The University of Maine Student Women’s Association (SWA) performed the episodic play “The Vagina Monologues” on Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday Feb. 13. The play took place in Neville 101.
“The Vagina Monologues” was written by Eve Ensler, a playwright, feminist and activist. It is a collection of women’s stories based on interviews surrounding women’s relationships with their bodies and the social stigmas of rape, abuse and female sexuality. Every year SWA, along with the Women’s Resource Center, performs the play on campus.
Mariah Curtis, a fourth-year theatre student and member of SWA, urges community members to come see the show.
“Every time this play is performed is unique due to its episodic nature, so if you have never been, or even if you were in it last year, there will be something to engage you,” Curtis said.
Although these women’s stories are from decades ago, audience members still find connection to the stories. This won’t be the first performance for Abigail Annis, a second-year studio art student.
“I went last year and found it very interesting,” Anis said. “Events like this on campus are important because they give an honest and educational view of women’s lives that otherwise aren’t usually shared among the public.”
All proceeds of the show were donated to Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance, Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center and Rape Response Services.
Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance is an organization that provides free services to the community, focusing on those affected by domestic violence. Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center is a freestanding, feminist health center located. Rape Response Services is an organization with the mission of providing free and confidential assistance to those in need and also provides education and outreach programs. All three organizations provide resources to the greater Bangor area and depend largely on donations.
“The Vagina Monologues” is put on as part of V-Day, “a non-profit 501c3 corporation, [that] distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls,” their website, vday.org, states. They chose to associate the event with Valentine’s Day, having the “V” stand for “Victory, Valentine and Vagina.” What started as a single V-Day performance in 1998 has grown to over 5,800 shows annually and has raised over $100 million for groups with missions to end violence against women and girls.
“The annual production of this play is a treasured Orono tradition that needs you to help keep it alive. Come out and let us delight and provoke you,” Curtis said.