This Friday and Saturday, the Berkeley High School drama department will be performing Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues.
It is about the celebration of female sexuality through its many complexities and mysteries. A production of The Vagina Monologues is put on once a year to celebrate “V-Day,” a day created by Ensler to raise vagina awareness. Groups which perform the play during “V-season” don’t have to pay for the rights.
The Berkeley High production of The Vagina Monologues is produced solely by students who are interested in drama. Under the direction of senior Amy Wright, the students have a mission: to empower women.
“We’re trying to stop some bad things that go on today and raise awareness,” remarked Joia Devita, 16, a junior. “There are some terrible things going on like genital mutilation ... and there are battered women. Some members of the cast
are actively involved in fighting for feminism and rights for lesbians.”
Over the years, there has been a growing number of interested Berkeley High students wanting to participate in this production.
“There was an enormous amount of girls,” said Devita. “We’ve been there to help each other and give each other feedback.”
Devita also did some self-reflection, noting that this experience made her feel more comfortable talking about vaginas.
“It’s a heavy show for a lot of people,” she said. “It may be a hard subject to talk about. But we had a group bonding session and we all opened up. Everyone was totally cool about it. It was really good to make everyone feel comfortable. I used to be very uncomfortable about this subject. I never wanted to talk about it. So much has been brought to my attention about things that go on around the world.”
The Vagina Monologues is a seasonal play. For the last four or five years, students have been participating in this play. Money is usually short and they have a couple of sponsors, including Luna Bar. In addition to their sponsors, they also did some fundraising.
“We had bake sales to raise money,” said Berkeley High sophomore Hannah Michahelles. “We are also going to be doing teach-ins in all the classrooms to spread knowledge about rape, genital mutilation, and respect.”
In the play Michahelles plays a woman who complains about the various indignities her vagina is put through in life. “In the monologue, I’m basically just pretty pissed,” she said. “It’s one of the funnier monologues.”
The Vagina Monologues will be performed at the Florence Schwimley Little Theater on the Berkeley High School campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students with ID and $10 for general admission. All proceeds will benefit organizations that help stop violence against women.
Rio Bauce and Jacob Horn are sophomores at Berkeley High School. They
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