Last year’s directors of the Vagina Monologues, Jessica Perelman ’17 and Eileen Connor ’18 have taken some time to write about why the Monologues won’t be happening on our campus this year.
This post comes as a way to continue conversations about the main subject of the Vagina Monologues- womanhood. As there have been continuous discussions in recent years about whether the Monologues should persist, this post comes not as a defense to “why” or “why not,” but mostly just to inform the wider campus community.
I don’t think it is too difficult to find the problems with the Monologues portrayal of womanhood, as it equates being a woman to having a vagina, a notion which is widely understood to be false. If this idea comes as new to you…. ??¿?¿¿?¿ The discussion of the Dialogues on this campus have also culminated in the creation of a more accepting and accessible version of the Dialogues called the Shmagina Dialogues. But of course, the fight for equity is still ongoing.
In general, this is a conversation we can all continue to learn from, and use to understand gender and sexuality in larger social contexts.
Find the previous directors story below:
Some of you have probably seen on Facebook that there is something going wrong with the Theater Department, and might have further questions. Maia Nelles-Sager ’17 wrote a piece explaining the state of the Wesleyan Theater Department and submitted it to Wesleying. We are deciding to post it because we think it represents an all-too-often occurrence where departments are neglected and visiting professors are overworked.
As with many things at Wesleyan, there are inner workings of the administration to which students don’t have access. In the case of the post below, these things are having a direct impact on the formal education that we have come here to receive. As a prospective theater major, this post is something near and dear to me. I’ve seen a big cry for transparency in our community, and I hope you all will take time to see why many students are looking for it in the case of the Theater Department. Read past the jump for Maia’s post.
Check out a cool event from Meg de Recat ’17:
Looking to take a break and get ~inspired~ before finals? Come to Beyond The Vagina Monologues, a showcase of original creative works written by the students who were in a forum on storytelling, performance art, and gender rights activism this semester.
Admissions are free, but donations will be accepted for NARAL Pro-Choice CT, an awesome reproductive rights organization that is based in Hartford.
FORUM MEMBERS: Alex Rothenberg, Anna Strzempko, Ginger Hollander, Ike Fuchs, Lily Homer, Madeline Jones, Maxine Go, Michaela Olson, Natalie Bina, Taryn Johnson ~Some background about the showcase~
This fall, Meg de Recat ’17 and Jessica Perelman ’17 led a student forum, “Beyond The Vagina Monologues,” about topics pertaining to gender, sexuality, and race in the context of theater and performance art. This forum was an attempt to create a space to build upon the critiques and questions raised by the Wesleyan community regarding The Vagina Monologues. The show, which has been performed for over ten years at Wesleyan, is usually passed down from the directors to cast members. We hoped to challenge the institutionalization of this practice by creating a forum, which served to facilitate critical dialogues centered on the themes in the show, instead of automatically continuing this tradition.*
The conversations among the forum members have informed the collection of stories, poems, and artwork that will be presented in this “coffee-house” showcase. These student works relate to aspects of identity, relationships, intimacy, and the current political climate.** We hope that this showcase will foster new conversations and create a welcoming environment for people to connect, share, and enjoy some beautiful stories and art!
*If anyone is interested in directing The Vagina Monologues next semester, please contact Meg and Jessica for more information (mderecate[at]wesleyan[dot]edu, jperelman[at]wesleyan[dot]edu). Unless someone decides to undertake this project, there is no guarantee that the show will be performed this year.
** Some works include stories related to sexual assault and trauma. Please be mindful of your own self-care when choosing whether or not to attend.
Date: Thursday December 8th, 2016
Time: 8-9:30pm (the runtime of the showcase is about 1 hour)
Place: The Bayit
From Ruby Lanet ’18:
[[[Rehearsals for FRANK will take place almost entirely during Winter Break (beginning January 8) to the show’s opening on February 2nd. This is NOT a fall semester commitment.]]
FRANK will be an adaptation of the ancient and modern story of Frankenstein/Prometheus. We will be using three main texts: the Living Theatre’s Frankenstein production, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankstein–or The Modern Prometheus– and the ancient greek myth of Prometheus. We want to know the what/why/where/who/how of what it means to fly to close to the sun.
We are looking for a team that is excited about creating, not just performing. Experience is not necessary! Nor is it necessary for you to consider yourself a typical performer! Because of the three-week process, this will be an extraordinarily intensive, collaborative project.
Performances will take place in the ’92, on February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Auditions will be held in the Jones Room on Wed (11/2) 4:15- 6m and in the Nics Lounge on Fri (11/4) 4:15-6. You do not need to prepare anything, we will have sides: just come ready and willing to move.
Please try to sign up in advance here: https://docs.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/spreadsheets/d/11wPbg4zUKZnqyar3X1YUFRwlshl2h-47MkMxJy9n8bc/edit?usp=sharing
Drop-ins will also be welcome (just may be asked to wait a bit)!
