“To say women’s stories out loud solidifies your commitment to advocate for women.” – Norma Seledon, Director of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues
Ensemble of the Vagina Monologues
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Norma Seledon, Director of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues presented by Mujeres Latinas en Acción. Norma started off as one of the actors in the show and then moved on to direct it. What struck me about the monologues was when she mentioned Mujeres Latinas en Acción is the only organization in the city presenting The Vagina Monologues in Spanish.
Norma has been working with a group of women on the monologues and guiding them through the rehearsal process. The ensemble includes friends, sisters, mothers and daughters from the community. “The Vagina Monologues are a transformational experience for the audience but especially the women that perform the monologues.
“We get few women that have any acting experience and most of the women are fearful of doing anything on stage but something inside them brings them and they are excited to be there.” While the audience that comes to see the show is primarily women there are men who come to the show also to learn and try to understand these issue because, “you can’t do this type of advocacy without male participation,” says Norma.
The Vagina Monologues are powerful stories that connect and create conversation between the women in the audience and those performing the monologues. According to Norma, “I think women already have a notion that they have something say but I think many don’t realize is that they also have something to learn about themselves because when you personalize these issues it kind of becomes a part of you especially when you act things out to say out loud women’s stories is transformational and solidifies your commitment to advocate for women.
Norma is no stranger to working with women. She is a former domestic violence counselor and also developed a leadership program at Mujeres Latinas en Acción and a recipient of a Vagina Warrior award for her work with women. Professionally, Norma has moved away from directly working with women but she still does a lot of volunteer work with women in the community. When asked why she does the work she does with women Norma says, “It’s always gratifying and a privilege to witness women’s transformations whether they are participating in a leadership program or rehearsing for The Vagina Monologues.
The Vagina Monologues will be performed this Thursday, April 26, In Spanish and Friday, April 27th in English. For more information Mujeres Latinas en Accion The Vagina Monologues 773.890.7656
Ensemble in photo includes: Front row (L to R): Samantha Caballero, Queli Tellez, Madelynn Martinez Second Row (L to R): Vanessa Robledo, Rocio Robledo, Selene Gonzalez, Eva Tellez, Liz Villarreal Back Row (L to R): Norma Seledon, Nancy Martinez, Alheli Herrera, Kendy OlaguezNot pictured: Maria Martinez