‘The Vagina Monologues’ comes to Tuscarawas campus

Katie Paukst

Students at Kent State Tuscarawas campus are able to use their stage at the Performing Arts Center for the first time, while tackling serious real-life issues in the internationally known play, “The Vagina Monologues.”

“The Vagina Monologues” is a collection of monologues exploring the taboo issues of women in today’s society. The monologues aim to empower women and discuss topics ranging from childbirth to violence and abuse of women.

The purpose of these events is to raise awareness about violence against women and girls as well as raise money for local beneficiaries working to end violence.

Eve Ensler first performed the assortment of monologues in 1996, and now the Arm Mundi Sodalicium, a performing arts student organization at Tuscarawas campus, is hosting the 2012 monologues at the Performing Arts Center Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

This performance will be a first for Tuscarawas, as students on that campus haven’t acted on their own stage since 1992. This is also the first performance done by students in the newly constructed Performing Arts Center.

“We thought it would be a wonderful marriage between fostering arts and giving students on campus the opportunity to feel that they can change the world,” said Bill Auld, assistant theater professor at the campus’s School of Theater and Dance.

“The script is written in a way that the emotion is there on the page,” Auld said. “It contains many good pieces for actresses and addresses multiple topics that are not only universal but also relevant to women today.”

Open auditions were held, with a total of 10 women being cast for the monologues. The cast ranges in ages from 19 to 37 and has various majors from theater to English.

Stephanie Tenan, 27, a theater design and technology major, is one of the women in the play.

“We are doing something that matters, we are giving back,” Tenan said. “We are putting the spotlight on something that isn’t talked about and putting the quietness all on stage.”

Carrie Kirkpatrick, president of AMS and a senior electrical engineering major, is ecstatic about AMS’s first time presenting a play.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s great to get a women’s side because you don’t get to talk about this stuff in society.”

The production has also created a new atmosphere for the students in and working with the play, because it is everyone’s first time being a part of something new to the campus.

“It’s my first acting experience, and so far it has been challenging but fun and rewarding,” said Gabrielle Neavin, cast member and senior English major. “There is room for personal growth and discipline with being in this show.”

Tenan, who has been admiring the stage for some time now after being a crew member for the Performing Arts Center, said the campus has such a fantastic sage, and now they finally get to use it.

The Tuscarawas campus and community have also been very responsive to the play and all of the publicity AMS has been promoting.

Crystal Corrigan, promotions manager for the show, said a lot of creativity went into promoting the show. Corrigan designed four different flyers to promote the “The Vagina Monologues” throughout the campus and community.

“I decided to use four different silhouettes of women from the Victorian ages,” Corrigan said. “I thought every one of these women could be related back to the play.”

Tickets, on sale now at the Performing Arts Center box office, are $5 and proceeds benefit COMPASS, a crisis intervention and advocacy support system for all victims of sexual assault. For more information, call 330-308-6400.

Contact Katie Paukst at [email protected].