Please don’t hesitate to hit up Natalie May at nmay[at]wesleyan[dot]edu with any questions. We hope you come out!!
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1028379563927202/?notif_t=plan_user_joined¬if_id=1477631852823905
Date: Wednesday, November 2 and Friday, November 4
Time: 4:15-6 PM
Place: Jones Room, Nics Lounge
From Hugo Kessler ’19:
At 11:22 AM on Novembers the third, fourth, and fifth, a young and pretty crappy filmmaker, Jackie Parks, is murdered on an Amtrak train traveling from New York to Boston. No one knows why. No one knows how. All we do know is that her documentary about the election will remain unfinished for all eternity. What a shame. Luckily, there’s a clever(ish) detective who just happens to witness the murder. Unfortunately, the six other witnesses happen to be petulant, whiny adults. And thus begins the wild ride of Murder on the Beantown Express.
Written and directed by Hugo Kessler ’19
Thursday, November 3 at 8 PM
Friday, November 4 at 8 PM
Saturday, November 5 at 2 PM
Music House (200 High St.)
Tickets available here:
Runtime is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Date: Thursday, November 3, Friday, November 4, and Saturday, November 5
Time: 8 PM on Thursday and Friday, 2 PM on Saturday
Place: Music House (200 High Street)
From May Treuhaft-Ali ’17:
Ulysses is a love story. It is a story about the love between a husband and wife, and between a parent and child. It is a story about three individuals searching for a sense of belonging in a community that marginalizes them. It is also a story about flowers, hot chocolate, farts, flirtations, shooting stars, and the myriad moments that can transform an ordinary day into an epic journey. Because Ulysses is the epic of everyday life, this piece will be site-specific and take place in locations throughout the Wesleyan campus, as a theatrical intervention in the public sphere.
Performance dates are April 13-15. All actors will receive 1.00 academic credit for working on this project.
For your audition, please compose a performance (2-4 minutes) about one of the following:
1. A love song
2. A time you embarked on a long journey home
3. A ritual that is meaningful to you
Your composition may take the form of a story, dance, song, scene, et cetera.
We recommend that you sign up for an audition time on our signup sheet (available on our Facebook event or at https://docs.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/spreadsheets/d/1ozq2gxWuPDBWsZYYL39ORTul3Y54NiWFGAsufeZ08Jo/edit?usp=sharing), but you are still welcome to attend auditions if you don’t sign up in advance. If you can’t make the audition times but would still like to audition, or if you have questions, please contact May Treuhaft-Ali atmtreuhaftali[at]wesleyan[dot]edu or Sam Morreale at smorreale[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.
Date: Tuesday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 2
Time: Tuesday: 6-8 PM, Wednesday: 7-9 PM
Place: The Jones Room and the East Room in the Theater Studios
From Nola Werlinich ’17:
Interested in making student theater next semester? Let Second Stage help you out!
Second Stage is releasing applications for our fall 2016 season in the not too distant future, so it’s time to start putting teams together for next semester! Come to the Zelnick Pavilion any time between 2-4pm on Sunday afternoon and meet the director/designer/stage manager/technician/collaborator who will make all of your theatrical dreams come true.
There may be food. There may be kittens. You’ll have to come to find out.
Email me (Nola) at nwerlinich[at]wesleyan[dot]edu with any questions, and/or if you’re interested in joining or finding a team but are unable to make it to speed dating.
Date: Sunday, April 17
Time: 2-4 PM
Place: Zelnick Pavilion
From Ryan Dobrin ’18:
Your gently used T-shirts could be in a devised theater piece from the Theater Department!
Wes Out Loud, the Theater Department’s Spring 2016 production, is collecting knitted T-shirts made from natural materials (cotton, poly cotton, rayon, etc.) to be used for a set installation. Email rdobrin[at]wesleyan[dot]edu for donation pick-ups, or drop off any donations in the Theater Department lobby by April 8th. Thank you in advance for your help!
Any questions? Email Cybele Moon at cmoon[at]wesleyan[dot]edu, Dawn Alger at dalger[at]wesleyan[dot]edu, or Ryan Dobrin at rdobrin[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.
Date: NOW – Friday, April 8
Time: Until 4:30PM on Friday the 8th
Place: Theater Department Lobby
There I was, all by my lanky lonesome at 11PM Tuesday night in Zelnick, unprepared for the psychological experience about to commence.
I was there to preview YUM YUM: A 3D FUNHOUSE, written and directed by Russell Goldman ’17, whom you should know as an institution of this college because he also wrote and directed last Spring’s Auntie Stein’s Smiletime Pizzaburger Palace, a wondrous creation ripe with meat-people, Guy Fieri, and cutesy morbidity. Naturally, I was excited as fuck.