One of my favorite fundraisers on campus is The Vagina Monologues. Every year a group of women perform these monologues as a fundraiser for Rape Crisis Intervention Services and the V-Day Organization and Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland. As a Freshman, I had no idea what this was. My best friend, who is a year older than me, pulled me into one of the interested meetings and told me I would be a great addition to the cast. Well, being a theatre person, I heard the words, “cast” and “show” and I was hooked. However, the idea of talking about vaginas and women’s issues kind of freaked me out. Once I heard why people participate in The Vagina Monologues I decided to face my fears and stick to it for the cause. The monologues are performed every year to raise money for victims of abuse towards women and rape. The issue, while very difficult to talk about is something that struck my interest because I had never heard of people supporting something that needed so much attention. I loved the idea of raising awareness for this issue and doing something about it. While it was a little embarrassing to have my mom in the audience while I talked about vaginas, I felt very good about what I was doing. Last year when auditions rolled around, I jumped at the chance right away. By the end of last Fall, I knew I wanted to do more so I offered to direct it the following year with my best friend.
That brings us to last week when I, along with the other co-director, sat down to listen to 30 girls say, “yes I want to support this cause” by reading from different parts of the script at auditions. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling to see girls of all different types come to support this cause. We saw quite a few familiar faces and a good number of new faces. At the end of the show each night, we have one person from the cast share their story of why they do The Vagina Monologues. Many of our cast members have a very personal connection to the cause because they either are very close to someone who has been a victim or has been a victim themselves of this sort of violence towards women. Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, is the main person behind the V-Day organization through which we receive each year’s script. Each year some monologues are switched out for others depending on what will be most effective for the audience.
This opportunity to participate in such a strong and worthy cause is something I would have never allowed myself to do if it weren’t for my friends that encouraged me to do it in the first place. If you would have told me two years ago that I would be directing it before leaving college, I would have laughed at you. The “liberal arts” idea that McDaniel has does not just mean in the classroom but also in the way the world is presented to you. In your years at McDaniel you are exposed to so many different cultures and ideas that you may not have the chance to experience at a bigger, more specialized school. I am so grateful for the opportunities the McDaniel community has given me both in and out of the classroom. I would never trade these experiences for anything and I am so happy that I get to keep exploring and learning new things for a few more years.