VDAY: Women speak against violence

ESU students performed during the “Vagina Monologues.” Photo Credit / Susan Forrester
ESU students performed during the “Vagina Monologues.” Photo Credit / Susan Forrester
ESU students performed during the “Vagina Monologues.”
Photo Credit / Susan Forrester

By Jenny Bront

SC Staff Writer

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Feminist Alliance of East Stroudsburg University brought the “Vagina Monologues” to the Abeloff Center for Performing Arts April 4 and 5.

Members of the alliance read stories and poems that highlighted the struggles women have gone through over the years.

The original “Vagina Monologues” were performed in 1996 displaying interviews of women done by Eve Ensler around the country.

Now the event is performed every year with an ever-growing number of scripts available — each one bringing awareness to the issues women face.

The members of the alliance chose their pieces by selecting the ones that spoke to them on an emotional level.

The event started off with the ladies introducing their pieces and throwing roses on the floor.

Raymona Nemours began with ”Darkness” by Betty Gayle Tyson, a story of a woman coming from poverty, abusive husbands, being framed for a murder she didn’t commit, and living through it all.

Reed Milliard continued the monologues with “Part Owner” by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, which is about the struggles of black women and the history of slavery.  Women didn’t have a say in how their bodies were treated and abused, leaving them in the hands of white men.

I Can’t Wait,” written by James Lecesne was performed by Nikole Threats, depicting a woman’s journey through the Hollywood world.  The only roles she landed were prostitutes, yet she said being a beaten prostitute is better than being a dead prositute.

Edwidge Danticat’s “Celia” was written to portray the life of a Guatemalan woman attempting to escape from oppression to cross the border and come to America. Valeria Echeverry performed this piece.

The next performer did a piece about how women are raped and killed everday, but no one pays attention.

Life to everyone else is a party, and people who do care are imprisoned for their opinions and are discriminated against.  The words, written by Eve Ensler and titled “Fur is Back,” were performaned by Michelle Zbinden.

As the evening progressed, the next work was titled as “Afterword: Reclaiming Our Motto” by Jane Fonda.  Read by Kylee Witmer, this was about a daughter discovering that her mother’s mental illness was partly due to being molested at a young age.

“Blueberry Hill” by Christine House was about a girl who was almost gang raped by a group of guys, and instead of allowing it to happen, she fought until the gang members decided that “she wan’t worth it.”  Her story was reenacted by Emmy Usera.

Eve Ensler’s “Then We Were Jumping” depicted the suffering of women and the relationship with their fathers — particularly author Eve Ensler’s relationship with her father.  Emily Fox recited this poem.

Sarah Kahan closed out the show with Eve Ensler’s “One Billion Will Rise for Justice,” which illustrated the power of the collective when bringing attention to women’s issues.

The entire effort was organized by the event committee of Aalih Hussein, Brendon Abbazio, Kathryn Bock, and co-directors Sarah Kahan and Emily Fox.

All proceeds from selling tickets, food, and merchandise will go to The Women’s Resource Center of Monroe County and VDAY: A Global Movement.

For more information email President Aalih Hussein at ahussein@live.esu.edu.

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