Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, January 20, 2018

“Breaking Ground Monologues” brings powerful performances

Students wrote and performed personal pieces in the show’s campus premiere

“Breaking Ground Monologues” brings powerful performances

The AUSG Women’s Initiative unveiled “The Breaking Ground Monologues” this past weekend. During the hour-long production, students spoke powerfully about their relationships with their bodies..

This is the first year that “The Breaking Ground Monologues” was performed at AU. In previous years, Women’s Initiative put on “The Vagina Monologues,” but announced in October that it would be introducing a new production this semester.

“The [Vagina Monologues] has a very narrow view of gender and is pretty trans exclusionary - which is not something that WI wanted to support,” Kendall Baron, a Senior in the school of Public Affairs and one of the student directors, said. “The [Vagina Monologues] were amazing for what they were in the 90s, but we've grown beyond that sort of biological essentialism”.

The monologues ranged in topic, from feeling uncomfortable with Jewish stereotypes, the emotional effects of rape and learning to love one’s body. Each speaker powerfully laid forth their struggle, and exposed their vulnerabilities to the audience as they spoke onstage.

These monologues were emotionally taxing to listen to, because they showed how difficult it can be to find oneself imperfect, and to love oneself despite those imperfections. Each performer was incredibly vulnerable, and some difficult topics were labeled with trigger warnings in the program. The performers impressively exposed their pain, anger and struggles with living with themselves.

“The cast was incredibly brave to get up on stage and speak about such personal things” Baron said.

The performances were all written and performed by AU students, which highlighted the fact that our peers are going through many different kinds of struggles. This also allowed the pieces to feel relatable and accessible to the student audience, even if one’s own experiences are less dramatic.

After the show, the audience was also asked to look at art, writing and poetry set up near the door of MGC 3-5, that students had created about their experiences and relationships with their bodies. The program was altogether emotionally moving, and it was a privilege to see these students share their experiences onstage.

“I hope the audience learned something from hearing other people's experiences” Baron said. “I also hope that more people saw themselves in the stories told on stage. I hope the actors gained confidence and the realization that their stories matter, that they're important and valued on this campus and in the world.”

eholmes@theeagleonline.com


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