The Show Must Go On: Behind the Scenes of the Vagina Monologues
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
In an effort to share the burden of work that goes into making the show happen and scheduling fundraisers, they made a few changes to the usual organization. “This was the first year we’ve actually had a committee to help the directors so I think everything went a lot smoother,” Hart stated.
After winterim, the auditions begin. Hart informs that “last year, the auditions started the week before March, which gave the cast a total of four weeks to learn their lines. ”Asking the actors to memorize their lines and stage directions in such a short time may seem crazy, but Hart thinks it’s not always a bad idea:
“It’s pure chaos, which is good because Vagina Monologues is meant to be read from a script versus acted. Typically they give you as little time as possible. The VM website actually suggests you give them two weeks of rehearsal time…and that’s it.”
Rushing can have its benefits, but Hart prefers giving the cast time to learn the lines.
“I think it comes off the best when they are the character, so I understand wanting to be prepared and wanting to know your lines.”
This year’s cast was made up of fourteen women, mostly Plymouth State students with different monologues all about the trials of having a vagina. Hart states “I think this year my favorite had to be the ‘angry’ vagina—it changes every year. The ‘moaner’, the first year I saw it, was by far the best.”
The monologues have been the same since they began performing it but sometimes the respective shows have their own little changes. “It’s kind of against the rules, but a lot of directors get to add their own little tweaks to it,” added Hart.
V-Day also makes some changes to the show, “they do spotlight monologues…there was one about Haiti this year…every year it changes depending what country they’re focusing on,” says Hart
It’s not just the community who benefits from the show’s humor and message, but the cast gets to try out a whole different kind of show with other talented women.
“We try to make sure it’s a good bonding experience, and we’re not always focusing on the pressure of the show. It’s usually a healthy environment and we talk about a lot of female issues so it’s a bonding and educating experience,” states Hart.
The show is performed mostly by college students on college campuses and there are a few reasons why. Specifically, students at schools like PSU, with well-known theater programs, can benefit from the extra opportunities to take the stage. Another reason is the importance of spreading the message to a crowd who will enjoy it and take something from it.
“I feel like it’s catered more towards entertaining college audiences,” explains Hart, “but I do think it’s important for everyone. Male, female, old or young—especially with the inclusion of this year’s monologue ‘We’re Over Rape’. It’s really important for everyone to see. It’s an ‘everyone’ kind of issue.”
One of the best things about the show is that the audience doesn’t always realize they are learning, which is always one of the easiest ways to teach. “It’s a good way to educate people without having to feel like you’re sitting through a ninety minute video about all this stuff.”
Another great aspect of the show is the bond created between all of the cast and behind the scenes people, even for first year students, “they come out being really good friends.”
After a few years involved with the S.A.G.E. center and three performances of the Vagina Monologues, Hart has realized that playing her role behind the scenes prepared her for the road ahead after college, “I’ve definitely matured through all of it and learned to alleviate bad situations that arise.