(Photo courtesy of Pink Pangea)
(Photo courtesy of Pink Pangea)

By LISA MCGANN, Guest Writer

The annual Vagina Monologues, sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, are coming back to University of Michigan-Dearborn!

Auditions will be taking place November 27, 28, and 29, and time slots can be signed up for at the CIViC. No acting experience is needed. Rehearsal schedules will be created once the the roles have been cast in order to accommodate all schedules. The actual event will be taking place February 14 and 15.

The monologues were written in 1996 by Eve Ensler. It is based off of Ensler’s interviews with over two hundred women regarding their sexuality, their relationships, and their experiences as women.

Ensler launched VDay, which is an organization that focuses on activism for women and raises awareness about domestic violence. So far, the association has raised seventy-five million dollars for anti-violence groups through the Vagina Monologues.

“The Vagina Monologues are fun and entertaining to see and participate in,” says organizer Jessica Mull. “They encourage and provide support for women everywhere, and empower those who may be abused or insecure to stand up and share their stories with others. Only through open conversations about these issues, can movement toward change and equality occur.”

All proceeds from the Vagina Monologues will go to charities which help women, either the VDay organization, Vista Maria, or First Step.

Vista Maria is a Detroit women’s organization that give treatment and education to vulnerable young girls. This allows them build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the world. First Step is an organization that helps individuals affected by domestic violence. It strives to prevent domestic violence and sexual violence through education and intervention.

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On January 31, there will be an event called VAGINA! which is a precursor to the Vagina Monologues. Its goal is to educate and empower people. Many student organizations on campus have said they are willing to set up a booth in which they educate students about different issues of inequality in memorable and creative ways.

These orgnanizations include Campus Video Network, Photography Club, Women in Learning and Leadership, and Voice for Choice. The event is still in need of other student organizations, so if anyone is willing to help out, contact Jessica Mull at jmmull@umd.umich.edu. Anyone is welcome, as long as they educate a social issue that focuses on women.

Jessica Mull was in the Vagina Monologues two years ago and was in the Hijabi Monologues last year, which is why she wanted to run the show this year. “I realized that storytelling is a powerful tool for activism and made me passionate about helping women and raising awareness about various issues regarding women’s rights,” she says.