Monday, February 23, 2009

It's not over there...

Well, technically, the show is done. We had our closing night last weekend, but we had two performances at Women's Jail #9 in San Francisco last week, as our final performances, and what an AMAZING experience! They were, hands down, the best audiences we had. I am not saying that the audiences at USF weren't great, but you really felt that these women soaked in every word. Even though you expected them to be jaded and cut-off, they absorbed everything, and were affected by every monologue. They laughed, they were silenced, and at times, they were overwhelmed and had to leave. Statistically, more of these women have had the same circumstances and hardships as the women in the monologues, and you could feel the weight these monologues carried for that reason. During Coochi Snorcher, during the hardest memory, a woman, immediately stood up, said "Gotta go" and rushed off. There was no apology necessary, no explanation. We knew, and we wished we could have helped somehow. Maybe the show did. 

We had a talk-back afterwards, and the women asked us questions. The most common were: "How can I get involved?" and "Where can I get one of those shirts?" We put our super sexy logo on a t-shirt and didn't know how to respond, since these women don't get to wear anything but orange. We were touched, though. Some had seen the show before, whether they were in a year ago and saw last year's cast, or they saw it before they were arrested, but most had not seen the show, and they're responses were so honest, and so rewarding.

It was a beautiful experience. Something I was told about by past casts, and something I will tell future casts and friends. There is nothing like it. And what strikes me most is that I am waking up and falling asleep, thinking about how to help those women. How to give them more theater, how to get them to perform this show, and, selfishly, how to get that feeling back. I hope apathy doesn't creep in, I hope this fire stays, but with every v-day, there is a wave of action, and then the tide recedes. 

I'm going to fight the tide.

Much much much vagina love,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vaginas need to talk....and TALK!

The show is on its feet!!! We have had two run-throughs and the girls are looking great on stage. Of course, after every rehearsal I think about completely changing the staging. Last night the Executive Producer of the company hosting THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES approached me, and reminded me of an idea I brought up during my interview, and now I am reconsidering. But with so little rehearsal time, is it wise to switch things up radically? (Cast, don't worry, you can handle anything, it is only my sanity I am thinking of.)

So, I figured I wasn't going to sleep very well last night, but I slept like a baby- I had had a long weekend...and this morning I jumped right back into hyper-tension mode. Which is good- it kicks my ass into gear.

This is such an amazing experience, and I feel like I've learned a lot. I know now that when I'm stressed, I just remember what I'm doing this for, and I relax all my muscles. Julie and I are pouring positive energy into this project, and hopefully we'll have a surplus, so we can reserve all the positive energy until tech week...because we'll need it.

I had a really rewarding experience on Sunday. The girls had come together for the first run-thru off-book (I had the girls memorize their monologues) and it was the first time they had an audience after rehearsing their monologues with me, and it was exhilarating! I had so many moments where I thought "I can't believe I am lucky enough to be affiliated with this show." The girls are working so hard, and I think people are going to love every minute of this show, and it hit me how proud I was.

The show opens in a week and two days...A WEEK AND TWO DAYS! OH GOD! It is such a fast process, and the girls are rocking every minute of it. It is going to be a great show.

Send good vagina vibes our way!

Vagina Love,

Friday, January 23, 2009


There is something stirring right now in the universe that has me waking up earlier each day with fresh ideas and renewed optimism about the future. Still, I may be one of very few people at present who is actually tapping into this renewed energy source. People are still shuffling about, disillusioned by a deteriorating economy and the work we have ahead of us before we get this country back on its feet. They've forgotten their "telos" or their reason for living. They've lost touch with their passion for life and their own imagination. They've stopped creating.

We have access to so much power as individuals when we consciously choose to be productive in the name of truth, justice, and compassion. That's what the Vagina Monologues continues to represent: an outlet for creative expression that empowers its participants to reconstruct ugliness into something beautiful, darkness into light, and despair into hope. Our only responsibility is to see beyond our own needs to those of the collective group of victims and survivors whose words and music pierce the international stage in this worldwide production every year... and what a privilege and an honor it is to say [you] have anything to do with this kind of work.

My wish is that each of us reminds each other of this fact everyday--that we have a great responsibility to one another and especially to the countless women we represent. 

Love & light to you fearless warriors,

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Vagina's Angry


I was on the bus, and there was this guy being obnoxious, which isn't so peculiar on a San Francisco bus, but I digress. He was drinking from a paper-bagged can, and kept a cigarette tucked in the corner of his mouth, contemplating whether to light it. I decided to pretend to ignore him as I was heading to work and it is not constructive to go to the office in a bad mood.

