In the dark room of the Westerbeck Recital Hall, a woman in red stands in front of a crowd, no longer afraid and tired of remaining silent. The silence covers the whole room. She describes one of her worst moments of her life for the first time and the audience stands in solidarity.
“The Vagina Monologues” was hosted for the fourth time at PCC on Feb. 25 and 26. It is a play written by Eve Ensler that celebrates the V-Day movement, which began on Feb. 14, 1998. The purpose of the movement, as well as the performance, is to raise awareness and to end violence against girls and women worldwide.
More than 17 monologues were interpreted by different actresses. Each one addressed a different aspect of the female experience, including self-love, body image, sex and rape.
“I want people to laugh, to cry but mostly I want them to think about what can we do to help women and to reduce violence against women,” said faculty advisor Dr. Jennifer Fiebig.
The entrance was free with a suggested donation. All of the funds raised went to Shepherd’s Door, a local non-profit that assists and supports victims of domestic violence. Overall, $639 were collected for the organization.
Only eight actresses participated this year, a small quantity compared to past years. Several performers were unable to continue with the show and their roles had to be recast. One actress was late to the evening performance and three of her pieces were reassigned 20 minutes before the show.
“The message is just as powerful and I don’t think the smaller cast impacted the quality at all,” said Fiebig. “We had some last minute adjustments but the actors were able to handle the last minute switches and it was not an issue.”
The first year, 15 girls participated. In the second year, a maximum of 38 females took part in the show and last year, 17 women volunteered.
“I participated because I found out that it was for V-day,” said actress Brianna Cabrera. “I always loved to advocate for something bigger than I am.”
The auditions for the monologues started in October 2019 and the rehearsals began in December. All of the performers, student directors and faculty producers have dedicated their time, energy and resources.
“I wanted to be part of a show that was made for women, by women, to all women,” said performer Gianna Bermeo. “Vaginas are often disregarded. Society has taught us not to love that part, but we should be walking with our head high up.”
More than half of the attendees were watching the performance for the first time.
“As a young woman, I learned to feel good with myself and be proud of who I am,” said first-year attendee Yadira Castillo. “I felt so identified with one of the monologues. Sometimes we think that it will not happen to us but it reminded me that we are all exposed to suffer these tragedies.”
The auditions for next year’s performance will be in October. Any female who might be interested in participating in the show can contact Fiebig or Dr. Jennifer Noble, both from the Social Science Division.