The Vagina Monologues make an impact discussing women’s sexuality

The Vagina Monologues make an impact discussing women’s sexuality

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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Let’s do the Time Warp! UAB puts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Let’s do the Time Warp! UAB puts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

As students filed into the International Center on October 26, they were handed bags filled with toast, rice, a roll of toilet paper, playing cards, a rubber glove, noisemakers and other seemingly random objects.

There is one even that brings all of those items together—the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The room was packed with fans of the beloved Rocky Horror Picture Show screening, with several students dressed up as their favorite character from the classic movie.

The Rocky Horror Picture show has been a cultural phenomenon since it’s release in 1975. Screenings of the movie feature a live cast mirroring the action on the screen—performers must know every line and action, because they don’t look back at the movie. Also, audience members yell lines along with the movie and throw items from their prop bag they received at the beginning of the show.

The event has been shown at Michigan State for several years, however each prospective year it gets bigger and more successful

This year it was lead by University Activities Board events director and math education senior Stephanie Strawska. Strawska said the UAB has been working with the Wharton Center Student Marketing Organization of the event for about a month.

The show was promoted with the help of students from both organizations, which includes setting everything up and marketing it on campus. The UAB puts on plenty of events around campus including the annual spring concert and the Campus Center Cinemas every weekend.

For this particular show, the UAB came equipped with prop bags for the first 500 in line. Students were handed an itinerary so they knew when to use each of the items.

With student’s throwing props throughout the show, there is a larger clean-up for volunteers afterwards. However, Strawska said she did this event for students to have fun.

“I really wanted to do this event because I know so many students enjoy it” Stawska said “Especially around Halloween, it’s another good way to just get students to do something for Halloween but keep them on campus and keep them safe”

Stawska was right about that; plenty of students old and new came to watch the screening.

“I’ve heard a lot about it, but I’ve never seen it,” said junior Colin Emrich.
Emrich may have never seen the show but he was certainly as excited as old fans, such as freshman Megan Cochrane, who is also a member of the Wharton Center Student Marketing Organization

“I just love how silly and crazy it is,” Cochrane said. “It’s fun it is to be a part of the audience.”

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1:Face Watches: Hit or Miss?

1:Face Watches: Hit or Miss?

Charitable fashion has become pervasive in the last few years, but could the next big trend be something many students barely wear—a watch?

1:Face Watch, a relatively unknown phenomenon, allows people to help solve some of the world’s most difficult issues all by the color of a wristwatch. Profits from each watch support different charities based on their color.

1Face-Watch-Colors

Photo credit: 1:Face Watch. 1facewatch.com

According to their website, watches cost $40 and the consumer gets to choose which cause to support. Every watch has a square mirror-like display that shows the time when a button on the side is pressed.

The company hopes to one day grace the arms of millions of people just like Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong bracelets or enter in the charitable realm of Blake Mycoskie’s Toms. Unfortunately, 1:Face watch has not reached that level of popularity just yet.

The only ways to purchase a watch is through the official website or in participating Journey’s stores. There is no way a person could tell if this brand is genuine or not as not many of the charities seem to voice their support for it or publicize a partnership. In other words, there is no way a consumer can make sure that the watches are in authentic partnerships with these various charities – the money could be going anywhere.

Faraz ‘Fam’ Mirza, the man behind 1:Face, is trying to use a specific brand strategy to accommodate those who are less fortunate. According to his Twitter bio, Mirza is known for his idea branding, establishing trends and working with celebrities like P. Diddy.

Mirza hopes to successfully commercialize 1:Face Watch like the other projects he has worked on. Despite Mirza’s expertise, 1:Face has simply not grown to the caliber of his past brands.

Could poor brand reputation be the reason why this company not taken off? Bonnie Knutson, professor at the Eli Broad College of Business and expert on consumer trends, certainly thinks so.

“What guarantee do I have that the money I pay for the pink watch is going to breast cancer?” Knutson said. “I will give money to the Red Cross because they have a history. These folks don’t.”

Knutson also notes of the lack of direction when it comes to marketing the product. Truth of the matter is, not many kids actually wear watches and smartphones have taken over that industry, Knutson said.

Knutson also doesn’t think Journey’s is good place to sell watches, as the demographic that usually shops at the store doesn’t necessarily buy watches.

“Young pre-teens [and] teens, do they have 40 dollars to throw? Are they into charity?” Knutson said. “I don’t think so. So right away, that’s not making any sense to me.”

Despite all this, 1:Face Watch has managed to capture more than 3,000 followers on Twitter and over 100,000 on Instagram. The buzz could be big enough to generate the next Toms-like sensation.

Before this can happen Knutson suggested that they need to get their marketing game up. According to Knutson, the average person in the Lansing, Mich. area gets hit with about 6,000 ads a day.

“In Metropolitan areas like Chicago or New York it is at about 20 to 30,000,” Knutson said. “For you to get noticed, you’ve got to break through that clutter.”

Students seem to have dissenting opinions on the watch. Marketing major Elishia Johnson thinks the watches are cool but weird looking.

“I don’t know, the watch seems pretty one-dimensional and strange,” Johnson said. “I don’t really wear watches, and even if I did, I wouldn’t spend 40 dollars on one”

But public health major Shay Bradford thinks the watches are a great investment.

“The watches are weird looking but that’s what make them unique. I love how each one supports a different cause, what’s not to like?” Bradford said. “I wish more people knew about it.”

In the end, 1:Face Watch purchases will come down to personal preference. For those that are interested in a watch, however, 1:Face gives an opportunity to give back.

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