A Celebration of the Feminine

Each of the monologues deals with an aspect of the feminine experience. Photos: Uka Meissner-DeRuiz

Even 20 years after its first premiere THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES is still as current as if it was written just yesterday. New English American Theater (Neat) has brought the play back to Stuttgart. The show opened successfully to a full house at Merlin Kulturzentrum on Monday, February 1st 2016. “This play is not just about women, it’s about all of us”, said director Claire Deromelaere. “It’s about the acceptance of the feminine in everything and everyone.” The monologues make the feminine more approachable according to the 43-year-old. “We are not ashamed of it, we are overjoyed with it”, Deromelaere continued. “It’s important that we cherish the feminine.”

Having performed with Neat for almost four years, the show marks the directorial debut of Deromelaere. “The rehearsal process was a little terrifying at first”, said the director. The cast consists of 16 women, including Deromelaere, and a harp player. The group rehearsed the show in roughly a month. Half of the players have already been familiar with Neat the rest came to this project via word of mouth. “They really wanted to do a good job, really felt the pieces and put a lot of themselves into it”, said Deromelaere enthusiastically.

Director and actress Claire Deromelaere during rehearsals in Stuttgart.

The show was inspired by intimate conversations the playwright Eve Ensler had with her friends. The play recounts tender, funny, gripping and horrifying stories she gathered from hundreds of women about their bodies, their sexual experiences, and yes, their vaginas. So the audience meets an elderly New Yorker with a “flood problem”, a vagina workshop participant or a Bosnian survivor of rape. Since its first staging in 1996, it has been translated into more than 45 languages, performed in more than 120 countries and re-created as an HBO film.

The show also addresses the outcome of rape.

The success allowed Ensler to create V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than 85 million dollars to prevent violence and protect abused women. The “V” in V-Day stands for victory, valentine and vagina. Neat donates the proceeds to two local organizations, Frauenberatung Fetz (Fetz Women’s Counseling and Therapy Center) and Frauen helfen Frauen (Women helping Women). Neat will perform The Vagina Monologues two more times in Stuttgart in February (see dates below).

The play cherishes the feminine and female empowerment.

Featuring Bhavani Bhaskar, Sonja Bressner, Jadi Campbell, Lucia Cericola, Barbara Claussen, Sara Conway, Claire Deromelaere, Karen DeLisle, Holly DeWolf, Janelle Erikson-Goettl, Karin Heinrich, Sylvia Owens, Lisa Ritchie, Kirsten Schulze, Susan Schwarz and Sarah Ziener.
FEB 13th, 8 PM at Dreigroschentheater
Ticket Hotline: Tel. 0711 – 65 09 35
FEB 18th, 8 PM at Theater am Olgaeck
Ticket Hotline: Tel. 0711 – 2 55 55 55

Like Neat’s Facebook page on V-Day in Stuttgart!