Club calls attention to women’s issues

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A new theatre-based club presented their premiere production, “The Vagina Monologues,” on April 12, a play centered on different aspects of feminine experience.

Jaime Zahl and Summer Medina, both Queens College juniors, founded the club, New Perspectives Theatre Company, which aims to produce theatrical productions that address social issues, while raising and donating money to related charities, according to Medina. The club is sponsored by Prism, the sexuality and gender alliance of QC.

‘The Vagina Monologues’ is popular, so we thought that it would be a good play to start with,” Medina said, who produced the project, while Zahl directed it.

“The Vagina Monologues,” a play that discusses feminine experiences through a series of monologues, originally premiered in 1996. The monologues came from interviews conducted by the playwright, Eve Ensler. V-Day, a non-profit organization founded by the playwright, owns the rights to the play and allows theatre groups to perform it between February and April every year. The club need only send an email to get the script.

Of the money raised, 10 percent goes to V-Day and 90 percent to the charity of the club’s choice. In this case, 90 percent went to the LGBT Community Center in West Village.

Both Zahl and Medina have been involved in theatre in their own communities for years. However, Zahl found that she wasn’t interested in the plays that the community on campus was doing and came up with the idea to start a club. They stressed that the club is open to everyone and that no experience in theatre is necessary.

“Every year during undergrad, I wanted to get involved in theatre, but I didn’t,” Sharice Richards, 24, a graduate student said. “So, when I saw the flyer and went to the interest meeting, I made sure I would be available.”

Richards, who had no previous experience in theatre — besides being in a Blues Clues episode once when she was a kid — found participating to be stress-free and a “good way to meet really cool girls on campus.”

“It was really a pleasure working with everyone,” Richards said.

Richards’ monologue in the play dealt with a woman who recalls traumatic sexual experiences during her adolescent years that were turned around by another woman. The woman recalls that at the age of 16, she was invited into the apartment of a 24-year-old woman, who gave her alcohol and had sex with her. The woman describes it as an “unexpected and politically incorrect salvation,” because it made her comfortable with her own body.

The play covers a variety of topics, including a young woman’s first period, the negative connotations associated with “c—,” women finding their vaginas unattractive — or never viewing it at all — birth and rape as a weapon in war.

One of the monologues, called “My Angry Vagina,” was a rant regarding all the discomfort women go through with the tools and products that are meant to be used on or for vaginas. “Like tampons — what the hell is that? A wad of dry f—— cotton stuffed up there. Why can’t they find a way to subtly lubricate the tampon?”

Shortly after this was said, somebody in the audience yelled “Yes!” in agreement, which was followed by laughter.

“We put a lot of really hard work into this and we really love the message of it,” Zahl said.

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