Women’s Initiative will put on on the Breaking Ground Monologues this weekend, providing an opportunity for students to perform monologues about their experiences with their bodies and identities. The performances will be on Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in MGC 2-5, with tickets at $5 each.
There are 12 cast members this year in the monologues, all of them current AU students. Co-directors Liliana Ascencio and Swati Guin said the cast members were all given a general prompt about their experiences with their bodies and identities to respond to before going into a month of workshops and critiquing to fine-tune their monologues.
“It’s a very collaborative process,” Guin said. “We really work together as a group and a team to make this show a space for all voices.”
Guin said the Breaking Ground Monologues allow students to speak their own truths because performers write their own monologues, as opposed to the Vagina Monologues, the predecessor of the Breaking Ground Monologues, which features pre-written monologues that cast members perform. The Vagina Monologues was originally written by Eve Ensler and is performed widely across the country, including at AU for a few years. Women’s Initiative chose to change the event to the Breaking Ground Monologues to broaden the focus from specifically female genitalia to multiple identities and bodies.
“We wanted to have more voices represented and allow people to feel more connected to this community at AU,” Ascencio said.
Ascencio and Guin said that many of the pieces being performed in the show are very personal-- some are funny, some are angry, some are sad-- but ultimately the show is a collection of stories about self and body and mind.
The show is definitely political, too, Ascencio and Guin said. Even though it doesn’t necessarily target any policy or political campaign, it does address issues that are popular in the news today such as sexual violence, immigration and race.
“Those things are all politicized issues, but I think it brings to light how personal these things that we’re seeing everyday really are,” Ascencio said.
“When you actually hear about how it’s impacting students on this campus… it really drives it home,” Guin said.