to ease into subjects that everyone would usually avoid discussing otherwise. The purpose of 'The Vagina Monologues' is to share stories that most women can relate to, and leave women feeling empowered.”
The show, directed by Kendra Ford and Caroline Kim, was able to pull off the balance between funny and serious. A particularly moving piece was performed by Lee Chumack, called “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy… Or So They Tried,” which sheds light on the horrors of transgender violence.
A different piece that had the whole audience laughing was “My Angry Vagina,” performed by Megan Purdum. This part of "The Vagina Monologues" discusses the abuse vaginas endure, including tampons and the cold duck lips at the gynecologist’s office.
Everyone who participated in this production of "The Vagina Monologues" was able to ultimately raise awareness and generate a further discussion about what women often don’t get a chance to talk about—themselves.