Page Trigger Warning: Themes of rape, sexual assault, abuse, childbirth, mental illness, trauma, sex
The Vagina Monologues celebrates rewriting and reclaiming the narrative by following the stories of the women who came before us. Through a series of exercises, we asked our cast to identify one word that summarizes the message of their monologue and tell us what it means to be a woman and be/experience that one word in 2020. In addition to an all-female cast, we wanted to celebrate and honor local businesses that are owned/operated by females as well. Check back regularly here to meet our cast and discover locally women ran businesses.
"To say I am a woman—healing—in 2020 is the understatement of the decade and then some. Healing has been my modus operandi since our first son was born in a dark magenta wave of trauma in 2006 and the challenging years after, while also showered with angel kisses of miracles that he not only survived all of this, but also he THRIVED. His diagnosis will follow him for life, and since that time I have found resources, modalities, and mama bear strength to begin a lifelong journey of healing, remembering, and living in truth. And healing also became something I hoped to help other women with in my work in the birth community as a prenatal yoga teacher and mother of two boys, with one tragic loss between. Our middle baby, the one we would not hold with our hands, forever is held deeply within our hearts. Healing, was what I hoped to help my younger sister with as she had a traumatic birth of her own, that I was there to witness. Like Eve Ensler, I was also there, in the room...This monologue certainly resonates with me deeply as a woman who has birthed two miracles and lost a third. And more so, it resonates with me as a reverent witness to life emerging, to a young woman’s womb being assaulted and then HEALING, and birthing and healing again...and even again. Eve’s account is a beautiful tribute and affirms the raw power that a woman holds in those moments between womb and world. May we always remember. May we always be in awe. May we be there for the healing and the re-membering."
"I imagine that what it means to be resilient in 2020 is actually not that much different than what it meant in the year 1820. In my own words, resiliency is the ability to pull through tough scenarios; the ability to have a ‘stiff upper lip’; the ability to breathe through something and remember to relax; the ability to see the opportunity to learn and grow through traumas in life. The concept of resiliency is what drove me to study psychology, and follow my career path in mental health…I just didn’t know there was a word for what I was intrigued about. As a kiddo, I found myself wondering why some kids could go through traumatic experiences and end up OK, and some kids who seemingly have decent upbringings end up not doing so well. Some refer to this as ‘grit’, some see it as a thread of resiliency. It’s interesting as I’ve aged and worked in the community mental health field for so many years; I see resiliency in people who have nothing. No resources, no support. It’s interesting as I’ve aged and worked in the community mental health field for so many years; I see resiliency in people who have nothing. No resources, no support. Unfortunately, I also see people who lose all hope and belief that they could ever feel resilient again. Unfortunately, I also see people who lose all hope and belief that they could ever feel resilient again."
"As far back as I can remember, deep in one of my heart compartments, I have been aware of a profound sadness; as if I was born grieving. I didn't know for what I might be mourning & just accepted that aspect of being human, assuming everybody else had this feeling, too. It wasn't until I'd lived long enough, had enough life experiences, that I saw what this sadness was connected to. There are many things actually, but they can be summed up as being universal to human experience one way or another. My personal, anecdotal experiences have had to with being a daughter to my mother, a lover to my loves, a mother to my son & a woman in this world. I have mourned things that never were; things that should have been, that will be but aren't yet; things the universe wants & needs in order to perfect itself. I mourned for the little girl that had a mother who saw her as competition or a vicarious extension, thus missing out on ever knowing a safe place with unconditional love. I mourned for white hot love that burned down to smoke & ash because "boys will be boys" & the best vagina is one they ain't met yet. I mourned the mother I was not nor could ever be for my son because of my damage. I mourned for the girl/woman just trying to be a human being when all the world seemed to want her to be was sexual. I grieved opportunities lost to her because they couldn't see her as anything else & the self doubt she suffered as a result of outcomes over which she had no power. And, as the most recently recognized sadness, the dismissal she encounters daily because she has become "too old" to be paid attention to. After a lifetime of attracting even unwelcome attention from the world, it feels sometimes as if she doesn't exist in it. It is profoundly sad that this person has been cut so deeply by so many small slanders, such superficial biases that have put her at the mercy of tiny minded individuals & subtly prejudiced institutions. Underpinning all of this is the solitary tear that clings to the cheek that is shed for the betrayal & cruelty visited on her by her sisters, the very ones in whom she invested her last, best hope of being understood & depended upon to rally to her aid."
