By Edith Yang
“Push for change,” “Opening up,” and “Energy” were some of the words used by excited directors and managers when asked to describe the “Vagina Monologues,” which will be showing on March 7 and 8 at the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall.
Vagina Monologues (VM) will soon be holding auditions for the play written by Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day. “It’s part of [an international] movement to stop violence against women,” said Alex Mufson, the producer of this year’s VM at UC Santa Cruz.
The directors, managers, and producers have high hopes for this year’s rendition.
“It’s the same script every year, but it’s really the women that are involved that make it special. It’s the same words and the same message, but you can get a different spin on it, a different perspective, depending on who is voicing it,” said Dori Daniels, production stage manager of VM.
“It’s to make change [and] open up a space for [different issues] we’re talking about … this year we have men involved and that’s new as well,” Mufson said of this year’s production.
Male actors are not the only change to look for. Elizabeth Peters, assistant stage manager for VM, said, “When I saw this last year, there seemed to be a wide range of women of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages that come to be in the show. It really is not just about one type of women or [women from] one type of background, but it is about all women unifying under that kind of identity.”
The producers’, managers’, and directors’ goals this year include collaboration with each other, the cast, and the community. “One of the things that I want to work with the cast on is bringing in the communal aspects of it so that it’s not just a theatre you go into, but a place where we’re working together and being able to share,” said Allison Dorn, director of VM.
“There is a lot of sensitive material in ‘Vagina Monologues,’ and it can bring some pretty intense issues and feelings,” she said regarding her own goals for future cast members.
Addressing such issues is the inspiration that gets people to work on the show every year. The staff hopes to find people with equal amount of dedication for the campaign as well as the show.
“We’re really looking for people that are not just interested in being part of the show,” Dorn said, “but more so trying to be part of the V-Day campaign – wanting to work with the community, wanting to set up, really trying to put their brainpower and energy into the campaign.”
“I think [VM gives] exposure to certain issues that can easily be silenced, even in a liberal place like Santa Cruz,” Mufson said. “Things are hard to talk about even if people are willing to talk about it. ‘Vagina Monologues’ is a nice way to start the conversation. It’s also a good opportunity to get people involved.”
_Auditions will be at the Porter Fireside Lounge on Friday, Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 12 for callbacks. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org._