Vagina Monologues speak out in Breck | SummitDaily.com
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Vagina Monologues speak out in Breck

Kimberly NicolettiSummit Daily News
Special to the DailyLast years cast of The Vagina Monologues livened up the Silverthorne Pavilion with its variety of voices. From left to right, front row: Gwen Harris, Jeremy Cole, Maria Cheng, Denise Townsend, Dee Dice, Kathleen Trambley, Murphy Funkhouser; Back Row: Suzanne Pedersen, Tracy Church, Kelly Ketzenbarger, Bonnie DeChant, Kelly Renoux, Melissa Rae Brown.
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BRECKENRIDGE It seems people cant get enough of Vagina Monologues.The Backstage Theatre debuted Vagina Monologues in 2003 when artistic director Jeremy Cole discovered Dramatistis Play Service where he obtains 90 percent of the Backstages scripts had purchased rights to The Vagina Monologues.But he had a hard time selling it to the folks at the Riverwalk Center for a Labor Day show because of the Riverwalks tradition of offering family-oriented programming that weekend. So he moved it to the Silverthorne Pavilion. This weekend, hes presenting the show in the intimate setting of the Breckenridge Theatre.The Vagina Monologues was such a huge success for us the first two times and its already selling rapidly that I figured threes a charm, Cole said.When he asked Vanessa Flaherty, with the town of Breckenridge, about presenting the play in Breckenridge, she said absolutely, so he ran with it.

Rather than present it in the traditional three-women show format, Cole has employed 15 local women to play more than 20 voices. This time the show is a bit different, he said. It has the largest cast so far a mixture of new and old faces as well as three new monologues: My Short Skirt, The Memory of Her Face and They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy … Or So They Tried. Theres also an intermission this time, so frightened males can flee, and emboldened females can drink.Im really psyched about this version because in Eve Enslers performance; she has to play 20-some voices, and even if youre good at impersonation, you get the same person or the same three women. This is less of a performance piece and more of a communal, or group therapy, session. Its a more varied view with women from their early 20s to 60s tall, large, short all types of different women. Its almost a documentary piece (saying) Look at all these experiences women have with the same body part. Within the 16 moans and 136 times vagina comes out in the show, the monologues talk about a woman whos not so pleased after her husband makes her shave her pubic hair, a poor girl who was abused but finally has a good sexual experience with a woman, a woman who rages about obstetrics, a grandmother who recalls the beautiful birth of her grandchild, an older women who experiences a juicy orgasm for the first time, a Bosnian woman raped during war and a group of women who reclaim the word vulva. She (Eve Ensler) doesnt leave any stone unturned, Cole said. The topic may make some people nervous, but it actually tackles some powerful issues. And the Backstage Theatre does a very tasteful job, said Maggie Butler, who hosted the production last year at the Silverthorne Pavilion.

The Vagina Monologues gives voice to all types of feminine sheathlike structures. Some have been raped. Some have just discovered themselves. Some have REALLY discovered themselves. And most like to moan a dozen different ways from short, staccato whimpers to long, screaming outbursts. In The Vagina Monologues, playwright Eve Ensler presents a chorus of lusty, outrageous, poignant, brave and completely human stories. She based the play on 200 interviews with a diverse group of women who differed in marital status, sexual orientation, nationality and economic status. At first, women were reluctant to talk, Ensler says on her Vagina Monologues Web site. They were a little shy. But once they got going, you couldnt stop them. And once The Vagina Monologues hit the stage, it was a screaming success. It has grown from an off-Broadway hit into an international cultural phenomenon performed in more than 40 countries. The topic has hit national talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman, where as hard as actress Calista Flockhart tried, she couldnt persuade Letterman to utter the word vagina. When people first hear the title especially because we dont use that word, even though its the dictionary word they think of the titillation factor Oh, its naughty, Cole said. But when they come and see it, they realize that though it is frank and there are naughty portions, its also so much more. This should be a textbook taught in school. By the end, you learn about womens attitudes, societys attitude and its function not just as a sexual thing but as a birth canal. Its a whole course on female sexuality in one short show. The hidden excitement, pain, wisdom, humor and mystery in vaginas unfolds at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Breckenridge Theatre. For tickets, call (970) 453-0199. The show is intended for mature audiences.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

What: Vagina MonologuesWhen: 7:30 p.m. today and SaturdayWhere: Breckenridge TheatreTickets: $15Call: (970) 453-0199Rating: Mature audiences only


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