The 16th Annual Vagina Monologues at UNT
They are women, hear them roar!
The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance of the University of North Texas put on the 2017 production of The Vagina Monologues this past weekend on February 17th and 18th in the UNT Lyceum lecture hall. This is the sixteenth annual performance of the play that the UNT social organization has put on, and was directed by Bailey Garcia, a UNT senior studying theater and entrepreneurship. Before the play was scheduled to begin, the yearly “Vagina Fair” featured outside the hall showcased handmade crafts, artwork, and gifts made by university students were showcased and sold to attendees.
The Vagina Monologues was created by esteemed playwright and well-known feminist activist Eve Ensler and was first debuted as an episodic play in 1996. Since then, the play has been performed time and time again by different organizations, schools, and actor troupes. The Vagina Monologues has been used as a tool to spread awareness and provide insight into the female experience, as well as a channel for raising funds for local women’s shelters and social work charities that serve to educate and liberate women within their respective communities.
Each story featured in the play highlights a specific experience detailed by a different individual female character, all of whom vary greatly in age, size, race, ethnicity, and personal identity. The topics of the monologues all focus on different general issues that women face regarding sexuality, gender identity, and body image. The stories range from empowering tales about sexual exploration, relatable quips about puberty and coming-of-age, and disheartening accounts of sexual violence and persecution.
The actresses that participated in this year’s production were striking in their individual character representations, and each woman provided poignantly believable deliveries. The FMLA holds yearly auditions for the play, open to all students. While new faces come and go with each spring production of the play, many women who contributed to the 2017 production have played roles in previous years. For those who have seen past versions of the UNT adaptation will recognize actresses like Claudia Hullett, Lena Glover, and Jay Menai for their strong performances in both last year’s and this year’s Monologues productions.
According to veteran Monologues actor and contributor Nash Bayoud, UNT’s FMLA organization had raised a total of $3,959 by the end of Saturday night’s performance thanks to ticket sales, donations, and item purchases. The money raised by this event will be donated to the Denton County Friends of the Family organization, a local agency that serves as a major resource for those who have suffered sexual abuse and domestic violence.
In addition to the large amount of donation money that this year’s UNT Vagina Monologues brought, the heartfelt and applauded performances of the actresses made this 17th annual event a memorable and powerful one.
Photos by Amelia McBride
Header image design by Brittany Keeton