MSAB’s 5th Annual Vagina Monologues Challenge Norms and Celebrate Artistry

Students at the 5th annual Vagina Monologues.
Students at the 5th annual Vagina Monologues.
Blair Martin

The Miss Spelman Advisory Board (MSAB) hosted the 5th annual Vagina Monologues on Thursday, March 21st in Sisters Chapel.  

The Vagina Monologues originally began as a play written in 1996, exploring a variety of topics through a women’s lens by way of self-expressive performances. With two acts and 15 performances, MSAB’s Vagina Monologues allowed Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark Atlanta University students to express themselves through singing, dancing, acting and spoken word poetry. Students, friends, and families filled the chapel, eagerly waiting for the show to begin.

Finley Warren, an intern within the Vagina Monologues committee, describes the inclusivity within the program. “The reason it’s open to all and anyone here is because womanhood is interpreted by everyone differently because we’ve all experienced the themes of sex, love, heartbreak, and pain so differently,” she states. 

Since the Vagina Monologues is such a notable event in the AUC, it inevitably took months of preparation. After two rounds of auditions, hand-selected students began rehearsing their performances in January. The performers wrote most of the pieces showcased, displaying their genuineness and vulnerability. 

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The lead director of the Vagina Monologues committee, Camryn Mitchell, shares how the most rewarding part of the program is witnessing the artistry in person. “The most rewarding thing about this is seeing it all come together because my performers have developed so much. I really wanted variety because no one performance should be the same. We wanted good stories, passionate people, and hard workers”, she states.

Before the acts commenced, Indie Clayton, the 40th Miss Spelman College, along with her first and second attendants, Nadia Scott and Ayiana Taina, thanked the audience for participating in this special event. 

What makes this show so highly anticipated is the audience never knows what kind of performance to expect. Some pieces were viewed as provocative due to foul language and gestures, and many were traditionally empowering. Due to the unpredictable nature of Vagina Monologues, the audience remained engaged to capture every moment of it. 

Kenedi Munson, a participant in the Vagina Monologues, articulates how she uses her creative personality within her piece to empower the audience. “I’m a creative and wanted to be amongst other creatives in that element.  I want my spoken word to be reflective and empowering  for my audience because we as women have so many societal pressures, so much stigma, and so much hate from people who aren’t us,” she expresses.

A common misconception about the Vagina Monologues is that it’s only a space for women. However, Kade Davis, a sophomore sociology major at Morehouse, participated. His spoken word piece defied the stereotype that questions men’s ability to exhibit emotion and apologize, as those are typically portrayed as women’s traits. He directed his piece toward his girlfriend in the audience as an apology. 

“My girlfriend actually told me to perform for Vagina Monologues. She was mad at me, and the idea of the poem is that emotions are only associated with women. I feel like men have a hard time apologizing and being vulnerable, so in this poem, I’m not nervous about saying sorry, and I’m going against the norm,” Davis said. 

The various angles of the performances from both women and men in the showcase juxtaposed in many ways, creating an inclusive environment for all in attendance.


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