by Julia Vaccarella ’20 A&E Staff
On Feb. 20 and Feb. 23, a group of Providence College students performed The Vagina Monologues (TVM) at AS220, a creative arts venue located in downtown Providence. This particular show is unlike many other traditional plays and theater productions. Based on the play by Tony award-winner Eve Ensler, TVM has been presented by a group of PC students for almost 20 years.
Since its debut in the 90s, TVM has been literarily translated into almost 50 languages throughout 140 countries. The Vagina Monologues and its content have also caused significant controversy over the years. However, at its core, TVM intends to raise awareness about issues surrounding violence against women. According to the TVM web site, “V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.”
Some of the monologues featured throughout the production by PC students this year incorporated humor, but TVM largely remains informative and serious in nature.
Although a significant amount of preparation, fundraising, and planning goes into putting on this show, TVM is one of the many outlets for students at the college to become more involved and meet new people with common interests.
Those who participate in TVM generally tend to resonate with its intent. Tori Rasmussen ’20 said, “The main reason that I decided to be a part of The Vagina Monologues was due to the mission of the show, but I also thought that performing in it would be something fun to be a part of.” In addition to the general cast and crew, TVM also has an executive board comprised of five members.
This year’s presentation of TVM ran at approximately two hours. All of the proceeds generated from the show on both days were donated to Sojourner House, a non-profit company that is based in Providence. This particular organization is relevant to the essential mission and purpose of The Vagina Monologues. Sojourner House is a resource and advocacy center for victims of domestic violence which relies heavily upon trained volunteers who offer a variety of educational, preventive, and supportive programs for victims and survivors alike.
The central themes of TVM are certainly relevant to college students. “PC students have performed The Vagina Monologues for 17 years, the past 14 of which it has been banned from campus, to express our dedication to ending violence against women. This issue is particularly important on a college campus, where the rate of sexual assault is extremely high,” said Maggie Bouvier ’19.
The forward nature of TVM confronts these topics head-on by exposing audiences to stories that are still largely taboo, even in today’s progressive society. In the midst of the #MeToo Movement, now is a fitting time to spread awareness about the various issues that plague millions each and every day.