They’re back! “The Vagina Monologues” and “Wheaton Words,” formerly known as “Wheaton Monologues,” will be making appearances at Wheaton once again in the upcoming spring semester.
Emily Bergmann ’16 and Kate Gannon ’16 are the producers of “The Vagina Monologues,” with Gannon as the director, and Blair Davis ’14, Emily Stoddard ’14 and Sophie Howard ’14 will be the co-directors of “Wheaton Words.”
Emily Bergmann explained her motivation for the production.
“My main goal for this performance of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ is to have it be the catalyst for thought, and hopefully, discussion on this campus. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ is performed in many locations across the world every year, and benefits the V-Day movement, started by Eve Ensler, the play’s author. The objective of the V-Day movement is to end violence against girls and women, and this year, our beneficiary will be New Hope in Attleboro, an organization working to end sexual and domestic violence. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ speaks for many women with the voices of a few, and I think even with that, that it provides a good perspective as well as a center for the movement. Many women (and men, and people anywhere in between) feel empowered by ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ and I think it’s incredibly important to bring them back to campus.” “The Vagina Monologues” are returning to Wheaton after a year-long hiatus.
Sophie Howard and Blair Davis produced the most recent performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” and Sophie was able to offer some insight into the process.
“When Blair Davis and I produced ‘The Vagina Monologues’ in the spring of 2012, it was the first time in five years that the production had happened at Wheaton. We hoped for the play to become an annual event because events like this are essential to the confrontation of gendered violence in our community.”
This production actually led to the creation of the Wheaton Monologues, she explained.
“After the performance, there was some feedback to create a similar event, but one that represented the voices of Wheaton students, instead of Eve Ensler’s show, which brings voice to women of the world. Thus, the (then) ‘Wheaton Monologues’ took the form of ‘Stripped’ last spring. With all the energy on creating ‘Stripped,’ ‘The Vagina Monologues’ went on sabbatical.”
Howard believes that the two shows can complement each other.
“Now that we’ve already had experience with each show, we believe that the two shows can co-exist. The more events addressing issues of gender and sexuality the merrier!”
Each production brings something unique to campus. Howard explained, “The main difference between the two performances lies in the genesis between the two, namely that ‘The Vagina Monologues’ originates from a world renowned play, versus the student-written ‘Wheaton Words.’ They each offer unique perspectives on gender and sexuality that are important for our community. The Vagina Monologues connects Wheaton to a global movement to end violence against women and girls, while ‘Wheaton Monologues’ is a consciousness-raising project to address issues of sexuality, identity and relationships in the Wheaton community.”
Howard encourages all students to consider submitting a piece to “Wheaton Words.”
“Even though Wheaton is a small, tight-knit community, when it comes to love, relationships, and sexuality, so many of us feel that we are without a voice. The process and performance of ‘Wheaton Words’ creates a space for these experiences to be confronted. “
If any student is interested in getting involved with the production of “Wheaton Words,” please submit your monologue to email@example.com. The deadline is Dec. 2, and writing workshops will be held on Nov. 11 and 12, time and place to be determined.
Similarly, if any students want to be involved with “The Vagina Monologues,” contact Emily Bergmann ’16 at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will send you more information.
The presence of the two productions on campus provides our community with the opportunity to begin important conversations about all facets of sexuality. Please consider becoming involved.