Thursday Feb. 19 marked the opening night for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at the Plaza Del Sol Performance Hall. The audience was packed and the energy was high. After a spirited raffle and an appearance by Acasola, CSUN’s a capella group, the curtain went up on the 26-member all-female cast consisting largely of non-actors and first-time performers.
I won’t comment on the acting except to say that I was very impressed; they were well rehearsed, comfortable and kept my attention through the whole show, kudos ladies.
From wildly outrageous to poignant and touching, each monologue had its own personality that helped bring the message home. D’mere Buraley, 18-year-old Health Sciences major, said the message she wanted to send was, ‘women have a right to be mad and angry, and people need to know that.’
I’m sure the monologues were staged at the performance hall for maximum ticket sales – this is a fundraiser, after all. A black box theatre though, might have been a more practical setting. They provide an intimate space and eliminate the need for microphones, which between clanking costumes and technical difficulties were very distracting. Sound aside, the space was used well. Some ‘monologues’ were staged as two-person scenes, adding more action, while other monologues dropped curtains to eliminate dead space.
The best piece was titled ‘I was there in the room.’ This was a two-person piece and it dealt with the love and sacrifice of childbirth. The two women who performed the scene were not college age, which added tremendous significance. It was simple, honest and touching.
The monologues were done well. The audience feels like they learn and gain experience from each individual character. I have to admit, I still cannot understand why it concluded with three of the women reading from cue cards about the catastrophes in the Congo when they were able to learn over an hour of dialogue. I would love to know about the relevance of the piece, but if I wanted someone to read to me I would be in class, not the theatre.