Barbara Castonguay

NEW! MGAC’s “Vagina Monologues,” frank emotion for a good cause

By - Feb 12th, 2011 11:44 am
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I may be the last woman in the world to finally see The Vagina Monologues. I’m only about 15 years behind.

Milwaukee Gay Arts Center‘s third annual performance of The Vagina Monologues opened Friday (Feb. 11) night to a packed house in MGAC’s Walker’s Point gallery. All proceeds benefit V-day, a non-profit global effort spearheaded by playwright Eve Ensler, to end violence against women and girls. Her play is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show around the world in each year between February 1 and April 30. Their current campaign will benefit victimized women in Haiti, who have suffered increases in sexual assault and violence since the 2010 earthquake.

Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues in 1996 as a celebration of female empowerment, and quickly capitalized on its popularity to draw attention to global violence against women. She based the piece on 200 interviews she conducted with women of varying backgrounds, ages, and experience related to sex, relationships, and assault. The monologues range from the innocent experience of a 6-year-old to the sexual awakening of a 90-year-old. The work has expanded over the years to include monologues about the transgender experience and giving birth.

Casey Harding (credits at Renaissance Theaterworks and Pink Banana Theatre) directed a heartfelt, bare-bones production. Stand-out performances include Angela Hamilton’s My Angry Vagina and Kate Gustin’s The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy. Tehseen “Noni” Majid’s monologue, compiled from the testimonies of women subjected to rape camps, was especially poignant and moving. From sex to motherhood to sexual violence, The Vagina Monologues define and demystify the female experience.

Repeat performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13. $15, $10 students and seniors; 414 383-3727.

Categories: Theater

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