The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Genital-oriented talks tackle taboos surrounding femininity

The curtains were not the only things to unfold as stage lights overpowered the long darkness of the venue filled with an anxious audience.

Many stories of women and their personal experiences with their vaginas unwrapped themselves in the form of comedy, uncomfortable truthfulness, and emotional and physical pain.

“Vagina Monologues” include more than 50 stories from women across the globe and across ages who were interviewed about their vaginas and whose stories were put on stage. The purpose behind the script and production was to bring forth what is considered a taboo topic.

The show spoke successfully about the individual struggles and joys of different women that resounded to the collective group as well.

“We are worried about vaginas and more worried that we don’t think about them,” was a line from the first act as the cast came onto the stage with candles.

“Vagina Monologues” made sure there was nothing to be worried about by the end of the show in regard to uncovering this subject matter. Topics like hair, smell, menstruation, orgasms, rape and birth were not shied away from.

“I thought it was liberating,” said Becca Swritzer, who came to the show last weekend to support a friend in the production. “Diffusing anyone embarrassed about it and to not feel ashamed to say what you want to say is great.”

One interesting approach to a monologue was “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could.” Instead of one actress telling a story about a homeless African American woman and her sexual past, there were three different actresses on stage acting out different parts of her life. What made this particular monologue controversial was the issue of rape.

When the girl was 10, she was raped by her father’s friend in her own home, while her father was preoccupied in the house. This traumatic sexual incident was emotionally healed at age 16 through a sexual encounter with a 24-year-old woman living in her neighborhood. This statutory rape experience involved underage drinking and lying to her mother.

Another monologue was by a 72-year-old woman who said she had never experienced an orgasm. Even without a costume or evidence of the actress’s age, the performance successfully embodied the voice of the old lady.

The show covered topics in a bold way that empowered the women and men in the audience and made them more knowledgeable about the taboos surrounding femininity.

“To think that we changed one persons life is all that it takes,” said Melissa Dodson, the director who was also involved with last year’s show.

Eve Ensler, the award-winning writer of the “Vagina Monologues,” made an effort to spread the word about vaginas. “Vagina Monologues” has been performed in more than 20 countries.

Costumes were limited to black and pink colors. Splashes of pink could be seen on sashes, belts, bras and bows all over the stage, as each actress’ costume was created individually.

Props were limited as well. There was an abundance of empty space on stage. The main prop was a chair decorated with pink strings. The actresses either stood or sat provocatively center stage on the decorated chair.

The lighting reflected the personality of the monologue. “My Short Skirt” and “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” were monologues of confidence by women with strong voices. Because their personalities were loud, the lighting was bright.

When presenting monologues such as “The Flood” and “Under the Burqua,” the lighting was dimmer, as the stories spoke of shame and oppression.

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