Door Community Auditorium Hosts ‘The Vagina Monologues’

The cast of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ includes (back row, left to right) Nikki Hedeen, Jean Severson, Carrie Gossen, Penny Price, Virgean Ostrand, Melissa Bennet; (front row, left to right) Danielle Warecki, Laura Lotto, Heather LaVine, and writer Sally Slattery.

I thought a bunch of grown women would bash men, share graphic sexual experiences, and pull audience members on stage where they would shout ‘vagina’ until their faces were rosy with embarrassment. I thought I might cringe the entire way through. I thought, ‘If I just go once, I can say I saw it and never go again.’

That’s what I thought when I sat down in a chilled, dimly lit auditorium at Winona State University as a timid 21-year-old about to see The Vagina Monologues.

I may have skipped the opportunity all together had my friend Brian not convinced my roommate Lindsay and I to attend. “I’ll be dressed up as a vagina!” he said. He was.

I took my seat with a free vagina sucker he handed out in hand thinking, “What did I get myself into?”

A rollercoaster of emotions, that’s what. One woman shared a liberating story about pubic hair, another an entertaining story about visiting the gynecologist. One woman shared a disturbing story about rape, another a vivid, poetic account of her granddaughter’s birth. There was no male bashing. No graphic, pornographic accounts of sex. No one pulled me on stage.

Fast-forward seven years, I volunteer myself to stand on stage.

“What did I get myself into?” I think as I open the script and skim through my story – a monologue about a woman who is afraid of ‘down there.’

“Read through your parts and we’ll meet again in a couple weeks,” smiled Danielle Warecki of HELP of Door County.

The first time I read the piece, I giggle. “Oh my, god. I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

The second time I read the piece, tears spring to my eyes. I focus on the woman whose story I’m sharing, on her fear, on her shame and on the simple act of one ordinary man that offers redemption.

I watch the writer of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, read my monologue on YouTube and feel great pride. I’m participating in a historic play, a play presented throughout the world since its 1996 debut in New York City, a play that launched V-Day, a global movement that has raised more than $75 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefits of The Vagina Monologues.

On Feb. 28 at 7 pm, I join nine other brave, beautiful women of all ages, of different experiences and backgrounds, on the Door Community Auditorium stage in benefit of HELP of Door County, a nonprofit that strives to eliminate domestic abuse, an advocate for social change.

“What did I get myself into?”

A great opportunity to spread knowledge, spark conversation, offer a liberating, understanding voice, and raise a few dollars to support an organization that seeks to better the lives of Door County community members.

I encourage you to come, even if you come with that attitude that The Vagina Monologues are a big deal and if you go once, you can say you went and never go again. Or you just might find yourself on stage talking about vaginas a few years later.

Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek will host The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 28 at 7 pm. Free will donations are encouraged to benefit HELP of Door County.

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