The Vagina Monologues, first performed in 1996, is based on interviews with 200 women. The play, a series of individual monologues and four group pieces, explores consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, vaginal care, menstrual periods, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities and other differences.
For this production, Director Sharon Brodie has selected 10 local women to present 12 monologues by characters aged from 16 to 72 and four group pieces.
Sharon Brodie has directed The Vagina Monologues 2 times over the past 8 years, each time varying the monologues and the group pieces. She says ‘I love presenting The Vagina Monologues to audiences because it combines my passion for theatre with my commitment to human rights. These stories are educational, empowering and powerful and they can be enjoyed by everyone.
Actors in this production include actors familiar to LTC audiences, Elyse Knowles, Beth Hobbs, Kashmir Miller, Natalie Havilah, Sarah Jane Loxton, Megan Lester, Jenny Dowell and Sivi Tuioro, and newcomers, Mechelle Anderson and Ajita Cannings.
Elyse Knowles has participated in The Vagina Monologues previously and says ‘It is truly an honour to be involved in the Vagina Monologues for the third time. The beauty of this show is that it not only deals with the experiences of women in the world but it continues to evolve over time and as each new person brings it to life.
The youngest member of the cast, Kashmir Miller says, ‘Being a part of The Vagina Monologues is an empowering experience that has made me think about the power of womanhood and sisterhood in new ways. My piece explores contemporary attitudes towards young women, and it’s been a pleasure so far learning with my character how to embrace yourself and become free from others perceptions.’
The show is confronting, poignant and funny and while there are references to sex and violence and some coarse language, it is suitable for mature teenagers.