The Vagina Monologues are right around the corner!

By Michelle Lawson

The Vagina Monologues is a tradition here at the Women’s Center, and we are getting ready for our annual performance coming up on February 27th. This year we are excited to announce that we have a massive cast of 41 passionate, and strong women, who are ready to take on the Vagina Monologues. Our cast consist of women from all walks of life, from veteran performers to Vagina newbies. These Students, alumni, and community members all have one thing in common, their dedication to ensuring women’s voices are heard. And that’s really what the monologues are all about, creating a platform for women’s voices, and stories to be heard.

The Vagina Monologues are just one aspect of V-day, which is a global movement to end gender based violence started by Eve Ensler (who wrote the monologues). This movement started because women were sick of the way they were treated, they were sick of the way they were overlooked, abused, and neglected. This play is here to nurture, to listen, and to advocate for women. That is why I am so proud to be able to work on this project. And I am bringing the, energy, passion, and love that women deserve with me. As every day passes I am becoming more and more excited to bring this piece to an audience. I am excited to fill a room with hundreds of women of all different backgrounds to talk about Vaginas.

I strongly encourage that you put February 27th into your calendars, and make an effort to join us in this experience. I can promise that there will be laughter, sadness, anger, vulgarity, community, and hope. Hope for the future in a time where we all need as much as we can get.

The 2019 Vagina Monologues

By Mackinzie Aulgur

“…find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us, but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us.”- Eve Ensler

We all deserve to be ourselves, stand up for what we believe in, and voice our opinions; each and everyone one of us. This Thursday and Friday, February 21st-22nd, UMKC will be presenting the Vagina Monologues! Doors open at 7pm and performances will take place at 7:30pm. This year the monologues will have 18 presenters, all of which play vital parts. The Vagina Monologues are personal monologues read by a diverse group of women in our community. Their stories will touch on subjects such as sex, sex work, body image, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, and various names for the vagina. The main theme in the play is redefining the vagina to be seen as a symbol of female empowerment and the embodiment of our individuality (Mission, 2019).

In collaboration with V-Day, we will be selling our famous vagina pops (milk and dark chocolate), t-shirts, feminist mugs, Trailblazers’ blend coffee, and a variety unique of buttons before and after the performances. For those who may not know, V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. In fact, according to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime (Mission, 2019). While we cannot change the past, we have the opportunity to come together as a community, to show support and raise awareness for a better future. Please join us at this years Vagina Monologues as we all reflect on what unifies us in our fight for this goal.

Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vday.org/mission.html

Thursday, February 21. UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry St. 

  • Advance tickets: $10 for students, $25 for non-students, $5 each for groups of 5 or more students
  • At the door: $15 for students, $30 for non-students

Friday, February 22. UMKC Spencer Theater, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St. 

  • Advance tickets: $10 for students, $35 for non-students, $5 each for groups of 5 or more students
  • At the door: $15 for students, $40 for non-students

Tickets may be purchased through Central Ticket Office. Proceeds from all activities benefit the UMKC’s Women’s Center, Violence Prevention and Response Program and V-Day’s 2019 spotlight campaign.

 

V-Day UMKC presents benefit screenings of Until the Violence Stops

vday-2014-450x232pxV-Day UMKC 2017 will be presenting benefit screenings of Until the Violence Stops. The film documents the start and success of V-Day and The Vagina Monologues Join us this Tuesday, January 31 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the Oak Street Residence Hall basement, 5051 Oak St.; or on Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, 4801 main St., KCMO. Donations accepted. Proceeds from all activities benefit the UMKC Women’s Center and V-Day 2017’s spotlight campaign. Co-sponsored by the UMKC Violence Prevention & Response Program, UMKC Masters of Social Work Student Organization, UMKC Residence Life, and Kansas City Public Library.

The Vagina Monologues

2015-VDAY-posterBy Kacie Otto

This is my first time participating in The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s iconic play about the female experience. I have been lucky to see Kansas City women read these monologues that don’t seem to age. To me, the monologues are as poignant and exciting as they must have been in 1996.

Through coordinating this event, which is a benefit performance for the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project, I have been able to watch a community grow. Friendships have been made and healing has taken place.

Please support the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project by attending a fabulous and funny show. Click here to get tickets and click here to RSVP to the event. Tickets are also available at the door.

Vagina Monologues to be Staged at UMKC!

2015-VDAY-posterBy Kacie Otto and Kemora Williams

Name of Event: The Vagina Monologues

Date and Time: February 10, 2015 at 7pm

Location: UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street

Admission charge: $10 for students, $20 for non-students in advance and $15 for students, $25 for non-students at the door.

Parking information: Parking will be available on the fifth floor of the Cherry St. Parking Garage

Coming up on February 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., the Women’s Center is sponsoring a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. Funds raised from the event will support the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project and VDay’s 2015 spotlight campaign, One Billion Rising. The Vagina Monologues will be held at the UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street. However tickets are required for this event, which you can purchase online at or by calling 816-235-6222. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information, visit our VDay website. The Vagina Monologues is sure to be an empowering performance and we hope to see you there! What better way to support both the campus and community!

The Vagina Monologues

V-Day is one of many great movements aimed at ending violence against women and girls,

Image from Creative Commons Search.

Image from Creative Commons Search.

 

but the biggest problem with any movement is getting people interested. Of course people recognize that it’s a good cause but they don’t want to just give out money, people want to be engaged. The Vagina Monologues does just that.

