“Doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it never sounds like a word you want to say.”
In 1996, Eve Ensler began performing monologues based on a series of interviews she’d conducted with women around the world. The stories were shocking, sometimes funny, but they all explored the role of the vagina in a woman’s identity.
Ensler’s work, straddling the pivot from second- to third-wave feminism, became a cultural icon.
For this year’s production, Funky Little Theatre assembled a dynamic cast of local actresses and activists. The ensemble sits onstage in black clothes, each with a single red flourish. Some deliver monologues, others respond to group questions. All have a voice.
Chelsie Bennett brings herself to tears of righteous fury in “My Short Skirt Is Not an Invitation,” a potent manifesto for the #MeToo era.
Mariah Owens crafts a stand-up comedy vibe for “He Liked to Look at It.” It’s a fun, contemporary take on a transformative story.
Amanda Gaden also forges her own path, eschewing the prim British lady of “The Vagina Workshop.” She taps instead into the practical exhaustion of a mom: warm, curious, but quietly preparing for this whole thing to fall apart.
Finally, Joanne Koehler, who owns the stage with calculated swagger as a dominatrix who caters to women. Her catalog of moans left the crowd rolling.
Even if Ensler’s politics are not your politics, there is value in hearing these stories skillfully told.
The audience had divergent responses. Many sat in respectful silence, soaking up the poetry. Meanwhile, the cast and their friends offered very vocal support, cheering, riffing and adopting the tone of a rally.
Proceeds from the show support Zonta Club, empowering women in our community.
“The Vagina Monologues” openly discusses delights and atrocities, including orgasms, rape, self-pleasure, genital mutilation, identity issues and hygiene.
Funky Little Theater Co.
2109 Templeton Gap Rd
Box Office: (719) 425-9509
Playing March 1 – 3, 2018 (buy tickets)
Admission: $20 general
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes