If These Vaginas Could Talk: The Vagina Monologues Begin Showing Today

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Ever wondered what a vagina would say if it could talk? To find out, join 13 women and experience with them the joy, discovery, embarrassment and pride that the vagina offers in The Vagina Monologues, directed by Lisa Sendrow ’13 and assistant directed by Marian Firke ’14.

The Vagina Monologues comprise a wide variety of women’s stories with no vagina left behind. The monologues range in subject from the vagina’s use as a pleasure tool, to the realization of its beauty and found empowerment, to sad and poignant accounts of abuse victims. Most importantly, the show brings into stark focus an aspect of many women’s lives that usually passes under the radar. “Lots of women don’t feel empowered; they feel shy about their body,” Sendrow said.

After months rehearsing with the women in the cast, Sendrow said that she saw this transformative empowerment in the women themselves. “At the beginning, people were so shy . . . but now they’ve opened up, they feel connected.” She emphasized that the actresses incorporated themselves into a pre-existing character: “I wanted them to do justice to the person. They’re a real person, who shared their experience with their body,” she said. Yet at the same time, incorporating their own reading of the script was important: “It’s not just another Shakespeare play.”

The show, according to Sendrow, will benefit the entire campus and is geared towards a diverse audience. “There’s not enough talk about women’s issues on campus,” she said, citing equality and body issues as particular examples. The experience is meant to be empowering, inspirational and thought provoking: “how many people have looked at their vagina that way, or thought about how it interacts with their daily lives?” Sendrow said.

This is the second year the show will be put on at Swarthmore. Sendrow, who assistant directed last year’s production, said that she hopes it will continue as a tradition in the future. She cautioned that if the show recurs annually its popularity could drop; however, she noted that a lot of people feel inspired and energized after seeing the play.

The show is free of charge with a five dollar suggested donation. Proceeds will go to the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County. According to Sendrow, the directors chose this charity for the second time this year because it is a local organization that provides resources such as shelter, counseling, advocacy services, and a hotline to victims of domestic violence.

The performances will be in Science Center 101 on Friday, February 17 at 7 pm and Saturday, February 18 at 1 pm. The Vagina Monologues is sponsored by Swarthmore Feminists.


  1. Hey Holly! I wasn’t trying to imply that, sorry! I was saying that Shakespeare is more acting while TVM is based on another person’s story.

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