Photo by HSIMS
Medical students (L-R) Kathleen Dooling
and Kathryn Olsen are co-producing The Vagina Monologues.
Eve Enslers award-winning play, The Vagina
Monologues, has spawned a global movement to end violence against
women. First produced in 1996, the play is a theatrical adaptation
of a book by the same name containing 17 monologues based on interviews
with a diverse group of women.
Now the play will be produced in St. Johns, thanks to the effort
of medical students Kathleen Dooling and Kathryn Olsen and a cast
of about 30 women, both students and women from the larger community.
The co-directors are Danielle Irvine and Terri Andrews.
For Ms. Dooling, the book opened her eyes to a new way of thinking
about the female body.
I was frustrated with a lack of vocabulary, even in the medical
profession, and a lack of comfort with genital terms for women. I
was venting to my Mom one night about this; she had just borrowed
The Vagina Monologues from the library and gave it to me to
read. I read it cover to cover that evening.
Ms. Dooling was immediately interested in mounting a local production
of the play when she read at the end of the book that the author gives
away the copyright to her play annually for college campuses and community
groups to raise money for the V-Day campaign to help end violence
against women. This is a campaign which started in 1998 proclaiming
Valentines Day as V-Day until the violence stops and women live
Co-producer Kathryn Olsen had the good fortune to see The Vagina
Monologues performed professionally in Chicago.
It was an excellent performance and a vehicle which started
me thinking about issues and topics I might not have thought of otherwise.
Its a way to challenge the box we all build around ourselves.
Ms. Olsen explained that this production
is not just about putting on the best theatrical performance, but
about mobilizing women.
We want to empower women, let them stand up and say this
is my body, Im proud of it, Im taking charge.
There are 17 monologues in the play, many consisting of lists in answer
to questions such as If your vagina could talk, what would it
say. Some of the titles of the other dialogues are: If your
vagina got dressed, what would it wear? The Vagina Workshop; Vagina
Fact Genital Mutilation; and My Angry Vagina.
The Vagina Monologues will take place Saturday, Feb. 23, at
8 p.m. in the main auditorium in the medical school, Health Sciences
Centre, with a possible second or third showing depending on ticket
sales. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $15 for others, and
can be obtained at the Arts and Culture Centre Box Office starting
Feb. 4. Proceeds will go to the Iris Kirby House, a shelter for abused
women and their children, the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault
Crisis Centre, and services for female students on campus.