Monologues discuss issues

Lizette Chavez, Reporter

The Vagina Monologues had a successful run this year with a sold-out show and people queuing in case of no-shows.

The event was held at the Bakersfield Community Theater Feb. 23-25 with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. The Vagina Monologues broached on topics that could be thought controversial, some of the stories performed were from some of the cast’s personal experiences.

Director Jenny Maddern was one of the women whose stories was shared; she talked about a specific situation where her employer made an inappropriate comment in front of some of her female colleagues.

She said that all the women froze and shared a look of shock but that none of them made any comments about what was said because he was their superior.

It was revealing moments like this preparing for the show that caused there to be a therapist available in case anyone started to feel overwhelmed.

Near the end of the first act, Maddern could be seen getting emotional as her story blended with the experiences of the other actors and the women who submitted their stories.

“Some of the words were mine and when you hear your own words being performed that way it’s hard to listen to but it’s also very healing. To see people reacting the way you want them to.”

The show seemed to offer this feeling to most of the actors and audience members.

One particular moment where the audience seemed to resonate with the actors was when a line was recited saying, “If you don’t say anything then you are one of them.”

The line was implied to be speaking about being complicit in a situation where action should have taken place. Maddern shared her thoughts on why she thought the audience may have reacted in such a way. “All the internal monologue that happens, ‘He was really wrong, but still I said I was sorry’ I think every woman [has] been there at some point in their lives where you apologize for something you had no control over or you’ve done nothing wrong,” she said.

After the show there was a “talk back” where the actors sat down and took questions from the audience or posed some themselves.

When asked what they would like the audience to take away from the performance Sarah Downie was the one to respond.

“I’m really hoping the audience takes away that [the stories are] common, but just because it’s common doesn’t take it away, we have to do something, we have to get involved.”

After 14 years of this performance running in Bakersfield, Maddern said she was very happy with the results and reactions of the audience with this one.