Over time, some words have become taboo. ‘Vagina’ is one of these words. Weber State University graduate Alicia Washington and Good Company Theatre are trying to change that.
Good Company Theatre on Historic 25th Street will perform “The Vagina Monologues” Feb. 20-23, with proceeds going to benefit Your Community Connection, a family crisis center in downtown Ogden, and the V-Day campaign.
“The Vagina Monologues,” a play written by Eve Ensler in 1996, highlights women’s issues, particularly rape, menstruation and female sexuality.
“(Ensler) created ‘The Vagina Monologues’ out of over 200 interviews that she conducted with women from all walks of life,” said Washington, director of the production and owner of Good Company Theatre.
Washington said she first discovered “The Vagina Monologues” when she attended WSU in the early 2000s. She performed in “The Vagina Monologues” several times while at WSU. Now that she has graduated, she wants to continue raising awareness of women’s issues through this play.
“When it comes to violence against women, I feel like it can be silenced easily,” Washington said. “I feel like this is an anchor within our community where people can come in and have a theatrical experience and then also learn, have it be an educational moment.”
Washington said being able to educate the community about resources for and raising awareness of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault is her main goal in producing “The Vagina Monologues” and donating the proceeds to YCC and V-Day; both of these organizations work to support women and children.
“The statistics are very staggering that 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime,” Washington said. “You just never know when you’re going to have to be that person and stand up for someone else, or to stand up for yourself.”
Nicole Finney, a WSU student majoring in musical theater, is acting in two of the monologues. In one of them, Finney plays a woman embarrassed about her body who finds confidence in sexual experiences with her boyfriend.
“(The experiences) made her feel a lot more confident about herself and about her sexuality,” Finney said. “That transforms her as a person. Before, she felt very almost embarrassed about sex. You know, sex is supposed to be something that you do in the dark, and it’s not supposed to be looked at. But having every part of you exposed is beautiful in itself.”
Finney said she feels like all women, regardless of age, social status or other dividing factors, can relate to the issues presented in “The Vagina Monologues.”
“As women, we all have some of the same experiences, and they’re all embarrassing to discuss,” she said.“Having those experiences said out loud, I feel like there’s a connectedness that begins to occur. I think that that is very important (for the audience) to feel like, as women, that we’re all in this together.”
Avery Pince, a senior in history and anthropology at WSU, directed a production of “The Vagina Monologues” at WSU last year. Pince said she would like to see the taboo attached to the vagina dispelled.
“The less we talk about it, the more likely violence towards women is likely to happen,” Pince said. “If we continue to make things like that — just a body part — shameful, women aren’t going to talk about the experiences that happen to them.”
Tickets for “The Vagina Monologues” are available for purchase through Good Company Theatre’s website, http://www.goodcotheatre.com/, or at the performance. Good Company Theatre is located at 260 Historic 25th Street in Ogden. “The Vagina Monologues” will play five times, with three evening performances at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and two matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.