Mason’s Female Students Let Their Voices Be Heard

Posted: February 5, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Female members of Mason’s student body are raising awareness to stop violence against women and children by presenting Mason’s ninth consecutive production of “The Vagina Monologues” on Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 7, at 2 and 8 p.m.

“The Vagina Monologues” is sponsored by Sexual Assault Services; the Office of Alcohol, Drug and Health Education; and Women and Gender Studies.

“The Vagina Monologues” is part of the V-Day initiative, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. All the monologues performed were written by Eve Ensler, a playwright, performer, feminist and activist who interviewed a large number of women about their feelings toward their lives, bodies and vaginas.

Ensler took answers that she thought seemed to be universal and created this series of monologues that allows actors and the audience to experience together what it means for women to inhabit their bodies, love their bodies and take a stand to stop violence.

“The Vagina Monologues” consists of 17 individual pieces and a “Spotlight Campaign Monologue.” This year, the Spotlight Monologue is “Baptized.” This monologue focuses on the women and girls of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and demands an end to the widespread atrocities committed against them.

The other monologues illustrate different experiences that women have, especially when it comes to how they experience their bodies.

“Some of it is very funny, some of it is very uplifting, some is very sad, and some can be very disturbing, especially with the spotlight on violence in the Congo this year,” explains Rachel Lindsey, outreach coordinator for Sexual Assault Services.

“That is something that is based on rape, so it is going to be very disturbing, but it is also going to be very important.”

The production encompasses a variety of emotions and issues, aiming to reflect the true essence of a female.

“The range of emotions is all over the place, and that is kind of amazing too, because in that way it encapsulates the female experience of what it is like to be a woman and live in a woman’s body,” says Lindsey.

Every year, a new group of female students auditions to be a part of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Jessica “JB” Bailey, a senior community health science major, says she decided to audition for “The Vagina Monologues” because the production intrigued her.

“We as a society put so many things in the dark, and feel like if issues aren’t discussed then they won’t exist; but they do exist, and not talking about them will just make the stigma about them even worse.”

While the cast and crew members are all female, men are invited and encouraged to attend.

Besides Bailey, the cast includes Melissa Bowman, Kerri Buschbacher, Jamie Giuliani, Kelsey Hall, Kirsten Hamlett, Rachel Heyd, Ashley Jones, Deborah Lash, Meigh Mahaffey, Kari Mosca, Meg Nicholas, Holly Nunn, Jessica Pipes, Kathy Prudden, Mickella Ross and Beth Wherry.

“The Vagina Monologues” will be presented in Harris Theater on the Fairfax Campus. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $10 for Mason faculty and staff and $5 for Mason students. When purchased in blocks of 10 or more, tickets are $15.

Funds raised will go to the George Mason University Victims of Violence Fund and the Women and Gender Studies program.

For more information, visit the Sexual Assault Services web site, or call Connie Kirkland at 703-993-4363.

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