Women rehearse for Vagina Monologues

“It’s not.”

“It is.”

“No, it’s got to be some premature pink Easter Rabbit or something.”

Honey, that ain’t no bunny.

The pink monolith that could be seen in the Hippodrome and masquerading in Kogan Plaza Wednesday, generating sales of $2 a customer for those who wanted to bring a photo home to show mom was, in fact, a giant vagina.

The vagina has been mentioned in posters and palm cards adorning campus in the academic center and J Street lately, but the advertisements for “V-Day” refer not to the love-laden Valentine’s Day. The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance this week will remind GW women of another “V” to celebrate.

FMLA, which constructed the walking vagina from papier-mache, pink paint and hair, is set to perform “The Vagina Monologues” Friday through Sunday at 8 p.m. each night in the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre.

FMLA members reported expected gender backlash to their demonstration Wednesday.

“This afternoon, some guy asked me how displaying a huge vagina in Kogan Plaza isn’t a way of exploiting women,” said senior Melisa Pardes, FMLA public relations chair. “It’s because, unlike a porno, it’s women choosing to display a vagina as a statement of power.”

GW graduate Angela Lauria, who is directing FMLA’s performance for the second straight year, said “everything” is different about the play this year, which features 40 actresses compared to last year’s 15.

“Last year was so spur of the moment. We had three rehearsals, hardly any advertising. We didn’t think anyone would come,” Lauria said.

Nevertheless, Lauria said FMLA turned people away from the sold-out shows that made $15,000. This year, members said they hope to raise $30,000 for local women’s charities.

The cast met “Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler, which “affirmed to me what the show is about,” senior Shawna Thomas said.

Inspired by interviews with a diverse group of women, Ensler wrote the show from the perspective of a woman’s most intimate part. She agreed to allow universities perform her work, free of copyright fees, if the profits went to charities.

On Jan. 26, the playwright attended a dress rehearsal at Western Presbyterian Church on 24th Street, where GW female thespians performed her show.

Lauria described a feeling of sisterhood among cast members as each actress had the chance to influence a scene.

She said the one scene that best sums up the point of performing “The Vagina Monologues” at GW is the skit “My Short Skirt.”

“I declare GW streets, any streets, my vagina’s country,” a line in the skit reads.

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