W&L Law Celebrates Women with ‘The Vagina Monologues’

Production supports W&L Women Law Student’s Organization

Alexandra Seymour

Valentine’s Day: a time for loved ones, lots of chocolate and a reminder of female greatness.

The Vagina Monologues, a production exposing the intricacies of the feminine experience, was sponsored by The Washington and Lee Women Law Student’s Organization on Saturday in Lenfest’s Johnson Theatre.

“I think it’s something that everyone really cares about,” said Maddie Morcelle 3L, co-president of WLSO and cast member.

Monologues were performed by W&L law and undergraduate students and a Southern Virginia University student for a sold-out audience. The show was directed by law student Trista Bishop-Watt 3L.

“I thought it was very well-done, was very intimate and addressed a lot of things that we don’t talk about often,” said Katie Windle ’17.

Proceeds from the event benefitted the WLSO scholarship, which awards a female or male law student with money for unpaid summer work addressing women’s issues each year. WLSO also sold t-shirts, coozies and water bottles in addition to accepting donations.

Planning for the show began in the fall. With only two rehearsals prior to the performance, the directors decided to allow actors to use scripts so more people would want to get involved.

“It was cool to be in an environment with the law students because I feel like we don’t really interact much,” said cast member Sierra Noland ’17. “[The women at the law school] are

great. They’re all very dedicated to feminism and the production.”

Cast members agreed that there was no better time to raise this issue than “V” Day, when love is on everyone’s minds.

“It’s both educational and fun,” Morcelle said. “I think it serves an important purpose in creating a forum for discussion about issues relating to women, gender, and female sexuality.”

“We need to be comfortable with talking about our bodies and our sexual experiences because when we’re guarded about that stuff, a lot of negativity can spur from that,” Noland said.

This is the first time in four years that the organization has put on the production because the leader of WLSO at the time was uncomfortable with the content.

But many W&L students said the production was well-received and they were excited to see it, including the men.

“They were so welcoming with their message that no one in the room felt uncomfortable,” said Jack McGee ’17. “It was a very warm, inviting and honest atmosphere.”

WLSO tried to put the production on last year but could not pull it together in time, which was disappointing to many of those participating.

“We were excited to be able to loop everybody back in this year,” Morcelle said.

Attendees were invited to celebrate women empowerment at a special Valentine’s Day reception following the show in Kamen Gallery, with champagne for those 21 and older and sweets true to the day.

“We want[ed] to embrace the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day,” Morcelle said.

This production contributed to WLSO’s greater mission, which is to promote gender equality in issues regarding women in the law. Although W&L was the last accredited law school to accept women, WLSO has now grown to 120 members.