A Message of Empowerment

The Chadron State College Theatre Department tackles a topic that has gained widespread attention in the past months: sexual assault.
Eve Ensler’s play, “The Vagina Monologues,” is based around monologues that she wrote after conducting over 200 interviews with women about their sexuality. The monologue topics range from abuse, frustration, self-discovery, and liberation.
“In ‘The Vagina Monologues’, just about every emotion is experienced,” CSC Theatre student Jennaya Hill, 19, a sophomore of Gordon said. “Personally, in my monologue, the emotions ranged from fear anxiety, happiness, love, anger, and self-discovery.”
The play raises awareness of sexual violence against women and girls. In the monologue, “Not so Happy Fact,” Kaitlynn Hessler, freshman of Mitchell, shed light on just how serious genital mutilation is in many countries. Jessica Lotierzo, sophomore of Las Vegas, performed a monologue titled “My Vagina was my Village,” the recollection of a woman who had been mutilated and sexually abused.
“Watching these monologues is a true emotional rollercoaster for the audience,” Hill said.
“The Vagina Monologues” is in conjunction with V-Day, which is a global activist movement aimed at stopping violence, from rape to sexual slavery, against all females, including transgender and gender non-conforming.
While the topic of the play may make some uncomfortable, the message of change and empowerment are accompanied by the powerful performances of a female dominated cast, that make this production worth the watch.
The CSC Theatre students – including Johanna Goff, freshmen of Rapid City, South Dakota; Autumn Hartwig, freshman of Dalton; Brittney Peters, sophomore of Rapid City, South Dakota; Alyssa Jensen, freshman of Whitewood, South Dakota and nine other young women – take on different monologues throughout the play. Many emotions are apparent within the monologues including: sadness, anger, love, humor, humiliation, etc. The students began working on this play Jan. 8.
“I hope the audience leaves understanding the struggles that women face all over the world, but also that this is about every gender and the equality everyone deserves,” Hill said. “I hope that anyone who attends the play leaves feeling empowered.”
“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Memorial Hall Black Box Theatre.
The CSC Theatre Program will be conducting auditions for the next upcoming play, “Steel Magnolias,” on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

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