CWO presents “The Vagina Monologues”

By Pitt News Staff

“The Vagina…“The Vagina Monologues” Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. David Lawrence Hall $5 for students with ID

What’s so controversial about The Vagina Monologues? Since 1998, the question might be: Are monologues about vaginas more controversial than violence against women?

This Valentine’s Day weekend, the Campus Women’s Organization presents Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” now in its 10th year, in its annual call to both celebrate the female body and raise funds for organizations that seek to end violence toward women.

Each show is comprised of an introduction and 14 monologues ranging from humorous to solemn. Most of the proceeds from ticket sales this year will benefit Crisis Center North, which aids victims of domestic violence.

Through the V-Day organization, the remaining funds will be directed toward Katrina Warriors, which helps women who are still struggling against the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing impoverished conditions of the Gulf Coast.

This year finds Lauren Stoner and Mallory Deptola at the director’s helm of the production. Stoner, a senior, saw the play for the first time as a freshman at Pitt.

“It’s a project I’ve always been passionate about,” Stoner said. She has taken an active role in the production since her junior year. Commonly performed on college campuses across the nation for the same objectives as Pitt’s version, “The Vagina Monologues” concerns more than just vaginas.

The performances tackle issues such as love, sex, rape and menstruation from mental and social angles. While some prospective audience members may find this straight talk about vaginas unrealistic, the play is actually the product of 200 interviews conducted by Ensler.

New this year is “Say It,” intended as a monologue but modified to include several performers by Stoner and Deptola. It revolves around “comfort women,” female prisoners of the World War II Japanese regime who were prostituted. After initially denying accusations of involvement, a Japanese cabinet member apologized for the forced prostitution in 1993.

However, after several government officials denied Japanese involvement again in 2007, Congress passed a resolution asking for an admission of implication and official apology. As of today, the Japanese government has done neither.

While the play is concerned with women’s issues, Stoner stressed that it’s a performance put on for everyone. Whether you have a vagina or not, “The Vagina Monologues” is presented as both a thinking piece and entertainment.

“We’re trying to get more of the male audience to come out,” said Stoner in reference to some men who may find the title intimidating.