The annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” in Durango this weekend will dovetail with the first #MeToo March and Rally, and both events will come with messages that women’s voices and experiences need to be heard and shared.
“I think it’s really important for women (to celebrate) women,” said “Monologues” co-director Michelle Olson. “The #MeToo March is right before ‘The Vagina Monologues’ this Saturday, so I’m hoping everybody just marches to the show.”
The march is a way to stand with those who have experienced sexual harassment and assault.
The play is a series of monologues read by a diverse mix of women who explore topics such as sexuality, genital mutilation, birth and rape.
It has been performed all over the world since it was written by Eve Ensler in 1996.
“This production will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and everything in between,” Olson said. “We touch on all spectrums of sexuality and being a woman and experiences.”
Cait Callahan, a teacher at Durango Montessori, will perform in the play for the first time. She will perform “My Short Skirt.”
“(The skit) is about not being sexualized,” she said. “The whole time, she’s kind of like, ‘My short skirt has nothing to do with you; it’s my choice, it’s what makes me feel happy and sexy.’ It’s speaking out against being sexualized. I relate with the quote on a personal level because I feel like women should be able to wear whatever they want.”
Callahan said her role in the show is not tough, but there are other roles that are.
“It’s giving women and men a chance to speak out, and it’s informative,” Callahan said “It’s a lot of things people don’t talk about unless they’re behind closed doors, and I think that’s such a stigma today that you shouldn’t be allowed to talk about things like your vagina and sex – it’s such a natural part of our lives, so it should be treated that way.”
Proceeds from “Vagina Monologues” will benefit Sexual Assault Services Organization, which provides support to victims of sexual assault and offers education and prevention programs to reduce crimes of sexual violence.
Olson wants the show to prompt dialogue.
“I just want people to start talking about it. This taboo about femininity that we can’t really express and talk about things because it’s considered ‘bad’ for you to talk about it from societal norms, I just want people to start talking because it’s so important,” Olson said.