Contributed by Rebecca D. Rottman, Wendy K. Ngo, and Kirsten Coachman
Earlier this month, the Empower Women’s Group and Academy of Art University’s Drama Club teamed up to perform Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”
The groundbreaking play has been translated into more than 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries. The performances inspired Ensler in 1998 to create the nonprofit corporation, V-Day, intended to bring attention and funding to end violence against women.
Currently, there are 5,800 annual V-Day events. The recent “Vagina Monologues” performances are a part of the ongoing campaign, which includes spreading awareness among our AAU community.
Academy of Art University’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” was directed and produced by April Deutschle and co-produced by Wendy K. Ngo, Karen Hirst, Rebecca D. Rottman, and Pearl Juarez.
“I feel really touched. I almost cried,” student Vanessa Ramos said following the opening night performance. “I was really happy to see one of my friends perform. I’m really
proud of what everybody did.”
Derek Moore attended “The Vagina Monologues” for the first time and found the show to be “just kind of a tear-jerker.”
“It was pretty moving,” he said. “It was more than what I expected. It was really awesome.”
It wasn’t just the audience that was overwhelmed by the emotional performances.
“I feel empowered and honored that I got to work with such fabulous, fabulous women,” said show director April Deutschle. “They put on such a fabulous show with such a powerful message.”
“Be confident and be bold”
Following their performances, some of the cast shared what they learned from their experience.
Emily Finley (“The Flood”) shared that the play was “one of the most amazing experiences.”
“I’ve been in a lot of shows– I’m an acting major at AAU. I’ve been in shows since I was a kid, and this is the most interactive, most empowering, and uplifting thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
One of the things that Angelina Thompson (“My Angry Vagina”) learned is “not to be afraid of who you are and to express yourself.”
“None of us are perfect,” she said. “Just love yourself. Be confident and be bold. Be strong and be beautiful, independent women. That is what this play is all about.”