Faculty and students worked the Memorial Auditorium stage for the 15th anniversary of the “The Vagina Monologues” at Shippensburg University last weekend.
This year’s theme was “Intersectional Feminism” and was directed by SU students Ali Laughman and Kayla Bethea.
The production ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and raised funds for the YWCA, which combats sexual assault and domestic violence in Cumberland County. The YWCA, a safe place for women who have experienced sexual assault or domestic violence, raised through ticket sales and candy sold outside the event.
“The Vagina Monologues,” is based on a collection of interviews given by women ontheir relationships with their vaginas, a topic not many women are willing to discuss openly.
This year’s production offered a new selection of stories, along with some returning fan favorites. The production also talked about rape and sexual assault among minority groups, such as the transgender community.
Sarah McDoweel Shupp, the Career and Community Engagement Center’s director, presented her own monologue titled “Freedom of Movement,” which was called “Women in Running Fact” in the show.
This monologue examined life as a woman athlete that parallels Shupp’s own as an athlete. She described the amendment right of going where one wants freely isn’t the same for women, and how women often must stay alert when jogging alone due to the dangers of being kidnapped, raped or murdered.
Fan favorites such as “My Angry Vagina,” tackled the issues of tampons and uncomfortable panties. Other selections such as “Reclaiming C**t,” encouraged changing the meaning of the often-insulting term used against women, and to instead give it a more positive meaning.
A selection titled “Hair,” challenged the idea of shaving pubic hair and explained that the hair “is there for a reason” and that women should not feel pressured into shaving by their partner.
The show ended with the final monologue “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” performed by Anna Wright. Wright portrayed a businesswoman turned sex worker who specialized in helping woman moan.
She described the different types of moans women made before delivering one final “triple moan” to close out the production.
Many audience members returned this year because of their enjoyment of last year’s play. One returning audience member, SU senior Karen Rundquist, described the play as important.
“The play tackles women and sexuality a topic that isn’t often talked about,” Rundquist said.
One of this year’s directors, Kayla Bethea, was also asked about the importance of the production and why it is held every year at SU.
“‘The Vagina Monologues’ is an important production to hold here at Shippensburg because it puts the spotlight on women,” Bethea said. “It tackles so many issues and topics for women and I feel that everyone in the audience can learn something new.”