If what you’re looking for in a stage production is impeccable acting, fantastic stage settings and flawless blocking, then CSUN’s production of the “Vagina Monologues” is not for you.
However, if dialogue meant to shake your core and make you reconsider any preconceived notions about the strength of a woman, then the CSUN chapter of V-Day accomplished just that.
The play ran for three nights starting Thursday, Feb. 18, and ending on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Plaza Del Sol.
I had the opportunity to attend the opening night, preparing myself for the worst and expecting a regurgitation of last year’s production (that I also attended). I can happily say that I was both pleasantly surprised as well as entertained.
The show opened with a performance by Fusion, a quartet made up of two men and two women, all African American, who played various African drums. Four members of the audience were asked to volunteer to perform with the ensemble, with an extra student dancing to the beats.
After a short raffle ticket drawing, which prizes included gift certificates to Marie Callender’s and Color Me Mine and a vibrator gift set the lights faded to start the show.
Comedy mixed with more dramatic and serious pieces helped the all-female cast to showcase the dynamics of what the show is meant to portray. Written by Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues” is a play in conjunction with the V-Day Organization that advocates non-violence against women as well as promote independence is various forms all over the world.
Perhaps the most well-received monologues of the night included “My Angry Vagina,” which listed all the “tortures” that women must go through including the use of tampons and douches and visits to the gynecologists.
Pieces like “The Flood,” which follows an elderly Jewish woman’s first encounter with sexual arousal, is a stark contrast to “A Six-Year-Old Girl Was Asked…,” which toys with childhood innocence. Both effectively portray womanhood at all stages of life.
Monologues such as “My Vagina Was My Village,” which is made up of various testimonials of Bosnian women who have been sexual molested, and “Crooked Braid” about a Native American woman who was domestically abused were written in order to verbalize the violence that women encounter most often.
Every year V-Day produces a special monologue that revolves around a current cause. This year the monologue was in the form of a survival guide for young women in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are sold as sex slaves.
Though the acting was only sub par and the use of inconsistent British accents during “The Vagina Workshop” (a piece dedicated to the examination of the organ) became a little distracting, the most powerful moments of the play were portrayed by a few of the actresses who were uninhibited by the audience and the constant use of the word “vagina.”
Overall the show was entertaining and gives the women on stage and in the audience the opportunity to think about their inner strength in an entirely new light. As for the men in the audience, the “triple orgasm” simulation may have just made the show worth watching.
For more information about V-Day visit www.vday.org.