"This piece is about control. Control that a woman should have over her body. Control over the perception of what a woman’s body should be. Control over her own sexual desires and needs. This piece is about control. The control that a man perceives they have over a woman’s body. The control that a man perceives they have over a woman’s sexual desires and needs. This piece is about control. In the year 2020 women are taking back control over their own bodies by demonstrating in political marches, by signing petitions that give back woman’s lost control, by being heard from at the polls and by speaking out against injustices women have suffered through the past."
"As a women, today, solidarity means standing by one another. It means supporting each and every woman, despite any differences, because underneath we all share a common thread. One binding truth that each one of us has overcome SOMETHING, that each one of us has the ability to create beauty and life, that each one of us is unique and strong, that each one of us is a woman."
"Connection calling connection she cries as she climaxes in the vagina workshop. She has finally found a connection to herself . She is no longer detached . (or unattached to her vagina as she says). This moment is intentional, not accidental. She has found her power by knowing she has to ability to connect to herself. I too feel detached. I too, for most of my life, have been waiting for someone outside to bring me pleasure and love. I believe when we find connection within our own being we become cohesive. We become a mirror to our own light and love. We see our true selves. When we find this power within, it is then that we can open our hearts and embrace the universe and realize we are never alone. Self connection equals connection to eternity. Our destiny."
"What started out as an act of revenge became an awakening I was shown that I was beautiful and worthy It was the first step to loving myself, my whole self It was a gift of which I am very grateful."
"Learning to love yourself is freeing. Knowing your worth, knowing your body, knowing who you are is freeing. Standing strong in the face of adversity when others say, sit down you are just a woman, is freeing. Seeing yourself in the mirror everyday and truly believing you are beautiful, and you are loved illustrates freedom. Society sees fragile, weak, frail and feeble. I see power, strength, fortitude, and tenacity. Being a woman, you are born capable and vigorous. You won’t sit down. You won’t shut up. Your voice and your body matters. Poise in your freedom with no apologies. Embrace the body you are given, spread love to others, and never back down. You are gifted, you are intelligent, you are able, you are living in your freedom."
"The word I feel best describes the monologue I’m performing is Openness. In our society, there seems to be a pervasive and very rigid stance against new/different/other – openness is a trait that seems to be underrated and often brushed aside in favor of tradition, ritual, and the safety of “it’s always been like this.” I feel that openness is very much a part of honesty and the pursuit of that which is genuine. In being open with ourselves, we are able to grow and develop from experiences derived from new ideas, thought processes, values, and practices; when we are open with one another as humans, we are able to more fully understand each other’s unique journeys, and offer support and acceptance where there might otherwise be none. As a woman, I feel that staying open allows me to capture the fullness of the human experience: in being open with myself, I can own my individual thoughts, practices, and values while having the freedom to explore new things that allow me to grow and learn and discover more about myself - it grants me the power to evolve and develop to reach my greatest potential. As a mother/sister/friend/human, openness towards others offers me insight into experiences different from my own, that have just as much value as mine and deserve as much credence – I’m better able to understand, encourage, and support those around me by fully acknowledging their position, working to understand it completely, and building a strong connection with my fellow humans. I learn more about myself through this as well: it leads to richer, more diverse thoughts and experiences in my life, and I am better because of it."
