South Florida actress Sharyn Peoples stars with actresses Erynn Chapman, Paula Macchi and Lauren Tuma in the one act drama "The Vagina Monologues" on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center and on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Boca Black Box in Boca Raton.
Playwright Eve Ensler wrote and staged "The Vagina Monologues" in 1996 as a series of monologues to be read by actresses centering on the vagina in poems and scripts on issues of consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, genital mutilation, women's body images, love, rape, and other topics dealing with aspects of the feminine experience. Monologues are to be expressed by four actresses.
"There are moments of anger, joy, laughter, and sadness in the play which celebrates women," says actress Peoples, who teams with recent university graduate actresses Chapman, Macchi and Tuma in expressing the many points of view of women as Ensler envisioned through women of different ages.
Peoples talks about the monologue, "Angry Vagina" (a humorous monologue about injustices wrought against the vagina), among the many other monologues on the stage, which include "My Vagina Was My Villain" (about rape), and "I Was There In The Room" (about the birth of a granddaughter), among other monologues. "The actresses represent different women such as a six year old girl, a septuagenarian New Yorker, a vagina workshop participant, a Bosnian survivor of rape and a feminist," says Peoples.
"'The Vagina Monologues' is perhaps the most important piece of political theater that has been showcased in over a decade," stated writer Charles Isherwood of the New York Times when the play opened in 1996. Over the years, the play has been critically acclaimed and has been performed in over 180 countries and was also a feature film on HBO.
"My play is a celebration of femininity and over time has evolved into a campaign to stop violence against women," Ensler has been quoted as saying. Ensler herself grew up in a family with a violent father.
The V Day not for profit organization that offers programs to stop violence against girls and women was founded and inspired by "The Vagina Monologues, according to Ensler.
"The monologues are inspiring and my hope is that the audiences will engage in dialogue about the issues of violence against girls and women after seeing the play," says Peoples.
A former gymnast who excelled in musical theater, Peoples has been seen in many productions in South Florida for over 15 years and relishes performing in plays that enlighten audiences on social themes.
"One of my favorite productions was playing the bi-polar mother in the Slow Burn Theatre musical production of 'Next To Normal' (2013). I have several relatives in my family who are bi-polar and I am glad that audiences have learned the realities of the lives of people who are bi-polar," said Peoples.
Chapman and Macchi are both recent graduates of theater programs at Florida International University in Miami.
- Saturday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m., Aventura Arts and Center, 3385 NE 188 Street, Aventura. Tickets are $35.50 to $42.50. Call 305-466-8002 or go to aventuracenter.org.
- Sunday, October 13 at 2 and 7 p.m. at Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Tickets are $35 to $45, call 561-483-9036 or go to bocablackbox.com.