By April Short
City on a Hill Press Editor
If your vagina could talk, what would it say?
This was one of many questions posed at a run-through of “The Vagina Monologues,” a benefit presentation that will play this weekend in the Porter Dining Hall.
“The show has such an array of vagina wisdom that I don’t think really gets talked about in other plays or in our society in general,” said actor Kiana Reeves, who plays The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy.
The Vagina Monologues, an Obie-award winning play, will be performed by UCSC women. Their performance seeks to open up discussion about female sexuality on a local sphere, while benefiting a larger cause. The play will donate 10 percent of its profits to V-Day, a global movement founded by “Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler, to end violence against women and girls.
The other portion of the play’s revenue will benefit the local organizations Defensa de Mujeres in Watsonville and the Survivors Healing Center in Santa Cruz, each of which provide women’s crisis support to rape and assault victims.
Jordan Menashe and Akiva Levi are co-directors of the production. “It’s a good show — it’s really entertaining, the girls are all talented, but it does something for the community,” Menashe said.
This year marks the eighth annual presentation of “Vagina Monologues” at UCSC, and the 11th anniversary of the play itself.
The “Vagina Monologues” crew is an all-female cast whose collaboration and enthusiasm for the production saturate the performance.
During a Sunday evening run-through, one cast member stood on stage waiting for lighting adjustments as another called to her “You look good!” The cohesive, supportive nature of the cast comes together in a comedic and evocative production. As the show ran through, cast members in the audience giggled at the puns, pleasures and humorous anecdotes performed onstage.
At opening night of the show on Friday, March 13, “vagina-pops” will be sold for audience members to snack on and information about sexual assault help will be available. “We have worked on the production process altogether for about a year,” said co-producer Sarah Steer. “All of the people on the cast are amazing.”
As characters of all ages and origin share stories of sexual woe and wonder, the show sends a message to audiences that fear of the unknown is all that keeps women — and humanity in general — from expressing openness and feeling comfortable with personal sexuality.
“I think we consider ourselves a liberal campus, but there are still these women who have issues with their gender roles and bodies,” Menashe said. “We’re lucky to have these talented women telling these stories.”
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