By Ginna Royalty
Many people spend their Valentine’s Day on romantic dates with significant others, watching romance movies or having a “Galantine’s Day” with friends. But 18 Elon University women will be spending their time a little differently. Their night will be spent performing in “The Vagina Monologues,” an annual student production that helps demonstrate the female experience across the world and across ages through a series of monologues.
The Vagina Monologues is written by Eve Ensler, a Tony Award-winning playwright, performer and activist. The script has been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. The play has been performed at Elon on Valentine’s Day every year since 2006.
“Every year the show is different because of the women who perform,” Emily Ciuffetelli, Elon senior and director of The Vagina Monologues said. “Each one of them identifies with the monologues differently and pulls their own experience into new aspects.”
Ciuffetelli was inspired by the 2016 political and social climate to make the cast members women warriors, fighting for themselves, fighting for others, fighting for what’s right.
The Vagina Monologues is important for Elon’s campus because, “Sexism, rape, sexual assault, harassment all happen here. This show is empowering for women who see it and helps to foster a sense of community and support between females on campus,” Ciuffetelli said.
“Men need to see this show. Plain and simple. This isn’t a woman’s issue; it’s a humanity issue. Just like with any other social changes, you have to be educated. So especially to the males: come get educated on the female’s experience.”
After performing The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler was inspired to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.
V-Day raises both money and awareness through benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues and has raised over $100 million. They have also funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Egypt, and Iraq.
There will be two performances in Whitley Hall on Feb. 14 at 6:30 and 9:00 pm, with a short intermission in between shows. Tickets cost $5, with 10% of the proceeds going to the V-Day Foundation to help women who experience violence in the workplace.
The remaining 90% is going to Crossroads Sexual Assault Resource Center in Burlington. The event is sponsored by Elon Feminists for Equality, Change and Transformation (EFFECT).