Last night was our one night production of the Vagina Monologues in collaboration with local director, Sangeeta Nambiar. The energy from the audience was amazing and the evening was inspiring for both those who came and the woman warriors on stage.
Let me back up a bit and first just share how much producing this play meant for me. I had first heard about Eve Ensler’s play when I was in university. It was my sophomore year and I was intrigued by the casting call I had seen for “the Vagina Monologues”. Not really knowing what it was, I went to the audition out of pure curiosity. I said a few lines and the audition ended with the panel asking me to fake an orgasm.
I was 19… I had NO IDEA what an orgasm felt like! So I “acted” what I saw in the movies and in porn. I screamed (and looking back, barked), stomped my foot and pounded my fists on the table. Needless to say, I didn’t get a part. I did, however, go to see the play. And it blew my mind.
Fast forward 10+ years and I had just created Lila Sutra. All this while, the Vagina Monologues was always at the back of my mind. It'd be amazing to have here - in a community that we all believe to be “conservative”. I wanted to dispel that myth. I wanted to bring together the community I knew exists - a community that cares about and wants to discuss and empower female sexuality.
I didn’t know how to make it happen, but I put it out into the universe.
One day, I sat down next to a random lady at an acting studio. I brought up the Vagina Monologues and how I can never find out when it is being played. That random lady just happened to be friends Sangeeta Nambiar - a local playwright, director and activist. Sangeeta also happened to have directed the Vagina Monologues four times! And just like that - the universe delivered.
Everything fell in place and 4 months later, I am on stage with a group of amazing women. Real women warriors. The cast represented a mosaic of ethnicities and age groups. The show was sold out - even after we added 40 more chairs. Portions of each ticket went towards providing menstrual hygiene kits for girls in Kenya. Together, we were able to provide a year’s supply for 123 girls - that’s a full year of school that she won’t need to miss because she has her period.
The cast of awesome woman warriors. Photo by Ensof Photography
This was definitely a memorable moment for Lila Sutra this year. You can see photos here for memories from that evening.
We plan to produce the show again next year. Put your name down if you want to be notified when tickets go on sale - if it goes like last night’s show, it will sell out quickly!
With much love.
PS. Please check out Sangeeta’s Finally She Spoke movement. Theatre is a powerful medium to provoke dialogue and the stories told in her play need to be heard.