The Pittsburg State University Women’s Studies Club, in collaboration with the Southeast Kansas Chapter of the National Organization for Women, will present two performances of Eve Ensler’s "The Vagina Monologues" at 7:30 p.m. today at Lincoln Center and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Bourbon Street Bar.
Admission, paid at the door, will be $10 for the general public and $5 for students. Organizers said that 90 percent of the proceeds will go to the Safehouse Crisis Center, with the remaining 10 percent going to the V-Day national Spotlight Campaign, a national campaign against violence to women and girls.
There will also be a silent auction to benefit Safehouse. It will close 20 minutes after the show ends. Purchases can be made with cash or check only.
It must be said that the subject matter of "The Vagina Monologues," though handled with respect and even reverence, is bound to make some people uncomfortable. These people are advised to stay home and make their contributions to Safehouse in another manner.
Those who do go will probably learn a few new things and get some insights into the various aspects of being a woman. They may even shed a few tears or double over with laughter, or quite possibly do both.
"The Vagina Monologues is based on more than 200 interviews with women of all ages, from a 6-year-old girl to an elderly woman portrayed by Cheryl Mayo who says, "I haven’t been down there since 1953."
Some monologues contain much humor. In one hilarious segment, women shout out the various nicknames given to this part of the female anatomy. In another, "The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy," a sex worker portrayed by Beth Cox, simulates groans of ecstasy.
There is also tragedy. In "My Vagina Was My Village," a Bosnian woman recounts being raped, and the narrator reports that around 70,000 women were raped during that conflict, while around 200,000 are raped each year in the United States.
The statistics on female genital mutilation are also horrifying. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have cut in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. An estimated 3 million a year, mainly girls from infancy to 15, are cut in the genital area. The procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth and increased death of newborns.
However, the final monologue is one of profound joy. "I Was There in the Room," given by Taylor Patterson, was written by Ensler after she witnessed the birth of her granddaughter.
Director is Megan Stoneberger. Cast members are Ariele Foltz, Jeanine Kunshek, Lara Ismert, Megan Reed, Taylor Patterson, Jordan Lowe, Kim Hughes, Cheryl Mayo, Breezi Hancock, Jan Vance and Beth Cox.