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Tuesday October 4th

Company Carolina presents ‘The Vagina Monologues’

Mandy Plante performs her monologue in The Vagina Monologues
Buy Photos Mandy Plante performs her monologue in The Vagina Monologues

Orgasms, birth and menstruation feature prominently in Company Carolina’s current production.

Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler’s play, “The Vagina Monologues,” will return to campus after more than a decade of yearly performances at UNC.

The play is composed of 13 monologues and four ensemble pieces about the relationships women have with their bodies and sexuality.

Carla Davis-Castro, assistant director of the play, said the performance is a strong tradition at UNC. She said this year’s performance is her fourth.

The cast — composed entirely of women — has been rehearsing the piece for the past month.

All of the actors said that working with an all-female cast was a unique but enriching experience.

“I was nervous about working with a female cast, but it’s been great,” said sophomore Clare Shaffer, director of the play.
Cast member Jackie O’Shaughnessy said the cast dynamic felt like a slumber party.

“People bonded very quickly because of the topics we talk about,” Davis-Castro said.

Shaffer said her biggest concern for putting on the production was authenticity.

“I wanted the monologues to sound real, because they’re about real things,” she said.

Per tradition, 90 percent of the show’s profits will be donated to Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

The remaining 10 percent will be donated to the V-Day organization, a global movement founded by Ensler in 1998 to combat violence against women.

Members of the ensemble said they also hope to create conversation about a topic that remains a taboo.

“Men can understand women more, because this is something we usually don’t talk about,” cast member Krista Harrell said.

Davis-Castro said one of the purposes of the play is to trigger dialogue about something often confined to secrecy.

“The biggest tool is the humor,” she said. “And just saying the word vagina.”

Cast member Kaori Sueyoshi said the play is also a way to spark awareness and activism for female sexuality.

“There’s so much phallic pride, so talking about vaginas should be very normal,” she said.

But the play is not an aggressive way to promote such awareness, cast member Kimberly Sikkel said.

“It’s just very honest.”

Cast members all said they hope the show will leave an impact on its audiences.

Harrell said it will be impossible for people attending the show not to leave with an opinion.

“There’s no way that people are going to walk out of the show and be silent about it,” she said.

Cast member Amber Roberts stressed that the play — despite its focus on women’s bodies — is for all.

“Everyone comes from a vagina,” Roberts said. “They have to remember it.”

Contact the Arts Editor at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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