Posts Tagged ‘performance’

City Theatre’s The Vagina Monologues

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

City Theatre invited Pittsburgh’s bloggers to their production of The Vagina Monologues on Saturday. Keli and I thought we’d give it a try.

City Theatre is located on the South Side’s 1300 block. The set-up is intentionally intimate: it seats 111 and the stage was only large enough for the three actors performing the monologues. I will say that I felt lucky to be of the half that was in the theatre-style seating, even if we were far off to one side. The other half was seated at two-top tables that, once the theatre was full, made movement almost impossible. Since Keli and I were on the waiting list we were the last to file in, and the toes I stumbled over (sorry!) had nothing to do with the wine I’d had. A little close for my tastes, but you do choose your own seats — perhaps some prefer the close quarters.

The Vagina Monologues was written by Eve Ensler in 1996, and is a series of monologues that was created after the interviews Ensler conducted with over 200 women regarding, you guessed it, their vaginas. Each piece explores some aspect of the organ: whether it be nicknames, sex, rape, childbirth, or orgasms.

City Theatre’s Erica Bradshaw, Holli Hamilton and Laurie Klatscher did a nice job. I thought Bradshaw particularly did a wonderful job with two of the monologues, one a portrayal of a sex worker and the other of a blossoming lesbian in the seventies. Klatscher also did a nice recollection by an older woman that referred to her vagina as “the cellar” and recounted what she called “the flood”, an experience that followed her throughout her life. I believe George Clooney was involved.

The first time I saw The Vagina Monologues was a production done by Point Park. It was longer and showcased a large cast of over twenty, each girl with a single monologue. I laughed hysterically and moved to tears. It also included more of the monologues — since the VM is actually a compilation of many facts and stories, each theatre picks and chooses the ones they incorporate into their show. There was at least one in particular that I missed seeing that had lent the show more of raw, empowering feel.

I don’t know that it would be completely fair to compare the two performances head to head, especially because but there’s a certain sit-up-and-take-notice that comes from a thirty-long list of nicknames for your genitalia that can only work as well the first time. The two productions were very different — the size of the cast and facility, the direction, the lighting, everything. But I also can’t help feeling that their production wasn’t as raw as it could have been.

That being said, it was certainly a nice way to spend a Saturday evening and I would definitely suggest checking it out if you’ve never seen it. The Vagina Monologues runs at the City Theatre from January 10th to February 17th. If you mention the word BLOG when purchasing tickets, you will receive $5 off each ticket. Because I have that kind of power.