The actress says out of all the plays she has done, Vagina Monologues is the one closest to her heart.
Eighteen years since its inception in the Philippines and in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the global activist movement V-Day, critically-acclaimed episodic play The Vagina Monologues (TVM) is set to have another commercial run on August 11 and 12 only at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
Inspired by the work of American playwright, performer, and activist Eve Ensler with the same title, The Vagina Monologues, the theatrical production will boldly tackle universal women’s issues such as rape, sexual pleasure, loving one’s body, sexual abuse, and childbirth, and will serve as a response to the abrasive misogynistic and sexist remarks especially of some of the current world leaders.
Its first staging, which featured 35 actresses, was organized in Music Museum, San Juan City in 2001.
Produced by The New Voice Company (NVC), the theatrical production will showcase promising actress Missy Maramara, well-known satirist Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change) and world-renowned stage and film actress Monique Wilson, who will use their impeccable acting chops in narrating the tales and views of 200 women through the 16 to 18 monologues they’re going to perform.
When asked regarding the difference of its first showing to the present, Monique told PUSH during the show’s press conference last July 30 that the 2001 version was merely about women’s empowerment, while the upcoming re-run will have a political touch to it.
“I think the difference is that we’re much more purposeful now sa objective while doing Vagina Monologues. We really want to say no to sexism, no to misogyny, and at the same time, we have to work towards more concrete change,” she stated.
Furthermore, she imparted that among the international stage productions and local films she starred in, the aforementioned play is the closest to her heart.
“It’s my favorite play. I’ve been acting since I was nine and even Miss Saigon, I did that for three years in London, [yet] nothing changed me as fundamentally as Vagina Monologues. And I think that what theater ought to do, di ba? It needs to transform you in such a huge way that you want to use that transformation you want for a much bigger purpose,” she said.
Being the Artistic Director of NVC, the 48-year-old award-winning actress was the one who handpicked Missy and Mae to join her on-stage.
“Missy has been a longtime with us na. We knew that the integrity of the play still lives in her body and her heart kasi she’s really grown up with Vagina Monologues. With Mae naman, she’s hardcore activist, feminist, and talagang nasa kalye kasama namin palagi,” she revealed.
Then she added, “To me, it’s important to choose actresses for this showing that also embody the spirit of being a warrior. It’s not just a play for them, but it’s something they believe in so deeply, even beyond the play they would fight for it.”
When it comes to preparations, Monique relayed that aside from rehearsals, part of their preparations is a close relationship with GABRIELA for them to fully grasp the context of women’s issues in for them to infuse more life and depth into the monologues.
Since they are only able to do one weekend for the show due to their hectic schedules, she is hopeful that they’re going to find more avenues to stage it and probably tour it outside Manila.
Directed by Thea Tadiar and produced by Rossana Abueva, the upcoming staging of The Vagina Monologues will have two versions – in English on August 11 at 8pm and in Filipino on August 12 at 3pm.
For more information, contact 896-6995 and 899-0630, or email at [email protected]
Tickets are now available at the New Voice Company, and at Ticketworld through 899-9999 or www.ticketworld.com.ph.