I have been a fan of the play The Vagina Monologues since I first saw it preformed at my University six years ago. In case you don't know about V-Day, it is an incredible movement to end violence against women and children, started by Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues. All of the money raised by performances of The Vagina Monologues and Eve Ensler's other plays goes to anti-violence charities in the local areas where they are preformed.
I went saw V-Day Seoul's performance of The Vagina Monologues this afternoon. I've seen the show maybe three or four times before, so I knew what to expect--the play is a series of monologues based on the interviews of hundreds of women, who were asked about their experiences with sex, assault, men, women, and themselves. Some of the monologues are goofy, some are hilarious, and others are extremely disturbing--all are very honest and real.
One of the cool things about this performance was that it was bilingual--some of the monologues were in English, while others were in Korean, with projected subtitles scrolling along behind the performers to make sure nothing was lost in translation. One of the really great things about the play is that it really makes an effort to represent a variety of women's voices--older women, young women, black women, white women, fat women, thin women. I was happy to see that the cast was as diverse and interesting as the monologues are--considering that Seoul is a pretty culturally homogeneous place, I was happy to see that V-Day Seoul was able to find a truly diverse cast of performers.
I also really liked a special monologue that was added for the Seoul show. The monologue was narrated from the perspective of a Korean comfort woman--the euphemism used to refer to the sexual slaves Japan forcibly abducted to serve Japanese soldiers during World War II. The "comfort woman" are one of many reasons why many Korean people feel a lot of Japanese sentiment, and it doesn't help that the Japanese government has yet to issue a formal apology to the comfort women.
The production was really well done, and I'm so glad I took the time to see show here in Seoul!