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Members of the Lycoming College Theatre Department's production of "The Vagina Monologues" recently took their show on the road and gave a performance for women at the Lycoming County Pre-Release Center.
"The Vagina Monologues" is inspired by more than 200 interviews conducted by playwright Eve Ensler, who traveled the world asking women from all walks of life about their views on sex, relationships and violence against women. Ensler and others, inspired by the play's success, worked to establish V-Day, a global nonprofit movement that has raised more than $75 million for women's anti-violence groups.
Directed by Dr. N.J. Stanley, associate professor and chair of theatre, the College's production featured not only students, but Lycoming faculty and community members as well. This was the second time the College has presented the play. Stanley said she decided to take the cast to the PRC because last year she took students there who did readings from works by Louisa May Alcott and the residents were totally engrossed.
"I asked the cast, and they were instantly enthusiastic," Stanley said. "The women residents were incredibly responsive to the show. There were only about 20 women, but they laughed so loudly and were so vocal that it felt like we were playing to 100 people."
Cast members included Anna Pysher, Betty McClain, Cynthia Pyott,? Hannah Eyler, Hershey Millner?, Marisa Bayer?, Pamela Williams?, Rachael Herman?, Sarah Beddingfield,? Taylor Granger,? Taylor Kendra, Victoria Goodwin,? Molly Blakeslee, Kathleen Houser, Linda Loehr and Susan Guinter.
According to Beddingfield, it was a privilege to perform for a group of women that were so open to letting themselves experience all the embarrassment, tragedy, love and support that the play portrays.
"All of them were at different points in their lives, as well as different points in their relationship with being a woman," Beddingfield said. "The performance was the best in my opinion because all of the women were so engaged and understanding. I was moved by their receptiveness."
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.