The Joan C. Edwards Playhouse was filled with people Friday for the “Fourth Annual Monologues Project: Pillow Talk,” where speakers performed original monologues about gender, sexuality and identity.
Laura Michele Diener, director of the Women’s Studies program, said she has participated in the monologues project nearly every year and that it is one of the most fun things she gets to do every year.
“It’s so much fun and people come out and we have this wonderful time seeing sides of our friends and our faculty and our students that we don’t normally see in the classroom,” Diener said. “I also think that it’s important to share stories that maybe we don’t tell in regular conversation because they’re too personal or they’re meaningful, but we still want to communicate them with others.”
Liz Deal, assistant director at the CONTACT Rape Crisis Center, said the reason for the event being called “Pillow Talk” this year is due to their idea that the conversations presented at the event are ones that people would usually only have with people they are close to.
“We talked about things that were deep inside us that we are uncomfortable talking about with the general public,” Deal said. “We don’t have these conversations all the time and we really need to. We really need a safe place to say what we have to say.”
Deal said she is passionate about the issues that are discussed and is passionate about people’s responses. Deal performed an original piece to close out the event.
“It really for me puts the cap on the end of a long writing piece that I’ve been working on for about four or five years and its part of my own recovery from experience from childhood sexual abuse,” Deal said. “Finding that moment of moving forward and the moment of hope and that’s what this piece was for me.”
Diener said for this particular event she drew inspiration for her piece from a short story she had been working on involving similar ideas to what she spoke about. She said the event used to be different than what it has turned into today.
“A long time ago we put on a production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ by Eve Ensler every year and that was a lot of fun, but we decided that we had our own stories to tell and we wanted to be able to share them,” Diener said.
The annual event helped to raise funds for CONTACT Rape Crisis Center.
Matthew Groves can be contacted at [email protected]