April 25, 2014
New monologues to debuetSusquehanna's annual production of the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, sponsored by WomenSpeak, takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. this evening in Isaacs Auditorium.
This play is based on interviews that Ensler did with over 200 women, and is all about empowerment.
Performances of the Vagina Monologues run in correspondence with the V-Day campaign, which is, according to their website, "a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls."
Lindsey Sitler, president of WomenSpeak and an actress in the play, said: "I wanted to be a part of the Vagina Monologues because I've seen them every year I've been here and have been enamored every year. I love seeing people's reactions, and I knew this year was my year to be one of those people."
Sitler continued: "The Vagina Monologues mean empowerment to people with vaginas, as well as people who don't have vaginas, whether by birth or choice. It's about educating people of the experiences of so many women, and other people and getting people to realize that they're allowed to have a connection with their genitals if they want."
Laura Zeisloft, a junior who is performing, said, "The Vagina Monologues mean love to me --the most important kind of love is self-love and the VagMons are all about embracing and owning every part of yourself. They're also about connecting with your fellow women -- ALL of them. I love any piece of media that connects me to the rest of the world, and I definitely feel that connection when doing this play."
The Vagina Monologues will be done a bit differently than they were in the past, with the addition of several monologues by women from Susquehanna.
Director Dylan Furlano said: "There are six new monologues included this year that were written by women on this campus as a way to help make the monologues more accessible. We also are using the substitute monologue that deals with the transgender female experience."
Alexis Teats, assistant director of the show, said, "I dealt with the script a lot, so it's been really difficult to navigate the preexisting content and the content we added to make sure that we're fairly representing a lot of different voices but also avoiding stereotypes and anything that might be interpreted in a problematic way."
Furlano said that she wanted to direct to give the great experience she had performing to those who acted in it this year.
Furlano said: "Last year, I felt brave to join the cast of the Vagina Monologues because the director at the time made me feel like she would be there to help me and also be my cheerleader. I felt very strongly that I needed to pay that forward, which is why I asked to direct this year."
Auditions took place at the end of last semester to get the show cast, however, there have been some changes since then.
Teats said: "We had to do a lot of replacing and adding on new people, so it's kind of been a never-ending process of adding cast members. We just had people come read us stuff, and sometimes we asked people to read specific monologues that we felt matched their voice, and so we were able to do a lot of the casting pretty much on the spot because of our familiarity with the show and with everyone who auditioned, which was cool."
When asked what the play meant to her, Teats said, "To me it's more about people showing how passionate they are through their involvement than about performance quality or even content."
Teats said her favorite part of this process was the way that people feel about it.
"It's just been really cool to see how excited people are to be involved, particularly people who I didn't know were passionate about the subject matter," she said.
Furlano echoed these positive sentiments.
She said, "The rehearsal process has been great. We have a lot of new cast members and it's been exciting to watch them grow before anyone even steps on stage."
In addition to the performance this evening, there will be another performance Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $3.
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