Tarleton presents ‘The Vagina Monologues’

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

Returning for another year, Tarleton State University’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler will run from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Barry B. Thompson Student Center ballrooms on Feb. 25-26.

Previously hosted by the theatre department, instructor Prairie Endres-Parnell, the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Joe R. and Dr. Teresa Lozano Long Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs took over Tarleton’s “The Vagina Monologues” in 2012. 

“The Vagina Monologues” Director Prairie Endres-Parnell
Photo courtesy: https://www.tarleton.edu/communications/people.html

“‘The Vagina Monologues’ are a series of monologues based on interviews with women from all over the world talking about their own experiences as women, good and bad and ugly, and how they kind of process those experiences,” Endres-Parnell said.

Open for participation from anyone that identifies as female, the performance will feature five speakers, including Jeanelle Barrett, Karen Aho, Emma Felps, Ana Mora and Endres-Parnell.

Over the years, “The Vagina Monologues” have impacted the discussion of women’s rights and experiences throughout history.

“At Tarleton, it started off as just a way to have a dialogue about women’s issues on campus, and it’s still definitely that, but we also raise money for Cross Timbers Family Services. We try to provide a space where students can feel comfortable talking about sexual assault on campus, where they can just feel comfortable talking about their own experiences as being women,” Endres-Parnell said. “We try to spread awareness about just women’s issues in general and diversity on campus and just trying to kind of wake people up I guess and get people thinking about the world in a bigger way, a broader way.”

The topics of the play vary year-to-year depending on the pieces students submit.

“It’s mostly prewritten and then every year we can add like local pieces, so this year I’ve got a piece written by a student about being sexually assaulted in high school,” Endres-Parnell said. “Last year we had a couple of pieces that were in the play years ago and that we brought back because we haven’t done them here. Years before that we’ve had a couple about sexual assault on campus, sexual assault in the workplace.” 

Due to Covid, last year’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” was held in an unconventional style to promote social distancing.

“We did almost everything on Zoom, which was ‘super exciting,’ and then when we performed, we just spaced the seats out more. We were in the theater, so we had to spread people out more, so we had fewer seats, and the actresses all wore face shields,” Endres-Parnell said.

After taking a hiatus last year due to Covid, the annual silent auction for Cross Timbers Family Services will take place at “The Vagina Monologues.”

“We always give the money back to Cross Timbers Family Services. Cross Timbers does women’s care. They do support, like if you’re leaving an abusive family, they can help with counseling. They can help with transportation and housing,” Endres-Parnell said. “They do all kinds of local assistance, so we try to give back to the community and make sure that everybody’s got a safe place to go.”

Free tickets can be reserved from Eventbrite. Posters around campus feature a QR code that will take students and faculty to the ticket reserving spot.

“It’s not a bad word. It’s not scary. They’re funny, and they’re sad, and you absolutely should see them,” Endres-Parnell said.

For more information about “The Vagina Monologues” or reserving tickets, email parnell@tarleton.edu

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