Playwright, feminist and activist Eve Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues” in 1998; it is a book celebrating female sexuality. This was the catalyst for universities around the world to have open dialogues on a taboo topic.
WSU hosted The Vagina Monologues play on Feb. 15. The play tackled the subject of domestic violence.
Alaina Kelly, director and producer of the event, said the book meant a lot to her so she wanted to produce the show for her social work project.
Kelly previously worked on the show in 2013 and 2014 in other Utah universities. She said she needed to work on the show again because she wanted attendees to openly discuss domestic violence despite the stigma.
Kelly, along with other social workers, took research classes and told her teacher she was directing and producing the monologues, spiraling into an entirely separate project for the group.
Students have collected new data about sexual violence at universities. Starting the conversation of domestic violence is how to keep the crimes away, according to Kelly.
Actress Tiuana Gums was surprised at how much she enjoyed participating in the monologues. She understood the purpose of the event and wanted to get involved.
Gums said that sometimes it’s better to approach heavy topics with humor rather.
“Have some funny parts and then sprinkle on a little deepness to it,” Gums said.
The opening monologue addressed the different terms for the word vagina as a way to introduce the topic. Kelly said the play had comedic elements so the audience wouldn’t be immediately uncomfortable due to the underlying purpose of the monologues.
WSU student James Grube said Kelly did a great job in broaching the uncomfortable subject of protecting women.
“I came to support my friend, but I thoroughly enjoyed the play,” Grube said. “The director did a great job of balancing humor with the seriousness of domestic violence.”
Kelly said it is important to begin a dialogue within the Ogden community, especially at WSU, because talking about violence can keep it away.
The play was inclusive, having a transgender woman play the role of a person who is bullied because of her appearance and identity.
Adding humor to that specific monologue, the actress said she was finally relieved and at peace with her body once she fully transitioned.
One of the monologues shared the story of a woman who was sexually abused by her dad’s best friend at a party. When she was older, she met a woman who taught her how to pleasure herself.
“The clitoris is pure in purpose. It is the only organ in the body designed purely for pleasure,” the actor quoted from Ensler.
WSU Assistant Professor Barrett Bonella shared a monologue that resonated with him regarding how he cherishes women.
“May I be brave enough to share my fear and shame and gather other men to do the same,” Bonella said on stage. “May I cherish, respect and love my mother, my spouse. May the resonance of that love translate into loving all women and all living things.”
The Vagina Monologues raised $632 for Safe Harbor Crisis Center. The center is an organization that helps domestic violence victims find resources for help, support and counseling.