I’m not the type of person to watch anything twice, but I have seen UMKC’s benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues the past two years and it affected me different each time. The monologues are so powerful and give insight into lives other than our own. The performers really become the characters and tell (what seems like) their own stories. When I saw the performance last year I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I’m not sure anyone knows what to expect their first time. But it exceeded any expectations I thought I had. I was laughing and crying and really feeling for all of the characters. I had never heard people talk so openly about abuse and I certainly never thought I could talk to anyone about mine. Yet in a small basement theatre surrounded by strangers I finally felt safe. This was a turning point in my recovery. Then I saw the monologues again.

A lot had changed in the year between and I honestly didn’t think that seeing the same show would help me anymore, I was so wrong. The experience was an entirely new one. I was now a part of the organization putting on the performance as well as the community attending. I looked around the audience and saw familiar faces and new friends. I walked through the aisles with a confidence that I did not possess the year prior. And when I listened to the monologues I heard different meaning. I didn’t feel sorry for the women who had been abused, I was proud of them. I was grateful that these women were comfortable sharing their stories and I was inspired because if they could survive then so could I.

I plan on seeing The Vagina Monologues every year and I encourage others to do the same. It isn’t some action movie where you get tired of the plot, it is an emotional experience that inspires women and draws the community together. It educates women about their resources and lets them know that they are not alone, and there is nothing more important than knowing that you don’t have to go through it alone. Women are strong and resilient and we will rise.

A Call for First-time Performers and Experienced Actresses, Alike!

VDAY2014logo_webComing up at the end of November, the Women’s Center and the Violence Prevention and Response Project will be holding auditions for the 2014 performance of The Vagina Monologues as part of UMKC’s V-Day campaign. There is no experience or memorization required!!!

Auditions will be held on the following days:

  • Friday, November 8, from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 9, from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 12, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Auditions will take approximately 15 minutes per-person. To secure an audition time, please contact Katie Birkenfeld, the Graduate Assistant at the Women’s Center, at 816-235-1638 or kmbmv8@mail.umkc.edu.

To see photos from last year’s The Vagina Monologues performance, visit our Facebook page.

For more information on this, or other Violence Prevention and Response Project and Women’s Center events, please visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Remembering 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012

By Maritza Gordillo

It was not too long ago when I said I was ready to come back and work at the Women’s Center for the 2011 Fall semester. Time went by so quickly due to the fact that we had approximately 14 events this semester, including some of our big events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Women’s Equity Quilt Dedication, and Starr Symposium in which I had the privilege of meeting Dolores Huerta whom I’ve always wanted to meet. The events were really fun because I got to learn a lot more and meet new people. This semester the Women’s Center was filled with new staff members whom I enjoyed working with and hope to see when we come back from winter break. I am truly excited and look forward to coming back in the spring to plan events such as the Vagina Monologues, Stalking Awareness Month, and our 40th Anniversary Gala. I hope to see everyone soon at our spring semester events!  Happy Holidays everyone and congrats to the 2011 Fall Graduates!

Learning To Be At Peace With My Vagina

Image from Flickr.com

By Kristina Gardner

I’m a self-proclaimed feminist, I believe in equal rights, equal pay, and equal treatment for women. I believe in stopping the violence against women; and that’s why I work in the Women’s Center. But this semester has been an eye opener for me. I’ve learned that working in the Women’s Center and advocating for Women’s Rights and Violence Prevention, is more than just protesting, signing petitions, and putting on events. It’s about loving yourself for what and who you are….

And that meant coming to terms with my vagina…

But first I had to come to terms with just saying the word “vagina”. I stood in front of a mirror for 20 minutes at a time just saying the word, using it in sentences, and teaching myself that it is not a bad word, as I was brought up to believe it was. Not letting myself say some of the funny terms my parents and teachers used for it. That was the first step.

It really started to make me wonder why for eighteen years of my life, why have I never was allowed to say, or was never comfortable to say the word “vagina”. I mean, clearly, my parents and friends had a big part in it. I was raised to be modest and to act like a “lady” it just wasn’t something “ladies” said. They were never okay to say the word or talk about it, so neither did I, and I was perfectly alright with that.

Around this same time in my “blog rolling”, I stumbled across this documentary all about “the perfect vagina” and what women are doing to themselves (including get surgery to reduce the lips of their vaginas, and making themselves virgins again) to achieve “the perfect vagina”. The whole documentary is about learning to love what you have, and learn that everyone’s vagina is different.

Now, we had the Vagina Monologue Auditions, here at the UMKC Women’s Center, and the actual performance is in February.  I had never seen this play before, so I watched some of the clips from performances around the world, and found myself agreeing with these stories, knowing those things really happen to people. Seeing stories about people coming to terms with their own vaginas and periods, etc.; I found myself inspired – and quite frankly, a little upset – that I had delayed this self-acceptance, for so long.

So, if you aren’t comfortable with your vagina (or even just saying the word vagina), I challenge you to do the same, because your vagina is yours. You should love it, respect it, and be proud that you are a woman!

 

A Year of Amazing Events!

By Patsy Campos

The UMKC Women’s Center has hosted a variety of events where we have reached many new and returning audiences throughout the Fall 2010-Spring 2011 term. Our events make an important contribution to the campus and public community by bringing awareness to the importance and advancement of women’s equity. This year our programs included networking events, textile art workshops, special performances and rallies and marches.

Some of our biggest annual events are:

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

The Vagina Monologues

“Rock Who You Are” Fashion Show

Take Back the Night

Her Art Project

The month of May marks the end of one year for the Women’s Center’s dedicated student staff, but it certainly is not the end of the Women’s Center! Please stop by throughout the summer and next fall to learn more about our upcoming programming. We want to thank all of you for supporting the Women’s Center and giving us the opportunity to create and host successful events and programs. Thank you to our blog readers and for communicating with us through Twitter and Facebook. The Women’s Center wishes all of you a fantastic summer!