"The way that people react to anyone who doesn’t quite pass gender muster, the way that people are stuffed into a pink or blue box, the way that people are called slurs because they aren’t exactly what people think they should be: these are all disgusting factors of gender identity that have scared some people away from showing who they are, from giving their gender expression to the word to gaze upon in awe. I know someone who has questioned his gender identity since before he even knew that there was a term for it. So after the first two decades of his life of his parents trying to get him to show more of what his gender assigned at birth is, he gave up. He began fighting against any thoughts and actions that would help him feel more like himself. He would force himself to be the girl of whom his parents approved. He saw the way that people bullied his transgender friends who were out in school and saw that he wasn’t brave enough to put up with that.
I feel so sorry for him every day, he’s going through constant waves of depression and grief. He wants to move as far away from his family, lose contact with them, so he won’t have to go through all that judgment while he changes his outside to match his inside. He told me that by his family clinging and trying so hard to not lose that little girl, they lost the whole child instead. I’m hoping that someday soon parents will be more interested in who their children are, instead of who they want that child to be."
"It’s really all about FAITH! I have enough faith to come to the EDGE of everything I have, with all that I am, and to then take one more step! I know for sure that I will always fly! "
"Quite the happy word when you think about it. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with being inviting? Well, 99% of the time, the answer is absolutely nothing. But to be a woman means you must be cautious of that other 1% of the time. You see, I wake up every morning absolutely terrified. Will I be catcalled today? Will I get kidnapped? What if I need to get gas after it’s dark? Should I wear both headphones on my run this morning? We’re always warned: don’t go anywhere alone, be aware of your surroundings, don’t make eye contact with strangers, and absolutely DO NOT talk to them. And yet, somehow I’m expected to be polite and warm. I’m expected to be a lady. I’m expected to be inviting. But I’m only expected to be inviting when it’s my time and place. We can’t have me preaching the feminist bullshit again, I mean, the men just couldn’t take it. And of course, I can’t be too inviting with my clothing choices either, otherwise I’m just asking to be raped. Being inviting is scary. In fact, it’s terrifying. But it is also courageous. It is beautiful. It is what being a woman should be all about. So be inviting. Invite people to join the conversation. Invite them to stand up for what’s right. Invite courage. Invite strength. Invite love."
"Third rock from the sun, blue planet, earth. Our planet is the mother of all life. She is the ultimate provider. The earth gives us everything we need to survive and thrive. It can move mountains, erupt in anger, cry a new river. The earth's power is boundless and astonishing. Humankind has always recognized this amazing force to be aligned with the feminine. Women are providers; the givers of life. Women nurture, heal, give warmth and shelter. Women have inherited the power of Gaia. It's our birthright. And just like our mother earth, women must be celebrated, cherished, feared and protected."
"Oxford dictionary defines “trauma” as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Trauma is so much more than a concise definition. For me, trauma is re-living the moment where your innocence and faith in people were stolen from you. Trauma is sleeping too much and not eating enough for weeks, sometimes more. Trauma is believing you somehow deserve what you went through because “bad things happen to bad people more often than good people”. Trauma is feeling guilty for the actions of someone else. Trauma is longing for intimacy again but are too terrified to engage it.Trauma is memories in the form of nightmares and sleepless nights. Trauma is taking the long way home because you can’t drive past that place anymore. Trauma is seeing your rapist in the faces of strangers on the street. Trauma is becoming physically ill from a familiar smell. Trauma is isolation and not leaving the house. Trauma is not trusting anyone, including yourself. Trauma is the gateway drug to addictions designed to kill you and sometimes you’re okay with that outcome. Trauma is sobbing, crouched down in the shower until the hot water runs out but you never feel clean.Trauma is suicidal ideation and eating disorders.Trauma defines you. Trauma defines you until it doesn’t anymore."
"It's 2020 and for over a 100 years we have been fighting for equal rights. It's time, for women to stand for women. Putting down your fellow women will no longer be tolerated. We will not coware from the label of feminist. We will remain resilient toward the glass ceiling. Woman are here and ready to drill our way to equality. Let the next hundred years ring with truth. Here is to being women through the centuries."
