Julie Peacock, Class of 2018

I recently reached out to the co-director of the 18th Annual Vagina Monologues, Julie Peacock, to discuss the show coming up this weekend.

Name: Julie Peacock

Grade: Junior

Major: Intercultural Communication

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Let's talk about the basics first...

Favorite show to binge?

Jane the Virgin

Song obsession right now?  

The Dear Evan Hansen cast recording, or White Flag by Joseph

Food you could eat every day?

Chocolate? Chocolate.

Now let's talk about the whole reason for this interview, The Vagina Monologues...

Could you explain what the Vagina Monologues is, for those who have never heard of it?

The Vagina Monologues is a play written by Eve Ensler in the 90s. Ensler conducted a series of interviews with about 200 women and girls about sex, gender, relationships, and violence. She then turned those interviews into a series of monologues about the experiences she heard. The Vagina Monologues is now a part of a global movement called Vday, which holds benefit performances of a few different political shows where the proceeds go to organizations that help women and girls in varying ways, most commonly with violence.

How many times have you been involved? How did you get involved?

This is my second year really being involved. My freshman year a friend of mine was in the show so I went to see it, but last year a good friend of mine was cast in the show and recommended me as a stage manager to the then co-directors, because I’ve done a lot of stage management for the DePaul Theatre Union. So I stage managed the show last year and near the end of the process they put out a call for director applications and I thought, why not? I love the show and want to remain involved, so I went ahead and put in my application and here we are.

You are co-director this year. What all does that entail?

Co-directing entails all the usual parts of directing, creating a vision for the show and finding the right people to make that vision come to life. It was a little bit of a different process this year because Charia, my co-director, ended up having to be in LA during winter quarter, which is when the majority of rehearsals are, so there was a lot of adapting to that on my part. The directors also are in charge of all of the logistics of organizing such a large production. Thankfully, we had Alexa Redick in The Women’s Center to do some of the DePaul logistics, but when it came to reaching out to beneficiaries, selling tickets, and all those things that are incredibly important to a benefit performance, the directors are in charge.

What is your favorite part of the Vagina Monologues?

My favorite part is the community we create within the cast. Every year a wide group of individuals with varying identities comes together to put on this show. There’s always a bond that forms, especially during the final two weeks before the show, and I’ve never really found a group of people that are so committed to their work as activists or to voicing and sharing stories that need to be heard. There’s a lot of courage and kindness in our cast and I think it creates such a solid and grounded community for us.

What are you most excited for this year?

It’s a little bit of a balancing act this year because one of our cast members, Adrian Fraser, recently passed away unexpectedly. So the cast is in a bit of mixed state of excitement for the show and feeling the loss of our friend. Excited isn’t the right word for this, but I think I would say that I am most looking forward to recognizing Adrian and his piece during the show as best we can.

Why should people come to the show?

People should see the show to open themselves up to new experiences. There are a lot of pieces in this show that make you think or make you reconsider the way you previously saw something. There are a lot of opportunities for growth and learning, for connection and recognition. It’s an incredibly powerful piece of theatre and I truly think it is something everyone needs to see at least once in their lifetime. Plus, because all of our proceeds go to Rape Victim Advocates, A Long Walk Home, and Take Back the Halls, it’s a great way to donate money to organizations that need it while still getting something out of that money.