Breaking Ground on TU’s campus

SAVE’s Breaking Ground Monologues create a space of empowerment, struggle and growth.

It was a treat to take in the Breaking Ground Monologues, presented by SAVE. The monologues contained stories collected by V, the creator of the play, as they interviewed various people for different perspectives from around the world. SAVE members were also encouraged to share their own stories, along with the ones previously written.

The night started off with a stage setting introduction by three women: Kailey Chinsethagid, Emma Opoku and Laney Peak. The trio took the audience on a journey of what it takes for a person to look at their vagina. They listed a myriad of names that vaginas are referred to in place of the actual term because of stigma and shame. Following the act, Vivian Hausman delivered an all-too-common tale of a man wanting a woman to shave their vagina for his own pleasure. She really brought the story alive, doing a great German impression at times, and I felt I was hanging onto every word.

The next monologue took me on a rollercoaster of excitement and compassion, as Amanda Chastang, the Assistant Vice President of the DEI office sat down and detailed “The Flood.” While Chastang’s monologue wasn’t an original work, I felt as if I were reliving the moments with her when she first “flooded” from a kiss with Andy Leftkov back in her day. Chastang left the audience in a roar, as she shuffled across the stage in a robe befitting only the most elegant and comfortable individuals.

Prudence Lloyd then recounted the “Vagina Workshop,” an experience women had of going to a workshop and looking at their vaginas and appreciating them as a part of themselves. As the workshop progresses, the woman finds herself crying when tasked with finding her clitoris but ends with her becoming enthralled with herself. Then, Isabel Mireles shared her original experience with self-proclaimed “coochie cancer,” or medical endometrial cancer, and the extensive time with OBGYN’s and other doctors that came with it. Mireles luckily had a benign tumor that was removable and showed signs of remission. Her monologue left me feeling informed yet still curious about “coochie” cancers that can occur in vaginas.

The next monologue was a quintet featuringLexi Mills, Gillian McPhail, Laney Peak, Prudence Lloyd and Kailey Chinsethagid entitled “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy.” The group recounted a sorrowful story of abuse and transphobia experienced by trans women “having the girl beat out of them,” until they are able to transition. After the transition, one woman has her partner beaten to death with a baseball bat. I gathered from this tale that even through pain and suffering, there is a resilience to stay true to your identity that will never be taken away from a person.

Following the dreadful tale, Fallon Walker recited a story of discovering vagina-love through another person. The story invoked a feeling of hope within me and was an enlightening work on the value of a supportive partner. After which, Brittany Banh emphatically spoke on the damaging expectations of how a vagina is supposed to look and smell with the “My Angry Vagina” monologue. Banh humanizes the frustrating ways in which the world tries to control a woman’s vagina.

Cassie Vestal made a moment with both the “I Don’t Give a Damn” monologue as well as “My Vagina Was My Village.” Vestal’s passion in both speeches was palpable, and the experience shared in the second monologue details the long-standing effects of rape and violent sexual assault. Following Vestal, Lexi Mills recounted the fact that a short skirt is not an invitation to rape or sexual assault but is merely a piece of clothing allowing for some enhanced breathability.

In the next monologue, Isabel Mireles told the audience about “The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could,” an experience that was heartwarming in its own way. After Mireles, Evren Shermer put on a high energy performance in “Reclaiming Cunt.” After the show, Shermer was excited to share that they “love the opportunity to yell” on stage. They were successful in getting the crowd to yell “cunt” with them by the end.

Continuing the show, Kelsey Hancock made the audience erupt in laughter time and time again in their performance of “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy.” Hancock seems to have a knack for entertaining. The penultimate performance of the night came from Gillian McPhail entitled “I Was There in the Room.” This piece was an ode to the beauty of birth and the sacrifice vaginas make to bring life into this world.

To end the night of great performances, Fallon Walker, Kailey Walker and Gillian McPhail shared the Collegian’s original story “From a Survivor’s Perspective: Sexual Assault at TU.” The story shared exemplifies the culture that leads to sexual assault and the awareness the student body must embody to engage in sexual assault prevention.

This year’s Breaking Ground Monologues lead to laughter, tears and empowerment as a multitude of stories were shared.

Post Author: Adam Porterie