‘Monologues’ takes center stage

If anyone has ever wondered how women feel about their vaginas or if women reserve special nicknames for the area between their legs, The Vagina Monologues might have the answer.

The Vagina Monologues, part of the national V-Day 2000 college campaign to stop violence against women and girls, will be performed in the Music Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The monologues are a play based on interviews with women including a Bosnian refugee and a Long Island antiques dealer. Laura Perez, student producer and member of the National Organization for Women, which is sponsoring the show, said she’s seen the show on television and is very excited about the USF performance.

“It’s comedic and yet sad at moments,” Perez said.The Vagina Monologues was first performed at an off-Broadway theater in New York City. The play won the Obie Award and inspired the first V-Day in 1998. The “V” in V-Day, Perez said, has several meanings including valentine, vagina and victory.

Celebrities such as Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg and Calista Flockhart have starred in the play, but students will act in the performance at USF.

The goal of the V-Day campaign is not only to end violence toward females but also to declare Valentines Day as a day to celebrate women.

Violence against women, according to the V-Day Web site found at has “become epidemic.”

According to the site, a woman in America is battered, usually by someone she knows intimately, every 15 seconds, and every 21 hours on each college campus in the United States there is a rape.

These figures were determined through studies performed by the United Nations Study on the Status of Women, 2000 and Campus Outreach Services.

Perez said although the play is entertaining, the deeper message it offers is obvious.

“It’s definitely for anyone who wants to see the end of violence toward women or violence period,” she said. “It’s kind of liberating to watch it.”

The play has been performed in cities around the world, from London to Oklahoma City. It has become a book, published by Villard Books/Random House in 1998. The New York Times called the performance “funny” and “poignant” and the Daily News described it as “intelligent” and “courageous.”

All shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $10 for the general public. Tickets may be reserved by calling 813-972-1897.

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