With powerful performances, the “Vagina Monologues” closed their annual performance at Sonoma State last week.
“The Vagina Monologues”, a theater production written by Eve Ensler, discusses the good and bad experiences women have with their vaginas and the experiences within the LGBTQ+ community and is an annual event on campus.
This year, the cast and crew was composed of 74 people, most of whom are SSU students. Profits of the show were donated to Verity, a non-profit that strives to end all forms of violence such as sexual assault and abuse.
First time performer, Estephanie Ascencio, a junior communications major, was first inspired by the show during her freshman year as an extra credit assignment.
“I decided I wanted to join and be a part of something so empowering and I finally found the courage to join as a third year,” Ascencio said.
Julia Kistner, a junior communications major and director of the show, said that although it was Ascencio’s first time performing, she was a great a great addition to “The Vagina Monologues.”
“She’s such an easy going and positive person and she definitely brought her personality into her performance,” said Kistner.
Although she was nervous to perform in the show for the first time, Ascencio found immense support from her friends and her V supporters who are, “people in our lives who we feel empower and support us.”
According to Ascencio the overall themes of The Vagina Monologues, “range from the acceptance of women’s sexuality, to the end of rape and violence, to the understanding of transgender experiences.”
This year the proceeds from ticket sales will be going towards Verity which is a crisis hotline and support system in Sonoma County for anyone who is a victim of sexual assault or abuse. They provide services such as counseling, intervention, and educate the community on prevention of sexual assault and abuse.
“The importance of “Vagina Monologues” goes beyond just raising money,” said Ascencio. “The most important part is the conversations that come out of our show.”
She hopes that by doing the show people will continue to talk about these issues and make a change.
“Change happens when a spark is ignited within someone,” Ascencio said. “‘Vagina Monologues” is that flame that ignites that spark, and we are the voices of everyone who can’t or won’t be heard.”
With this being her first performance, Ascencio has made some amazing memories and she plans on participating next year during her senior year.
Being part of the cast of “The Vagina Monologues” has been an experience that Ascencio will never forget. She even hopes to carry the things that she has learned by integrating “The Vagina Monologues” into whatever career she decides to pursue after college.
“It was so great to see how much being in The Vagina Monologues positively impacted her life,” said Kistner.
Ascencio is very grateful to have been a part of something as special and empowering as “The Vagina Monologues” that she said, “works towards creating change for important ongoing issues in the world.”
“Thank you to the directors of the Vagina Monologues 2018 production, and the amazing cast I got to be a part of for creating some amazing memories that I will cherish forever,” said Ascencio. “I love you all.”