A dark stage with a red glow and a spotlight on a woman wearing black and red clothes, spoke passionately about something: her vagina.
For 10 years, Shippensburg University has been performing “The Vagina Monologues,” which benefits women with donations to the YWCA Rape Crisis Center in Carlisle.
There are a few core monologues that were written for the original show by author and performer Eve Ensler, and these monologues have stayed with the Shippensburg performance. However, a new monologue highlights issues around the world each year.
This year, a monologue of a New Orleans’ woman was added, showing the difficulty of a strong woman surrounded by tragedy.
As some content is serious, displaying intimate details and stories based on women’s struggles, most are laced with humor, such as a monologue called “My Angry Vagina,” which makes tampons and visits to the gynecologist laughable.
Olivia Di Bella, a second year performer in the monologues said, “I don’t think people realize how important it is. We just want women to be able to feel safe and be themselves and be equals.”
This 10th year of Shippensburg’s performance highlights Ensler’s newest campaign, “One Billion Rising.”
This Valentine’s Day, an event was held in the CUB for women to dance and feel safe in their environment, while allowing people to rise and represent the estimated one billion female victims of violent acts in a lifetime.
The Women’s Center is an integral part in this event that helps anyone with any problem and as Di Bella said, “they’re there with open arms.”
No one who auditions is turned away, and all monologues are easily adjustable by tweaking a part that can add or subtract roles women can play without losing the content or the message.
Those most passionate about the cause are cast, and they practice independently until right before the performance.
The Vagina Monologues performance at Shippensburg receives support from men and women on Greek night, the ROTC program, To Write Love on Her Arms, POTTER, sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt, Student Veterans of America.
Auditions take place during the fall semester to allow ample preparation time for the spring show.