Los Monólogos de la Vagina
Director Anna Maria Vega walks into the entrance of the Laxalt Theater for rehearsal and calls out to her husband, “Bring the vagina!” She says the word without a thought these days.
Back in September, her theater company, Brown Eyes Too, obtained the Spanish rights to present Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues (or in this case, Los Monólogos de la Vagina) this weekend. A few blocks away at the Pioneer Center, V-Day Reno will perform the English version of the play the day before opening night of Los Monólogos.
Both plays will donate their proceeds to organizations helping women who are victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence.
At rehearsal, Vega pastes curly black string onto a foam cutout of a 4-feet-tall vulva, while actresses Alma Razo and Rebecca Gasca talk about one of the final scenes of the play—the “moaning” scene. While many of the 18 monologues in the play are performed by individual women, this one includes all 11 actresses raucously moaning in pleasure in 18 different ways. There is the moan of the vagina itself, the elegant moan, the religious moan, the “oh, shit!” moan, the uninhibited militant bisexual moan, the triple-orgasm moan, and the list goes on. “That’s the one part my husband loved the most!” says the 32-year-old Razo, laughing.
“Even if they don’t speak Spanish, everyone will understand that scene,” says Vega.
But it’s not all fun and laughs. These monologues come from real interviews between Ensler and women of all ages and backgrounds. Along with hilarious accounts of virginity loss, getting periods and reclaiming the “C” word, some of these monologues are heart-wrenching stories of abuses still happening against women all over the world. One monologue relates the rape of a Bosnian woman by soldiers. A “Women of Juarez” monologue performed by all the actresses is based on the hundreds of women who have mysteriously disappeared or turned up murdered in Juarez in recent years. Another, performed by Gasca, turns the 23-year-old actress into an 80-year old woman; it begins comically but is ultimately a sad tale of how one woman grew detached from her sexuality.
“It will be an eye-opening experience for the Hispanic culture,” says Razo. “That’s one part of the female body nobody talks about. Nobody.”
This is the first time The Vagina Monologues has been produced in Spanish in Reno. In fact, only a handful of all-Spanish plays have been performed in Reno’s theaters.
The Arizona-based troupe Teatro Bravo packed the theater at the Nevada Museum of Art last spring for its all-Spanish production of Las Mujeres de Juarez (The Women of Juarez). The turnout signified that the time for Spanish theater in Reno had come.
Gasca hopes the Spanish production will help bring the Hispanic community together. “Language is something that’s so personal,” she says. “When you put something to the people that hasn’t been expressed before, I hope that it really does help unify the culture.”
When The Vagina Monologues first came on to the American theater scene 10 years ago, people thought the public was not quite ready for it. But they also thought the material was too important to keep quiet. The Brown Eyes Too women think the same for the Hispanic audience in Reno. “I don’t think they’re ready,” says Razo. “But we’re ready to bring it to them.”