Every year when February fourteenth rolls around, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are knee deep in flowers, candy, stuffed animals and greeting cards. Valentine’s Day is a day for “lovers,” a holiday created by greeting card companies to celebrate love and happiness. But for about 20 Castleton State College students, this Valentine’s Day is about women, and their love for their vaginas.
On this particular “V” Day, CSC will be putting on its very first production of “The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler. Senior Michelle Page is in charge of the student-funded, student-run and student-produced show.
So far CSC is the only school in all of Vermont that has not put on a production of The Monologues. “The Vagina Monologues” was written by Ensler in 1996, after interviewing over 200 hundred women and listening to their stories. Castleton’s production is only “part of a nationwide program to end violence against women,” Page said. Each year a new monologue is written to address an issue concerning women. The existing monologues express many different voices, and were written to stop violence and rape, to expose the problem, and to empower women across the globe.
“People will be out of their comfort zone, but it’s the truth. And they need to hear it,” Page said.
Even she, the director, is still moved by the pieces, evident by the tears shed as she watched a few of the actresses rehearse their lines.
This year is the 10th anniversary of “V” Day, which began on Valentine’s Day in 1998. For the past 10 years between Feb. 1 and March 8, participants have hosted benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues.” CSC is a part of “V” Day this year, with part of the profits made from the production going to support “V” Day in New Orleans, and the other part given to a charity picked by the Monologues crew.
Page is very excited about the entire project, because it is something she is passionate about. The show will run about an hour and a half to two hours, and will be accompanied by a band, led by Julian DeFelice. Half of the songs will be original, created by DeFelice and others.
Tickets will be sold right before the only showing of the Vagina Monologues, which is on Feb. 14, at 7 P.M. in the Casella Theater. The price is $5 per person, $8 for couples and a “bum” rate, which has been set up to encourage broke students to attend the production. If $5 is too much for your budget, you can negotiate a price of “what you can pay.” Remember, the money will be going to a good cause.
“We want the seats to be filled. Men are encouraged to come too! Men are as equally important to make a change in violence towards women,” Page said.
There will also be a “V” Day gallery display in the Casella lobby before the show. Because you can’t get your tickets in advance, Page encourages people to show up early to get tickets and check out the gallery while waiting for it to begin.