On Feb. 6 and 7, the Missouri Southern theatre department will present The Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensley and directed by student Kelsey Hale, junior theatre major. The production is a benefit for Lafayette House, a domestic violence shelter and service agency in Joplin. The performance will be held at Taylor Performing Arts Center at 7:30 each evening.
The Vagina Monologues is made up of about 30 monologues that touch on subjects like sex, love, rape and the experience of being female. Ensley wrote the play because she was tired of women bad-mouthing themselves and wanted them to have respect.
“You would think that most people would not want to talk about it [sex], but it’s because they were never asked about it,” said Hale. “It’s just about loving your body.”
Hale has participated in past productions of The Vagina Monologues, and this year will be directing the production herself for the first time.
“I’m a really shy person and I would never have talked about this,” she said. “It’s something we all need to be aware of with ourselves because being comfortable in our own body is a very important message; you shouldn’t be scared off by the word vagina.”
Anyone who auditioned and identified with the female was automatically cast, Hale said. The cast is made up of theatre majors, but it also includes other majors on campus, a high school student and women from the community theater.
“It’s going to be really special,” said Hale. “We’ve got a great group of girls and we’re all just ready to do our best and raise money for the Lafayette House.”
According to the Lafayette House website, the agency serves women and children who are victims of domestic violence or who are struggling with addiction. In addition to providing a safe house, Lafayette House offers counseling, child care, substance abuse treatment and domestic violence intervention.