The Buchtelite

“The Vagina Monologues” Showcases Empowerment, Benefits Rape Crisis Center

The University of Akron raised money for The Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties with a production of The Vagina Monologues.

Amanda Piekarz

The University of Akron raised money for The Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties with a production of The Vagina Monologues.

By Amanda Piekarz, Arts & Entertainment Editor

E.J. Thomas Performance Arts Hall hosted a production of “The Vagina Monologues” on Jan. 26 to raise money and awareness toward fighting sexual violence against all those who identify as women worldwide.

The stage was set with six microphones, five music stands and one stool. Sixteen women in total would go up to the stage in duos, groups of three to four or even alone to talk about the one thing that no one seems to want to talk about: vaginas.

Making its first debut in 1994 as an off-broadway play, this production was written by Eve Ensler, a women’s rights activist and playwright, according to V-Day’s 
website. The play ran for five years in New York City before touring the United States.

After seeing several women waiting to tell their own stories of sexual violence after a performance of The Vagina Monologues, Ensler later established  V-Day on Valentine’s Day in 1998, according to the “Why V-Day Started” webpage.

“The Vagina Monologues” is composed of 20 short stories, several of which are about self-discovery.  In “My Short Skirt” and “Vagina Happy Fact,” the audience heard as empowered women took pride in their womanhood. Then, the audience listened to stories of what some women have endured worldwide in “My Vagina Was My Village” and “Over It.”

Now, more than twenty years later, Ensler has given permission to colleges and universities around the globe to put on their own productions of “The Vagina Monologues” to raise money for local organizations that help in the fight to end violence against women, as stated on the College and Community Campaigns webpage.

Dr. Mary Triece, director of the Women’s Studies program at UA, ended the performance by asking those in the audience who have survived or knew someone who survived sexual assault to stand and say, “me too.”

Dr. Triece then asked everyone in the audience to stand in a “visual display of strength, support and empowerment” if they were willing to believe the survivors and pledge to end sexual violence against women.

When asked why “The Vagina Monologues” was an important event on campus, Dr. Triece said, “[It]
gives [a] voice to the experiences of women and girl survivors of all types of violence, including sexual assault.”

According to The University of Akron, proceeds from “The Vagina Monologues” in Akron will benefit the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties.

“The Vagina Monologues raised over $3,000” last year for the center, Dr. Triece said.

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About the Contributor
Amanda Piekarz, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Amanda Piekarz is an English Major with a Creative Writing minor at The University of Akron.
She is an avid creative writer and loves to read. Although Amanda loves Ohio, she was born in New Jersey; and hopes to one day return home and attend graduate school on the east coast.
Connect with Amanda:
arts-entertainment-editor@buchtelite.com

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