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Shippensburg University’s annual performance of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ supports women’s issues

27 February 2013 No Comment

By CASSANDRA CLARHAUT
Staff Writer/The Slate

On a dark stage with a red glow, a spotlight shined on a woman wearing black and red clothes as she spoke passionately about her vagina — for Shippensburg University’s 10th annual performances of “The Vagina Monologues.”

A scene from the "Vagina Monologues," which was performed recently at Shippensburg University.

The annual event, held Feb. 21-23 this year, benefits women with donations to the YWCA Rape Crisis Center in Carlisle.

A few core monologues written for the original show by author and performer Eve Ensler have stayed with the Shippensburg performance. However, each year a new monologue highlights issues around the world.

This year’s new monologue shows the difficulties faced by a New Orleans’ woman surrounded by tragedy.

While some content is serious and displays intimate details and stories based on women’s struggles, most are laced with humor, such as the monologue “My Angry Vagina,” which makes tampons and visits to the gynecologist laughable.

Olivia Di Bella, a second-year performer in the monologues said, “I don’t think people realize how important it is. We just want women to be able to feel safe and be themselves and be equals.”

This 10th year of Shippensburg’s performance highlights  Ensler’s newest campaign, “One Billion Rising.”

This Valentine’s Day, an event was held in the Ceddia Union Building for women to dance and feel safe in their environments, while allowing people to rise and represent the estimated one billion women who become victims of violent acts in their lifetimes.

The Women’s Center is an integral part of event and helps anyone with any problem; as Di Bella said, “they’re there with open arms.”

No one who auditions for the monologues is turned away, and all monologues are easily adjustable by tweaking a part that can add or subtract roles women can play without losing the content or the message.

Those most passionate about the cause are cast, and they practice independently until right before the performance.

“The Vagina Monologues” performance at Shippensburg receives support from men and women on Greek night, the ROTC program, To Write Love on Her Arms, POTTER (Proactive Organization That Tackles Evil Ridiculosity, which is SU’s branch of the Harry Potter Alliance), sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt, and Student Veterans of America.

Auditions take place during the fall semester to allow ample preparation time for the spring show.

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