The Vagina Monologues: What they are, who’s involved


Performers talk about the experience of transgender women during the Vagina monologues in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union on Feb. 12.

Jill O'Brien

“Slowly, it dawned on me that nothing was more important than stopping violence toward women — that the desecration of women indicated the failure of human beings to honor and protect life.” 

This story is among the countless others that will be shared at Iowa State’s annual production of The Vagina Monologues, a play by V-Day Founder Eve Ensler. The play is based on Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women and focuses on their experiences with their sexuality and the violence that women face when it comes to their bodies.

Written in 1996, the play was a response to an increased awareness of violence against women, according to the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center website. The play has been brought to college campuses all over the country and the world. Benefits from productions of the play go toward anti-violence awareness groups around the areas where the play is performed.

Iowa State students have been performing The Vagina Monologues for 15 years, and the version of the play performed is a version that is approved by the Vagina Monologues organization. One of the conditions for acquiring the rights of the Monologues is they cannot be altered. Despite criticism regarding inclusivity and representation, the show continues to empower performers.

The Vagina Monologues will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Memorial Union, in addition to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 for Iowa State students, and all proceeds from the production will benefit ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support) in Ames.