"I step forward, unashamed of the past that brought me here. All of the experiences I hold in this body have made me who I am. Strong, courageous, soft, vulnerable, beautiful, and kickass, but most of all…..BOLD. Bold - unashamed, ready to greet new challenges because of all that I have faced before. Bold"
I call my femme friends Beautiful not because I think that’s all a femme can be but because we don’t hear it often enough. We hear bitch whore slut cunt but rarely beautiful gorgeous radiant dazzling. Beauty is not just skin deep. Skin cut wide open bleeding because she “ran into a door jam again,” Black and blue from all those stairs she keeps “falling down,” beauty is brilliance. Beauty is kindness. Beauty is rough around the edges, ripped jeans and strains because some days, she just can’t get the laundry done. Because some days she is just too damn tired. When I call my femme friends Beautiful, I say it with a capital B, and I don’t mean that they live up to unrealistic standards society sets for us like weight or skin color or hair style or how big we smile when a man asks us to, but that they are perfect the way they are in the skin they’re in that the space they take up is their own. A Galileo galaxy and they deserve every single damn star in it.
I had to ask myself what “unity” meant to me. I don’t think it’s to be the same, or a part of a whole. I think it’s to be separate, but connected. People can be unified by uplifting one another; by finding comfort and support in each other’s presence and words. I had to be truthful with myself and admit that as a woman in 2020, I don’t feel unified with the women around me. I don’t think it’s easy for me or a lot of women to talk about their struggles, problems or the way we’ve been mistreated. It’s taken us this long to even begin publicly addressing issues like misogyny, rape, gender roles, body issues, harassment, and how common those problems actually are. There’s a cloak of shame draped over every conversation, every confession I’ve had with women. No matter what culture they’re in, or how they were raised, we all share very similar experiences. A lot of us have the same feeling to some degree. But we’re scared to admit it, even to each other. I want women to be able to speak freely to one another, or to anyone, about how they feel or what they’ve been through. They should feel free of the fear of judgement or abandonment. We can only do that by truly listening with an open heart, and being kind above all else.
"I've done this show enough times to have a million words in my head as to what it means. I've been changed by this show in enough ways that words barely scratch the surface of what this show is. You see, this show is so very many things, but mostly it is these women. These women who have come together to be vulnerable and strong and to be voices for those who can not speak. These women who are funny and talented, and are willing to share their abilities and their hearts. They are challenging social norms and pushing their own boundaries to do this show, allowing the amazing art of theatre to transform them into more empowered versions of themselves, right in front of your eyes. They are standing in the gap for all women, holding space for the most vulnerable of our gender while being beautiful and hysterical and profound. They are being there for each other, as a friend, a sister, a surrogate mom, offering acceptance and love in a way that may not have existed before.
They are every pain, every joy, everyone, and everything to me
we are ENOUGH,
we've been through ENOUGH,
and there is ENOUGH
for us all
Women Ran Business Features -
REN Creativ specializes in Graphic Design, Traditional & Digital Marketing, Photography and Social Media Management for Small Businesses. REN Creativ believes that quality visual design should be accessible to businesses large and small without breaking the bank.
Check out their page by clicking on their logo.
Eclectic CO is a collection of over FIFTY local artisans and small businesses. Each vendor brings a unique flair to their products and craft while maintaining a beautiful boutique style shopping experience for you to enjoy.
Check out their page by clicking on their logo.
503W is an award winning restaurant + bar in Colorado Springs specializing in uniquely handcrafted food and drinks using fresh, natural and local ingredients. Locally-minded. Locally owned.
Check out their page by clicking on their logo.
Local Relic offers two hundred different beers per year, no flagships. There's something new to try every time, we promise! They are pouring at The Carter Payne, a 120 year old historic stone church in Downtown Colorado Springs! Check out their page by clicking on their logo.