Women talking about women: “Amplify: UT” to feature 25 monologues on women’s issues

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Twenty-five UT women have been selected to share personal stories for “Amplify: UT Women’s Voices,” a collection of monologues about the experience of being a woman. 

Organizers selected monologues that dealt with issues like body image, mental health and race. The production, organized by the Women’s Resource Agency, will replace UT’s previous annual productions of the Vagina Monologues. All proceeds from the event will benefit the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center.

“We wanted to make it more personalized,” Rebecca Sostek, director of the agency, said. “(The Vagina Monologues) weren’t any of the experiences of women on our campus.”

Sostek, a rhetoric and writing, biology and psychology junior, said the monologues cover topics ranging from LGBTQ issues to interpersonal violence.

“These are real stories by real UT women,” English and philosophy senior Elizabeth DuBois said in an email. “It’s only natural that the experiences are diverse and expansive.”

DuBois, a production director for the event, said this event is especially relevant for women today.

“It’s always been important to share our stories, but amplification has become something that’s even more important, especially in our current political and social climate,” DuBois said.

Nancy Huang, journalism junior and former reporter for The Daily Texan, decided to submit a monologue based on her personal experience being catcalled. She submitted her piece after hearing about “Amplify” on Hornslink, and out of 60 applicants she became one of the few selected for the production last Thursday. 

“I wrote a creative nonfiction piece on the combind nexuses of ethnicity, gender and how catcalls in the public realm can doubly screw you over through race and gender targeting,” Huang said in an email. “It seemed like an important and necessary project,”

Among other standout monologues are stories about the difficulty of rushing as a differently-abled woman and a tribute to Haruka Weiser in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of her death.

Also performing is Grace Gilker, Plan II junior and last year’s director of the WRA. Gilker’s monologue, entitled “Your Cervix is Like Butter,” chronicles her experience visiting the UT Women’s Health Center.

“I’d been kind of communicating and helping out with this year’s production and as soon as I started hearing about other people’s stories, I figured there might be a niche for some lighthearted material,” Gilker said. 

The performances will take place April 7, 8 and 9 at the Union Theater. 

“It’s a really powerful thing when women get together to talk about women, especially when they’re helping other women,” Gilker said.