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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A play that makes headlines

The notorious Vagina Monologues are back, and will be showcased this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Theater. An extra performance at 2 p.m. will be held on Saturday.

Although Friday’s performance is already sold out, Saturday tickets are on sale from $5 to $15.

Even though the Vagina Monologues has performed at Davis for several years, the play brings something new and fresh every year for its audiences.

Della Duncan, a senior international relations and sociology major serving as this year’s director, assures us that this year’s performance will be unique. Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler writes a new monologue every year as part of her campaign to raise awareness of gender violence, Duncan said.

Ensler’s campaign, which started out as a one-woman monologue in New York, donates the play’s proceeds to charities such as the V-Day Spotlight for Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the charity My Sister’s House and the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center.

“It’s a really important process to be a part of. It’s more than just hating men – it’s about educating people,” said Cara Patton, a grad student working on her teaching credentials.

“The play is about being … the voice [and] the vehicle for women, especially from different cultures,” said Shey McWhorter, an international agricultural development major and assistant director to the play.

One of the new aspects this year’s production offers is this year the whole cast will be present on stage throughout the duration of the play.

One of the new monologues being performed this year is a reactionary monologue where women recite their reactions based on their interpretations of the play.

Another of this year’s firsts is that this time there will be a transgender monologue called, “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy or So They Tried,” performed by Isaac Blackstock, a composer for the Department of Theater and Dance.

“I am honored to part of an all-female cast – it makes me feel accepted,” she said. “The community needed to be represented.”

“It’s an all womyn cast with a ‘Y,'” Duncan said.

The Monologues is an inclusive production this year – everyone who auditioned either landed a monologue or has some role in the overall production of the show.

“We held the auditions to include as many people as possible, based on their willingness to participate,” Duncan said.

Unlike past productions, this year’s play is very interactive, and the cast spent several sessions critiquing and working the script based on their interpretations and feelings.

“Critiquing it is a very important process to be a part of. The play was written for white women, and this year we’re trying to shake it up by having a very diverse cast,” Patton said.

In fact, the cast even held workshops to develop their feelings towards the play and write their own monologues, which they will include in the performance.

“The process is very reflective,” Duncan said.

Charlotte Heinschild, a study abroad student from France and history of women and gender major, said, “I was really touched by women causes: this play is funny, it’s sad and it’s about the femininity essence.”

“My favorite part is to work with everyone, because we are really building a connection,” she said. “We really get along and it’s for a great cause.”

The general feeling from the entire cast is an overwhelming urge to help the cause.

Maritza Zelata, a junior English major who will perform a monologue, appreciates the message of play.

“I like the idea of being able to help women in general,” she said.

For more information, visit the UC Davis Women’s Resources and Research Center.

BRITTANY PEARLMAN can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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