Then he went a little too far.

He started talking about the Obama daughters. Malia, in particular. Poor Malia. So pretty and so young. This asshole talks about how she is at the perfect age..."to be fucked. That's what that girl needs- a good fucking."

... she's ten.

It was at this point the whole bus rallied together and told him to shut his mouth. Some of us went up to the bus driver, asking him to kick the guy off, which he did. The young man sitting next to him gave him a good talking to, and about half of us applauded his exit.

Who taught this guy that it is OK to talk about a ten year old girl like that? Or to talk about any female like that, no matter the age. I found myself thinking about this douche-bag who drinks cheap beer in the afternoon on the bus- a guy so desperate for power he'll take it from a 10 year old girl- and I just got angrier and angrier. 

Bleh. Ugh. Grrr. Gah. *Punch Pillow*

Days like this you realize how important V-Day is. Keep fighting the good fight!

Vagina Love,

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Love Props

The more I read each monologue, the more I envision the actress gesticulating with an object, and I'm sure it's just because I am more comfortable with something in my hands, acting as some sort of temporary security blanket, then to be left to my own devices. It is fun, though, giving the ladies something to interact with, since the majority of them will be on stage alone for a good couple of minutes, and may need some company. I especially like toying with the idea (pun intended) of including props in THE WOMAN WHO LOVED TO MAKE VAGINAS HAPPY- for a little extra kick. She does love props.

Although I thought the splitting up of the INTRODUCTION would be a quick task, I only finished it today. I realized that I needed to figure out where I was going to put the women in the theater. So, after sorting them, then I was trying to figure out the fairest way to disperse the lines, and it just took many days to do that (I took breaks.) 

And now I have the poster design in my head. We are currently brainstorming ideas, and it is hard to put a finger on one design because it sets a tone for the show. Do we go with sexy, sweet, empowering, straight-forward? But it is fun coming up with ideas, conservative and obscene. 

Finally, I keep watching the video of Eve's poems about the DRC. It is so moving, and has affected me a lot in the short time I've seen it. When I read about what is going on in the DRC, as I lay in my bed, surrounded with love of people I trust, I can not begin to imagine what it is like to live in Bukavu, or Kinshasa, or Bumba. Violence is just a way of life there, especially towards women. I look forward to spreading the word about the DRC, and hopefully, one day, making a difference.

I'm going to put on some slippers, possibly make some Annie's mac-n-cheese, and brainstorm some more...(ok, I might watch Family Guy, too.)

Best Vagina Wishes,

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We Were Worried About Vaginas

That is why we committed ourselves to putting on the most amazing production of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES the bay area, the country, NAY!, the world had ever seen. We were worried because we're coming up on another year, and there are still vaginas out there needing change. Still needing to be heard, to be healed, and to be respected. If we accomplish nothing else with this production of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, we are determined to produce powerful, excited activists ready to spread their effort to create the change we're all working towards.

My name is Meg, and I'm directing THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES at The University of San Francisco, on Feb 12, 13, and 14th. I have just returned from my hometown (Minneapolis) and am completely lost in thought the majority of the days, constantly thinking about staging ideas, costume ideas (we're wearing black and pink), scheduling conflicts, and the whole reason we're doing this: the women out there who need this show. It is hard to get any work done at all, with all that in your head! That's where the blog came into play...

My producer, Julie, and I thought that a blog would be a good way to share our thoughts, hardships, fears, and joys with others putting on the show, or others interested in working on future performances, or even enthusiasts of the show. One of the most wonderful results of putting this on is sharing your experience with someone else who has worked on THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, and hearing their experiences and how similar, yet different, they are. My hope is to get people involved in all aspects of this show to write on this blog. I want Julie to talk about producing and being awesome, I want the cast to write about their experience learning their monologues and being gorgeous, and I even want the lighting designer to explain what it was like lighting these beautiful, powerful, uber-sexy vaginas! I, no surprise here, will write about directing the show, or may blog about revelations or general vagina-related issues (not too personal, though.)

Currently, I am working on the rehearsal schedule. Directing at a college brings with it some obstacles, such as the girls are home for Christmas, and I must wait until they return to begin rehearsals, which leaves us with three weeks before opening night! (The anticipation is killing me!!!) I am also including all the women in the INTRODUCTION, and am about to embark on splitting that up among 20 women. It is actually something I've been looking forward to all day!

And my wonderful roommate just came home (she and I were both the Moaner in the show, her the year before me. It has left us with an unbreakable bond). She and I have catching up to do.

Happy New Year and Happy Vaginas-