5 Questions ‘The Vagina Monologues’ returns
WANT TO GO?
“The Vagina Monologues”
WHERE: Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
INFO: 304-721-8896 or www.albanartscenter.com
By Bill Lynch
On Saturday, “The Vagina Monologues” returns to Kanawha County once again to raise funds and awareness to end violence against women and girls. This year, the reading takes place at the Alban Arts Center in St. Albans for one night only. The Gazz spoke with Ariana Kincaid, a spokesperson for V-Day Charleston, about the monologues, why they’re still relevant and why it’s not just a show for women.
Q: The monologues are performed every year, but they change, don’t they?
A: Yes. Each year, we have a base set of monologues we can do, and each year, Eve Ensler, the author of “The Vagina Monologues,” writes two or three more and gives us the opportunity to choose from them.
The monologues have changed a lot from when we first did this. Back then it was very close to the theatrical version of the monologues.
This year’s show includes “Then We Were Jumping.” It’s about Eve’s sexual abuse as a child. We’re also doing “One Billion Will Rise For Justice,” which is a manifesto of sorts about women’s issues, sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence.
Q: Isn’t this a little late in the year for the show?
A: Actually, the timeline we’re given is January to the end of April. We’re probably one of the last shows that is being put on, but we’re within the window the V-Day organization allows, and April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Our beneficiary is R.E.A.C.H. with the counseling connection. So, it just fit.
Q: Who should see this?
A: Everybody! (laughs) Actually, there’s a piece we’re putting in our program that asks “Are the Vagina Monologues relevant?” and it talks about how some of the references may seem dated, but we still have so many of the same issues. We’ve got the Steubenville rape case. We’re still struggling for basic control over our bodies, still having discussions about abortion and birth control.
Some women may be insulated from some of the issues — like the slut shaming — but it’s something we all face.
Q: The show seems confrontational toward men. Is there anything men should do to prepare themselves before coming to the performance?
A: I wouldn’t say the show is confrontational towards men in general. It’s against those societies that look down on women, and if men happen to be part of that society — and naturally some of them are — then yes, it can be directed at them.
But we welcome men to the show. We’re glad they’re there. It opens a dialogue, and it shows that these men are interested in what we go through as women.
Q: What’s the take away from “The Vagina Monologues”? What do you want the audience to know?
A: Just that they should treat people with kindness. We’re all walking this earth with our own burdens to bear, and just because someone is different doesn’t mean they’re wrong. They just want to live peacefully, just like you.
Reach Bill Lynch at email@example.com or 304-348-5195.