Annual women’s production returns

NSU’s American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) will hold its annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” on April 26 at 8 p.m. in the Rose and Alfred Minaci Performing Arts Center.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a part of V-Day, a global effort to stop violence against women and girls. All proceeds of this event will go to the Women in Distress, a national organization that serves Broward County and works to stop domestic violence abuse through intervention, education and advocacy.

Kelly Thirbert, first year medical student at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a member of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and is helping produce “The Vagina Monologues”.

Thirbert said, “I stepped up to help organize this event because ‘The Vagina Monologues’ means a lot to me, especially as a self-identified feminist in the medical field.”

The play was written and created in 1996 by Eve Ensler — playwright, performer, activist and feminist — after talking to her friends about their experiences as women. She recognized that all women share similar experiences and then interviewed random women on the streets about their lives.

Thirbert said, “The recurring theme throughout the play is one that has held strong since the debut: the empowerment of women.”

While the play is called “The Vagina Monologues”, it focuses on a variety of women’s issues, both positive and negative, including love, rape, female genital mutilation and childbearing.

Thirbert is excited and is most looking forward to what will happen after the play.

She said, “Don’t get me wrong, the production is going to be amazing and I’m extremely excited to see a variety of people show up and to entertain and educate them. But after the show, that’s where the magic happens, because it’s when conversations start happening, wheels are turning and new thoughts are being created. Women’s experiences are not something to be shameful of or kept secret; It empowers women!”

The show’s director, Tommy Anker, a first year student of orthopedic medicine, said, “I have always loved theater. I minored in it as an undergrad and have acted professionally. I was so happy to be able to continue to incorporate theatre with my medical school studies by directing ‘The Vagina Monologues’. I am thrilled to be a part of a production that stands for so much more than mere entertainment. I look forward to working with the actors and other organizers in making this a truly moving and impactful event.”

Kayla Haag, second year student of osteopathic medicine, said “AMWA has been putting on the ‘Vagina Monologues’ for seven or eight years now. I hope that the audience takes away pride and joy of being a female, and any males in the audience share the sense of awe and respect for how strong and powerful, yet sweet and sensitive our gender can be. Treating each other as equals and respecting everyone, regardless of if their opinions oppose yours, is a valuable lesson for any age.”

AMWA will sell tickets in the Don Taft University Center spine on April 17 and 22 from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for NSU students and senior citizens and $15 for general admission. Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the show, from noon to 2:00 p.m.

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