‘The Vagina Monologues’ raise awareness at Tarleton

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

Returning to Tarleton State University for another semester, instructor Prairie Endres-Parnell, the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Joe R. and Dr. Teresa Lozano Long Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs hosted a production of “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler on Feb. 25 and 26.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a play comprised of several monologues that detail the experiences and hardships of real women throughout history.

“I think the play was important at Tarleton this year in light of the YikYak accusations of assault that happened earlier this semester – women need to be aware of other women’s stories, as well as be educated about their options,” Endres-Parnell said. “We are still, even after 8 years, having posters be removed, vandalized and having people react very strongly to the play and the advertising. I think until students go to the play voluntarily, and see the value in hearing these stories and telling their own stories, that we need the play each year.”

The cast list featured Jeanelle Barrett, Karen Aho, Emma Felps, Ana Mora and Endres-Parnell.

During the performance, actresses read a wide range of stories, both comedic and tragic. The topics of the play change each year depending on pieces students submit.

“Haunted was the only student submitted piece this year.  It is always important to me for local voices to be heard, to ensure that the community here is heard,” Endres-Parnell said. “I want people to know that these stories are everywhere, even here, and that we can make a difference by sharing our stories. I think it’s important for students to hear another student’s voice, or a faculty/staff voice, and see that women overcome and move on, despite/in spite their trauma.”

Audience members were encouraged to participate and chant for certain parts of the play, and once the actresses finished performing, the audience was able to share opinions and ask questions.

“The Vagina Monologues” stage.
Photo By: Sierra Wells

“The reaction of the audience was overwhelmingly positive. An older couple who came and saw the show were delighted by the experience and loved the opportunity to give back to the community,” Endres-Parnell said.  “The actresses were all approached by different audience members and got really positive feedback. Several audience members expressed interest in participating next year and mentioned how moved they were by the performances.”

The annual silent auction raised money for Cross Timbers Family Services at the show.

“The silent auction was successful so far. We don’t have the full amount totaled yet, or all of the items picked up. We had bids on about 2/3 of our items,” Endres-Parnell said.

For information about participating in future performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” email parnell@tarleton.edu

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