"The Vagina Monologues" returns to UT this year to offer another round of student-led performances asserting the female voice.
The event will show Feb. 13, 14 and 15 in the UC Ballroom each night at 7 p.m. The monologues present a recurring theme: using the vagina as a representation for women empowerment.
Sarah Kim, executive press secretary for UT’s Central Program Council, believes there will be a good student turnout.
“The Women's Coordinating Council has been working hard on this event and in publicizing it to the campus and Knoxville community,” Kim said. “The event itself has sparked a great amount of interest, and I think that will in turn increase event attendance.”
"The Vagina Monologues" were originally written by Eve Ensler in 1996. They premiered at HERE Arts Center in New York City. Throughout the history of the play, women celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Melissa Etheridge have taken a part in the play at some point.
Each monologue carries a variety of womanly experiences, all coming from different age groups and cultures.
Although the monologues represent woman empowerment, Caleb Cook, freshman in theatre, believes the performance will have something for both sexes.
"'The Vagina Monologues' have something to offer for everyone. For women, there are anecdotes and stories to relate to,” Cook said. “For men, there are opportunities for understanding the sometimes mysterious opposite sex.”
Graduate student Kara Glenn is making her directorial debut with "The Vagina Monologues." She enjoyed the experience and would direct again next year if asked.
“Getting to know each of the ladies in the production was a fulfilling experience,” Glenn said. “I had fun, played around and tried to add some flair to this year's production. If I got the opportunity to direct again, I would.”
The audience can relate to the monologues in various ways. Glenn hopes the audience can relate in both figurative and literal ways.
“Each piece is powerful and thought provoking,” she said.
Most importantly, Glenn wants audience members to be entertained.
“Anyone who has seen the production, they should feel like it's the first time again," Glenn said. "For newcomers, they should be inspired to audition next year and/or come back."
Katherine Henry, chairperson of Woman’s Coordinating Council, said that in past years they had to turn students away because seating was completely filled. They’ve moved it to a bigger location and extended the two night show to three nights to give more students a chance to attend.
“We are expecting based on the popularity of the show in previous years, and the popularity nationwide, a very large turnout," Henry said.
Overall, Henry wants an important message conveyed.
“While we want an entertaining show, the main message we want to get out to the students of UT is that we are putting on this performance to discuss and end violence against women,” she said.
"The Vagina Monologues" will premiere Wednesday, Feb. 13, in The UC Auditorium at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public.