Meet this week’s campus celebrity: Ari Holden! Ari is co-producing The Vagina Monologues this year along with Alia Roth (a past campus celeb!). This is Ari’s fourth year in the incredible production and she is not only the co-producer, but also the director of four monologues and the show’s art director. Read on for more about Ari’s awesome experience with The Vagina Monologues.
Class Year: 2014
Major: Studio Art – Concentration in Painting and Projection
Extracurricular Activities: Co-Producer for The Vagina Monologues, Studio Art Tutor, Part time intern for Studio in a School Non-Profit Organization
Congrats on being one of the co-producers and directors for The Vagina Monologues this year! When and why did you first get involved in Vag Mons?
I have been part of The Vagina Monologues for all four years now. I started my freshman year and I was casted in the Chorus — What Would Your Vagina Say? My sophomore year, I applied to be a director and unfortunately did not receive it. I was later on cast in the Introduction for The Flood and I Was There in the Room. At the end of my junior year I knew that I wanted to direct and I was very determined to submit the best application! I soon received an email from Alia Roth asking if I would like to co-produce along side her. This was definitely one of the best moments I have had here at Connecticut College. I then accepted the position as co-producer, artistic director, and director of four of the monologues within the show.
What’s your favorite part about Vag Mons?
My favorite part about the show would have to be the 10 minutes right before the show starts that we spend time dedicating the show to significant people in our lives. Of course, the room becomes extremely emotional and there are both tears of sadness and joy– but in the end, this moment symbolizes a community of strong women that have joined together to support a similar cause– and in doing so, they have confided in each other to share some of the most intimate moments in their lives. It was this moment freshmen year that determined the future of The Vagina Monologues for myself and I hope all of our new comers have a similar experience.
What has it been like to be a director? What monologues are you directing this year?
Due to the fact that I have no theater background, it has truly been a learning experience. I am a firm believer that you don’t need a theater background to be a part of this show, but let’s be honest, managing 100 women is not a joke. I run my rehearsals very loosely and I make sure that everyone is contributing to the overall tone of the piece. It’s important that the girls establish a relationship between each other before reading the monologue, because ultimately they are telling one woman’s story.
I am directing Chorus: What Would Your Vagina Say, Chorus: What Would Your Vagina Wear, I Was There in the Room, My Vagina Was My Village, and Then We Were Jumping.
What monologue are you in this year? Is there a favorite monologue you’ve done in past years?
I am in Reclaiming Cunt. Haha, yea I said it. This is a monologue about a woman who was obsessed with the word cunt and her mission was to reconceive the word.
I absolutely love I Was There in the Room — a monologue about Eve Ensler’s first experience with the birthing of her granddaughter. For many years, The Vagina Monologues were performed without any mention of birth and now that this piece is a part of the show it really has a nice way of saying “oh wait…yea, this is what it’s about.” I hope to have this experience one day.
What is one thing you wish everybody knew about The Vagina Monologues?
That it’s not only for women! Although the performance aspect to the show is only for women, there are many behind the scenes and extra events that happen outside of the show. Alia and I have partnered up with the Connecticut College Ted X crew to broaden our audience and it has been a great experience. As a leader on this campus and a representative of The Vagina Monologues, I believe that inclusivity is a key aspect to creating a thriving community. Therefore, no matter what gender you identify as, The Vagina Monologues welcomes you! A movement dedicated to end gender based violence is a movement open to all genders — The Vagina Monologues is just one aspect to this great experience but EVERYONE is encouraged to participate.
Do you have a favorite Vag Mons memory?
Receiving a text this year from a great guy friend stating the following, “You’re putting in work and doing your thing. I can only be proud. It’s the come up, and I love seeing my friends do what they love to do. I’m extra proud of you for doing The Vagina Monologues cause I’m all about that life. Vaginas. And female empowerment!” He doesn’t attend Conn, so getting recognition outside of this school felt great.
At the beginning of the show, everyone in the cast calls out a vagina name. What’s your vagina name?
Although I wish it was “It’s Britney Bitch!” I will be saying “A mimi in Miami.” Lets be honest though, my vagina name is Ari Gold.
If you’re interested in seeing The Vagina Monologues, tickets are on sale NOW in Cro (everyday until from noon – 5:00 pm until Friday, February 21st) and will be sold at the door. Tickets are $8.00 for students and $10.00 for all others. The show is in Evans Hall in Cummings and the dates are:
Friday, February 21st at 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 22nd at 2:00 pm
Saturday, February 22nd at 2:00 pm