The Vagina Monologues returned to the Wharton Center on Jan. 31st to showcase women’s sexuality and empowerment.

The cast of the Vagina Monologues. Photo via their Facebook page

The Vagina Monologues is a play written by activist Eve Ensler and originally preformed off-Broadway. The play is a series of monologues that are inspired by real women regarding issues like domestic violence, rape and sexuality. The cast, made up entirely of MSU students, performed 16 of these monologues.

The show’s dry humor and willingness to discuss important issues that impact women has not only resonated with audience members all over the globe, but has inspired a cult-like following.

Although the Vagina Monologues attracts a wide range of audiences, it is particularly of interest to college-aged women.

Hillary Burke, an usher at the Wharton Center certainly notices the difference between the people who attend the Vagina Monologues and other shows.

“There’s been a different crowd of people,” Burke said, “It’s a lot more focused on the college crowd”

Burke, 21, has seen the show before but loves that each monologue tapped into a different emotion.

“It’s really interesting,” Burke said. “I liked how they changed it up. The actresses were great.”

And the actresses are not just theater majors, they come from all over the university and many walks of life.

For 20-year-old nursing major and first time performer Rebecca MacCreery, acting in the Vagina monologues was a life changing experience.

“I was at Sparticipation and some of the girls…had little flyers (that said) ‘audition for the Vagina Monologues!’” MacCreery said. “Of course ‘vagina’ caught my eyes because people don’t just say that in public and I was like, ‘You know what? I should do this.’”

Starting in October, she found herself rehearsing for the famous play.

MacCreery said the time she spent with her cast mates rehearsing and getting to know each other left a lasting effect on her.

“I feel like we’ve really matured about the subject of vaginas and everything surrounding that like sexuality and rape,” MacCreery said. “We’ve been enlightened. There are a lot of things I didn’t know they talked about in the play”

MacCreery starred in one of the most memorable roles as a 6 year old in the monologue Interview with a 6 Year Old. She plays a humorously inattentive girl who answers questions about her vagina.

MacCreery’s performance earned plenty of laughs from the audience as she danced across the stage and imitated the actions of her character. The crowd gave her a standing ovation.

“After being in the monologues, it really gives me a high when people clap for me.” MacCreery said, “I think acting is my passion”

MacCreery said she enjoyed the play so much that she plans on changing her major to Theater.

“I want to do [the monologues] for as many years as I can” MacCreery said.

MacCreery is not the only person inspired by the Vagina Monologues. English freshman Kelsey Wylie has attended the show before and plans on doing so again.

“I came to the show because my friend was in it before and she invited me to see her,” Wylie said. “I just wanted to come back because I thought it was such a great cause and a great show.”

Wylie works at Listening Ear, a crisis hotline in Lansing that offers free advice and resources for people in crisis.

She said her experience working for Listening Ear allowed her to interpret the stories in the Vagina Monologues from a more localized perspective.

“It made me more empathetic,“ Wylie said. “I started working with other people who deal with issues like this, so I feel more connected to them.”

The play continues to leave lasting effects on audience members and actresses. MacCreery is certainly no exception.

“It really made me mature as a woman.”

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