Claire Donohue ’22
On Feb. 13, Eve Ensler’s play, an adaptation of an anthology of interviews, taken from a collection of women over 20 years ago, was recited in monologue format by a diverse group of students and faculty. The monologues included stories from trans women, women who had experienced genital mutilation, dominatrixs, women proud of their vaginas, and those who weren’t. This was Trinity’s 20th year of staging The Vagina Monologues, and the turnout and crowd engagement met the excitement of those involved with the production. The crowd roared for guest performances by Elemental Movement Dance Crew and The Quirks, whose performances both featured the voices and talents of female artists. They realized the multifaceted feelings one can have about their vagina during “The Vagina Workshop,” and wrestled with rape culture in “My Short Skirt.”
Visual art was displayed around Vernon Social, that addressed topics of masculinity, femininity, and gender, that exhibited works by Trinity students, and photos from the Masculinity Project and the Trin Hair Project. The end of the night featured three Spotlight Monologues from members and activists in and around the Hartford area. Cyndy Clooney spoke about her experience as a formerly incarcerated woman, and how women are harassed, demoralized, and assaulted on the basis of sex- mostly by those in power. Amanda Mendoza and Amanda Carrington came from the Sexual Assault Crisis Service at the New Britain YWCA, giving awareness to the crowd about the options they have in a crisis and how to help friends and others in those situations.
Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House, the largest domestic violence agency in Connecticut, spoke passionately and eloquently about the domestic violence problem in Connecticut, giving horrific examples of the abuse happening just under our noses. This monologue was especially important because one of the goals of the night was to raise money for Interval House, which was met with incredible success thanks to ticket sales and donations. The annual presentation of The Vagina Monologues on Trinity’s campus proves how passionate the community is about fighting social injustice, gender-based violence, and discrimination. This year’s production was one of the most successful turnouts and nights of Trinity’s Vagina Monologues history, which proves that the campus is willing to listen to the stigmas surrounding women’s sexuality, rape, and abuse for at least one night out of the year. The Vagina Monologues evokes provocative conversations that Trinity’s community should continue to wrestle with for the other 364 days.