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‘The Vagina Monologues’ brings women’s issues to the stage

If a vagina could talk, what would it say? Apparently, a lot, and “The Vagina Monologues” cast made sure audiences heard all of the good, bad and not exactly “politically correct” chatter during their performances this past weekend. 

Put on by UNH’s Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), and held in the MUB Strafford Room, “The Vagina Monologues,” was originally written by Eve Ensler, and dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences, as stated in the program.

“What better way to explain how I feel about being a woman and feeling so empowered that I have a vagina than through ‘The Vagina Monologues,’” co-director and UNH sophomore Tiffany Driesse said.

The stage was set up as an art gallery theme, as was agreed upon by the directors of the show. Through a series of monologue skits performed by UNH students and faculty, “The Vagina Monologues” gave the audience a unique perspective of the awkward humor, painful truth and overall importance of the female anatomy; in particular, the vagina.

The show began with an opening comedic discussion about the vagina, with a theme of addressing the claim that it is politically incorrect to talk about it in public. As the show progressed, there were instances in which it took a serious turn, delving into the emotional topics of Donald Trump and his interaction and dialogue about women, rape and the staggering number of sexual assaults taking place in southern African countries.

Some of these skits were then followed by video presentations of Trump interviews and videos of The Women’s March from various cities. The goal of this was to provide the audience with evidence and clear visual of the topics they are addressing.

“We stuck with the order that we were given by the script,” Driesse said. According to Driesse, videos of Trump were added to the script because they “wanted people to see what Trump has said about women and how it is not okay.”

The Vagina Monologues strives to bring light to women’s issues.

For cast member Merranda Donnelly, who originally did not want to audition for the show and was added in later as a fill-in, the presentations can be troubling, but deliver a powerful message overall.

“I was a little uncomfortable at first because I had never done anything like this before…I think it’s a powerful message too,” Donnelly said.

The show was presented on two nights, Feb. 24 and 25. According to Driesse, Saturday night’s crowd was more actively engaged in the performances than the crowd on Fridays, though both seemed to enjoy the production.

Though the show provided entertainment for the audience throughout the entire night, the goal of the production of “The Vagina Monologues” was to send a message: it is important and okay to address women’s sexuality, and women should not refrain from discussing, nor feel ashamed, about themselves and their anatomy.

“I guess I learned that it is important to talk about these things instead of just keeping them in.  A lot of times we’re taught not to talk about these things and we’re taught that it’s not politically correct to talk about a lot of this stuff,” Donnelly said. “It’s important to let people know in art form because people aren’t always going to sit and listen to your facts so you kind of have to throw it at them with entertainment.”

For more information on the program and how you can get involved in next year’s production, contact SHARPP online or visit their offices at Wolff House located at 2 Pettee Brook Lane in Durham.

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