This weekend, men will be taking the stage for the annual performance of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Matthew Gomez, one of four men who will perform the reading “Man Prayer” during Friday and Saturday’s shows at the Henry Strater Theatre, said the piece is about men honoring women.
“Basically, since the dawn of time, humans in general have repressed women,” he said. “Women have been held back in general, and have not been seen as equal. I think it’s important, especially in this administration, that we show that women are equal and have their own rights to be happy and do what they want.”
The show’s director, Cait Callahan, said the men’s piece is a welcome addition to the show.
“I think it’s really powerful. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, in Durango at least, that there’s been men in “Vagina Monologues,” she said. “I’m really happy they’re on our team. It’s great.”
“The Vagina Monologues” is a series of monologues read by a diverse mix of people who explore topics such as sexuality, genital mutilation, birth and rape. The shows, which are performed in February – the “V-Day” season – are also a way to bring awareness about violence against women and girls.
It has been performed around the world since it was written by Eve Ensler in 1996. It has been staged in Durango for at least the past seven years, Callahan said.
This year’s production in Durango features a cast of 19 actors, she said.
Proceeds from Durango’s “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.
Callahan, who began as an actor in the production and took over directing this year, said she is excited to continue to bring the show to Durango because she has been a fan of Ensler’s since she was young.
“To carry on Eve Ensler’s legacy – her movement – her books, her writings, this play – it has affected so many people and she’s raised millions of dollars to support victims of sexual abuse and violence and all kinds of things,” she said. “It’s amazing what she’s done. I really look up to her, and I’m honored to do this play.”