On April 25 and 26, live performances of “The MENding Monologues” will be held at the Black Box Cabaret at Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Fresh off the heels of “The Vagina Monologues”, “The MENding Monologues” features stories of how men are affected when violence is waged against women.
Created by writer, speaker and performer Derek Dujardin, the show is meant to, “help men find their voice... and speak out against violence. By telling these stories, men regain a measure of control over something they have felt powerless to help, heal, fix or smash,” said Dujardin. The show is meant as a bookend and as a male response to Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”.
“I’m not satisfied with just doing a show,” Dujardin noted, “I would like to start a movement of male artists, performers and writers doing their own shows, writing their own monologues, and having them build on what we have started. Once men get present to the real cost of violence in their own lives via the abuse and violence that’s been done to their sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, wives, and lovers, then maybe we will see some real grassroots action to curb abuse, led by strong male voices. In my opinion, that’s what is missing for men: personal relevance to violence. Making that connection between the heart and the head is what The MENding Monologues is all about.”
The performances are being directed and produced by CSUMB students, including Mark Weddle. Weddle shared, “I wanted to direct The MENding Monologues so I can have a more active role in ending sexual assault and violence against women”. In early production, Weddle thought it would be hard to get guys to audition, but they were pleasantly surprised. “We had 32 people audition and selected a cast of 24, 19 men and five women. The cast of this year’s Vagina Monologues proved immensely helpful in talking with the men in their lives and encouraging them to come out, ” Weddle said.
An integral part of the project’s fruition was student Margo Flitcraft. As producer, she has helped drive the project to reality. “Men are stepping up to take part in ending sexual assault, an issue that many are beginning to recognize affects them as well,” Flitcraft said.
Following in the footsteps of “The Vagina Monologues”, Dujardin allows individuals to stage royalty-free community shows of his work as long as the proceeds raise funds for women’s shelters or for groups committed to stopping violence. Ten percent of the proceeds of the show will fund The MENding Monologue Foundation.
“The MENding Monologues” are a part of CSUMB’s larger effort to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal is to raise public awareness of the issue and educate individuals and communities on how it can be prevented. Health & Wellness Services took the lead in convening a committee of student clubs and organizations and campus departments to organize activities throughout the month. Some events are sponsored by student groups, others by Health & Wellness Services. The first event of the month, “Time to Stop Rape” was held on April 2 in the Main Quad. “Time to Stop Rape” flags were displayed as a way to get the campus community talking about the issue.
The performances will be at 8 p.m. on both April 25 and 26 at CSUMB’s Black Box Cabaret. Tickets are $5 for students, and $10 general.