Two giant, waddling pink tacos might have caught your eye in this past week. If this both confused and intrigued you, then we were on the same page. Newsflash: they’re vaginas.
The Vagina Monologues and Herstories are back again to celebrate the taboo topics that your grandma loves to scold you over at Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps it’s due time you let grandma know what she should be proud of as well.
The performance will be in two parts, as the title suggests. The Vagina Monologues portion will be a series of monologues written by playwright Eve Ensler, who published the collection with the same title, The Vagina Monologues, in 1996. The second portion is similar in structure, but they are written, directed and performed by UCSB students. Let Bridget Kyeremateng, one of the directors of the event tell you about what to expect:
“This year we have pieces about immigration, BDSM, being a ‘crazy girlfriend’…we have pieces about the gaming industry and how that is for women,” said Kyeremateng, a fourth year feminist studies and black studies double major.
Rachel Gregory, an actor and director of the Vagina Monologues, can reassure you of the same.
“Usually, the Herstories portion of the show, a lot of the UCSB students found it to be extremely relatable,” said Gregory, a third year theater and religious studies double major. “It’s just nice knowing that our own students work is being celebrated.”
Kyeremateng sat down with The Bottom Line to have an eye-opening (or ear-opening, in this case) talk about the meaning of the event. To her, it was important to represent all the different types of women: women of different ethnicities, women with or without vaginas, and women who are also men.
This program did not used to be so inclusive, Kyeremateng said. Having worked on the Vagina Monologues for four years, she witnessed how it evolved to be what it is today. She is proud to say that the current troupe of actors consists of a cast that hopefully has “women on stage that audience members could look at and go, ‘I look like that woman’.”
When looking at performances and giving message out to the public we frequently ask the questions “why here?” and “why now?” You might think these works don’t apply to you, or you’re disinterested in everything mentioned so far (essentially, more than half of the world). Just know that there is a good reason the Vagina Monologues are shown at this time.
“In the political environment that we are in, in United States, it’s important to get people to go to programs that bring up women’s issues, immigrant issues, and LGBTQ rights issues,” Kyeremateng stresses. “One of the greatest ways to do that is through performance, art, and theatre.”
Rather than risking a quarter’s GPA on minority literature and feminist studies classes, a much easier and stress-free way to expose yourself to these current issues is by watching performances like the Vagina Monologues. You’d achieve the same effect while not having to spend ten weeks and forty dollars for a (dust-collecting) reader.
So go get educated this Friday and Saturday night. With a ticket price of $10 on the UCSB Events website or at the door you could save yourself a few needless GE units, some sleepless nights, and a heated argument with grandma.