If you did not read the title of this post, reread it and proceed with caution.
Although I had heard about The Vagina Monologues in the past, it was usually from my lesbian friends. The title alone produced not so appealing images of talking vaginas. Thinking I could end up being the only man in the audience was no incentive to see the play either. The last interaction I had with a vagina of any sort was in 1999, when I taught the last semester of Psych 110 – Human Sexual Behavior at the college in CA, a class I had taught for twelve years. Prior to that, my in-ter-actions with the V-word were not so in-ter at all.
Since then my life has been perfectly fulfilled without having to resort to vagina monologues, dialogues, diatribes, explorations, visualizations, sightings, or any other sensory confrontations. Who convinced me I needed to see this show was one of my former students, Dorottya Karsay. She asked me to attend this production at Central European University. Because she was always special to me and she was part of the cast and I could get Ron to go with me, I agreed. Our friend Laszlo joined us too.
The tickets were free, but based on a donation which went to two excellent causes. One recipient receiving 90%, is the only shelter in Hungary for helping the survivors of sexual abuse and assault, the Eszter Foundation. Each year, 10% of the donations from around the world go to one charity. This year it is the “City of Joy” for the women and girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is said that the DRC is the world’s most dangerous place to be a woman or girl.
The smallish theater was packed. My guess is that the audience was a 50-50 gender mix. Consisting of sixteen vignettes with a cast numbering more than twenty, some of the contemporary themes made it apparent that the play is rejuvenated with current vagina related events keeping it timely. A point to be made here is that the play at any time will be entirely different than the movie, which was made in 2002. The latter consists of the author as the sole performer.
Ninety minutes after entering the theater, my emotional repertoire had run the gamut. I laughed hysterically at parts. I wanted to cry hysterically at others. Some just made me sad, while others made me angry. This group of young women gave us their all while draining it all from us. Bravo and thank you!