Feb 18, 2019

Vagina Monologues cancellation rumor this year is dismissed

Joseph Edgecomb/Collegian File Photo

Every year around Valentine’s Day, Fresno State and the Women’s Resource Center are overwhelmed not only by love and happiness, but by one word — vagina.

A rumor that the annual play, the Vagina Monologues, was going to be cancelled this year circulated around campus during the past few months. But the rumor is now put to rest.

The Vagina Monologues is a performance put on nationally during V-Day season, Feb. 1-April 30.

The Vagina Monologues is set to take place Tuesday, April 26 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union. The play took place last year at the end of February.

The Fresno State campus, as well as other universities around the country, put on this play in support of a global cause — to end violence against women. The play portrays the difficulties and struggles of women all over the world, and how they surpass them.

It is meant to inspire and empower women, as well as educate men in an emotional, but entertaining way.

Business major Jazmine Yepez is a former cast member in the Vagina Monologues. She said she would have continued being a cast member, but she couldn’t find the time.

“This play is a way for women to not feel alone about their issues and for men to understand women a lot more,” Yepez said. “Last year people told me they loved it.”

Yepez played a role in the Vagina Monologues for one season. She said she introduced the next cast member doing a monologue by saying a fun fact.

“It was kind of short,” Yepez said.

The play serves the community, as well as the campus. A portion of the proceeds from Vagina Monologues goes to agencies that work to end violence against women, such as the Marjaree Mason Center.

The Marjaree Mason Center is a non-profit and sheltered-based program that houses women and children who are believed to be victims of domestic violence. The Marjaree Mason Center is headquartered in Fresno, with three shelters operating throughout Fresno County.

Some students were worried about how the possible elimination of this performance would have affected the community.

Former cast member Starla M. Williams recited a monologue last year titled, “My Vagina was my Village.”

Williams said the community would have missed out on “the opportunity to raise money for local women’s groups and shelters and the opportunity to spread awareness and understanding about real problems women face.”

Williams said she would definitely be a cast member again this year.

Pam Williams, an intern at the Women’s Resource Center, and S.P.E.A.K., Students Providing Empowerment Advocacy and Education, are in charge of hosting the Vagina Monologue this year. She said they would be holding auditions within the next month after scripts arrive.

Oscar Perez, S.P.E.A.K. club president, is directing the Vagina Monologues this year with Williams.

P.O.W.E.R., People Organized for Women’s Empowerment and Representation, previously hosted the Vagina Monologues.

Randi Wyatt, Women’s Alliance treasurer, said it would have been unfortunate and disappointing if Fresno State couldn’t host the Vagina Monologues this year.

“Ending violence against women is an important movement that people in Fresno are involved in,” Wyatt said.

The Women’s Alliance is also looking at holding events this semester, in addition to the Vagina Monologues.

March is considered “Herstory” month, a month for women’s history. There will be numerous events during March including “Wheel of Questions” and “Papers.”

The Women’s Alliance is planning two film screenings and a workshop and presentation for men in April.

Volunteers are welcome to send word to the Center for Women & Culture if they would like to be involved. The Women’s Alliance meetings are every other week, Mondays at 9:15 a.m. and Tuesdays at 3:15 p.m. in the Center for Women & Culture in the Thomas building, room 110A.

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