Ramapo’s Women's Center and LGBTQ+ Services presented their fifth annual production of “The Vagina Monologues,” an episodic play by Eve Ensier on the evening of Feb. 28. Students, faculty, friends and family gathered at Sharp Theater in the Berrie Center to watch fellow Ramapo students and staff perform in 17 episodes.
“The Vagina Monologues” have been performed for more than two decades now, and attention and adoration are constantly increasing. Originally performed for the first time 1996 on Off-Off Broadway, the play has been a staple piece of relatable feminine art.
The monologues are based off of more than 200 interviews with all kinds of women: every race, different sexualities, old and young – you name it. It was a powerful and unusual experience for women to be asked about their vagina. Nonetheless, “women will go on and on about their vaginas or stories when they are asked,” shared senior and co-director Mariella Zijdel in the introduction.
Responses to these questions were incredible, and ultimately a therapeutic and powerful experience.
Also mentioned in the introduction, senior and co-director Natalie Dahl stated, “looking at your vagina is a full day’s work.” Though it is important and cathartic to share personal stories and secrets, it can also be a very difficult and challenging experience for some.
“The Vagina Monologues” explores various topics, such as consensual and non-consensual experiences, sexual awakenings and revelations, body image and the overall experience of being a person with a vagina. The performance makes an effort to explore the stories and voices of those who would otherwise not be heard.
Though the 15 performers were reciting pre-written monologues, they powerfully executed the intended emotion and truly displayed support and attention to their castmates during their monologues.
“Being involved with this group of people was a rewarding experience,” said junior Danielle DeAngelis, who performed in “The Vagina Workshop.”
“The whole cast was supportive of each other before and during the show," she said. "I feel like that was evident to the audience.”
The Women’s Center has effectively provided a sense of community and comfort not only for those involved with the performance or those regularly involved at the Women’s Center, but also for our entire campus and broader programs such as the “V-Day” campaign.
The national campaign annually supports and sheds light on performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” and ultimately utilizes their platform to donate to and benefit social organizations that contribute to and actively trying prevent violence against women and girls.
Colleges across the nation put on their own productions of “The Vagina Monologues” each year as well. This alone creates a conformity of women and students everywhere to know they have a space in our world to freely open their hearts with no barriers or judgement.
Students involved with the Women’s Center at Ramapo are always doing their best to create a sense of community and a safe-space on our campus, and events like “The Vagina Monologues” are just one of their larger events.
Needless to say, “The Vagina Monolgues” will continue to be an entertaining and inspiring feminist production for years to come at Ramapo and in theaters globally. The Women’s Center flourishes each year with their new cast and pieces, yet their dedication to spreading awareness for female rights and equality is something they are constantly fighting for.