“The Vagina Monologues” Come to Ira Allen Chapel

“It’s to celebrate each and every vagina!” So claims Allison Davis, describing the purpose of Eve Ensler’s dynamic show, “The Vagina Monologues.” Davis performs as a sex worker in “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” just one of the monologues that comprise the groundbreaking show. The monologues will be presented for the second year in a row at UVM in the Ira Allen Chapel, on the 14, 15 and 16 of Feb. at 7:30 in the evening. “The Vagina Monologues” explore every facet of female sexuality from pleasure to violence to simple awareness. Women of every age and from various countries around the world have offered their experiences. The show is free for UVM to perform on the condition that all proceeds go to non-profit women’s advocacy programs with a focus on ending violence toward women. All the proceeds from UVM’s production will go to the Women’s Rape Crisis Center and Women Helping Battered Women. “The whole point is that it is V-Day,” says Dawn Johnson, co-director of the production and performer of “The Angry Vagina.” “Eve Ensler and the V-Day College Coalition, the organization we get licensing from, have reclaimed Valentine’s Day as the day to end violence against women and girls.” Each actor is intimately involved in the show. It is not a performance done for money or fame, but for personal fulfillment and the advancement of the cause. “We’ve been rehearsing for a long time,” says Pat Fontaine, a Women’s Studies professor at UVM. “We’ll be doing it off-script, which means that we need the lines to come from our hearts and not from a printed page.” During last year’s production, the actors held their scripts as they performed the monologues. Also new this year, the show will be performed at the Ira Allen Chapel, offering better acoustics and more seating room than last year’s choice of the Campus Center Theater. The monologues together form a lyrical masterpiece, combining slang and foul language with eloquence to result in a performance that is both pleasing and shocking to behold. The show is at once bleak and hysterically funny, blending wry humor, pensive reflections and self-discoveries and grim statistics into one large collection of women’s experiences. However, parents should think twice before bringing the kids; “The Vagina Monologues” pull no punches, and address everything from genital mutilation to prostitution to pleasurable sex to the first menstrual period. “There is something that makes it both personal and universal,” says Fontaine of “The Vagina Monologues.” She goes on to speculate that telling these stories in public, forcing people to hear about the many sides of the vagina, gives women’s sexuality more reality. Extending the show to all, the chapel is handicapped accessible and ASL interpretation will be offered on the 14 and 15. Additionally, Sierra Sumpf will open each show with a musical performance. Tickets are five dollars apiece for students and citizens over the age of sixty-five, and eight dollars for faculty, staff and members of the community. They may be purchased at the Peace and Justice Center on Church Street, the ALANA Student Center, the UVM Women’s Center and St. Michael’s Women’s Center.