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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

Wild Parties, Vaginas and Suburbia by Karen F. '11

Can you possibly guess where this entry is going? No. You can't.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to see three MIT productions – I know, I know, three plays AND five elections and/or speakers, how does she do it?

Last week I saw Musical Theater Guild‘s Wild Party, which Keri produced entirely during “the Month of January/IAP.” It was about a couple during the 1920’s that decides to throw a party to make themselves feel better about their failed relationship, and the party turns out a lot more exciting than either of them expected. I really liked the music because it was jazzy and the show in general was pretty energetic and nice to watch.

Like I’ve said before, I am not a great photographer, but apparently Jax Kirtley is, and since their photos are on the Wild Party photo page, they hopefully won’t mind if I use a couple.

I never wrote about it, but I saw MTG’s production of Cabaret early this year which I really enjoyed – I believe it was their summer production. The pictures are taken from the website. Again.

So anyway, back to this semester, I saw Dramashop‘s production of Suburbia. It was about some kids in a small town that hang out in a parking lot and their various issues, usually centered around Being Stuck In This Crummy Place, Not Caring That You’re Stuck In This Crummy Place, and Trying to Escape This Crummy Place.

I can’t find any pictures of the play, which is really sad because one of my friend’s pointed out that the set was AMAZING – it was incredibly detailed, and especially considering it was just a parking lot and a 7-11, I was really really impressed.

Last semester I also went to a Gilbert and Sullivan Players show called Cox and Box. It was quite a small affair – only three or four characters, but I really enjoyed it. If you haven’t caught on by now, I really love all sorts of theater. I’m not talented in any way in this department, unfortunately, but that’s okay, I’m busy with other things and am quite alright leaving it to the experts.

I feel really bad about myself whenever I don’t have pictures for you guys, or I do have pictures but they’re terrible. Seriously, when did it become an unstated prerequisite that you have to be a great photographer to be a blogger? Even my normal, non-artistic pictures turn out badly. Maybe I should take a class.

Anyway, moving on. The most recent show I saw (last night) was the Vagina Monologues. I’d never seen it, but it’s pretty famous so I was excited to do so. Apparently, on February 14th, or “V-Day” (for Valentine’s Day, Violence and Victory), thousands of Vagina Monologues productions are put on around the world to raise awareness and money for campaigns and charities that work to stop violence against women. MIT’s production of it It was held in the Stata Center in a large auditorium with soft red chairs, I might add, since people seem to care a lot about chairs nowadays. I was surprised to see the turnout: the 318-person auditiorium was full!

Look at all the people that love to hear about vaginas!

This is the only picture taken by me in the whole entry. Now you know why I rely on other people for photos.
After discussing the (very entertaining and hilarious and sometimes sad) play with my guy friends,I noticed that they all believed that this was wild feminist propaganda that belittled men and encouraged women to keep to themselves. I’d like to take this moment, with thousands of you listening, both guys and girls, to state that this is not what the play is about. Okay, so it is empowering towards women, it makes us feel good about being female and it makes us feel more comfortable with ourselves, and though there may be a few pokes taken at the opposite gender, in general, it is not an attack on men, nor is it counter-productive towards making society equal. It’s hard to explain without you actually seeing it, but it is two simple things: a feel-good production, and just as importantly, an awareness campaign. That’s not to say that each production is not unique and that some may turn it into something else – which is fine – just don’t make assumptions about something you haven’t actually seen.

Funnily enough, I think I ended my last entry on a similar note. I don’t mean for this to be uber-serious or anything. Just something to keep in mind. Any questions about theater at MIT will probably not be answered by me, because I’m just a groupie ;) Someone from ARTalk can probably help you out :)

28 responses to “Wild Parties, Vaginas and Suburbia”

  1. Libin Daniel says:

    So Dramashop’s production had the acronym IHTCP?Lol.

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow. that title was very attention grabbing! lol!

  3. Hyun Jin says:

    “Practice Makes Perfect”

    Hopefully that motto applies to photography as well.

  4. Paul says:

    I went to Vagina Monologues last night as well (Karen, I can’t believe you didn’t see me! :D), and it was a great performance…much funnier than I expected. Overall it was a great performance, and perhaps even more importantly, I know the cost of my ticket is going to some really worthy groups.

    I was also planning on going to Suburbia tonight because one of my friends is in it…Karen, do you want me to take some pictures? :D

  5. Laura says:

    Last night was my first time seeing the Vagina Monologues too, and they were awesome. =)

    Also, I can only think of like 2 times that men were mentioned in any sort of negative way, and they were both clearly in jest, and well-received as funny by the whole audience, I thought. (As in, men laughed at them too.)

  6. May says:

    Wow… that was one of the best titles ever.

  7. Keri says:

    I took pictures of Suburbia last night, and I’m going to Vagina Monologues tonight – I can probably post them once I scan them in.


    (Honestly, though, I don’t care.)

  8. Keri says:

    And SP.747 is the best class ever. You should definitely take it.

  9. Steph says:

    Haha, nice title.

    I don’t know why other universities don’t have bloggers. I’ve been reading these blogs for a year and every post gives me new insight of what MIT offers. I love the MIT bloggers!

    Question to MIT bloggers (or other MIT students for that matter): Have any of you taken a class(es) at the Glass Lab?

  10. Steph says:

    @ Paul: I figured Ben Jones had a huge part with the blogs. Thanks Ben Jones.

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing those pictures. Glassblowing is awesome.

  11. Shruthi says:

    VERY catchy title :D

  12. Tanmay says:

    Karen, I really don’t find anything wrong with the last photo.It’s just fine, isn’t it?

  13. Masud says:

    The title of this entry embodied the word “eye-catcher” most impeccably…

  14. Paul says:

    Tanmay – Absolutely! MIT’s Formula SAE team has competed in competitions for about five years. I know several of the members (one of them is in my fraternity) and they’re definitely a great bunch.

  15. Tanmay says:

    Thanks for that, Paul! I am looking forward to some high revs…

  16. Anonymous says:

    i think feminists are sexy.

    i want the feministic physicist that would work by my side and refuse to be a stay-at-home mom. you know, the sort of woman that i’d order to make me sandwich and she’d slap me for it.

    i think feminists are sexy.

    i want the feministic physicist that would work by my side and refuse to be a stay-at-home mom. you know, the sort of woman that i’d order to make me sandwich and she’d slap me for it.


  17. Ana says:

    Karen, your photo is not bad at all. I like the kind of photos that reveal the real and unpredictable aspect of life. None of the other photos targets the audience and their behavior when they do not know a photo is being made.

  18. Tanmay says:

    I was just wondering… MIT has any motorsport team??

  19. Hawkins says:

    Awesome post, Karen! Love the title. =P

    @Paul, do you realize that your Ben Jones link points to your page? What blasphemy is this?!?

  20. Paul says:

    Other universities don’t have bloggers because other universities don’t have Ben Jones. Despite the somewhat facetious nature of that comment, I’m (almost) 100% serious when I say that. Ben is the big granddaddy of the MITblogs, which actually have been imitated by other universities – though, happily, never duplicated.

    Anyway, I love the fact that MIT has a glassblowing lab! I really want to take a class there next IAP…I also have quite a few photos of the glassblowers at work; I’m definitely going to be posting them soon. :D

  21. Samujjal says:

    @ Paul

    Hey!! Formula SAE’s definitely the place n thing for me. Thanks for the info. Man!!! the concept’s just mind boggling. Guess its one thing the both Aerospace Engineer and Formula 1 CCrazy in me will love to be a part of. Hey if you could kindly help me with some links to any blogs or something by any of the participants about their activities. It would be really helpful.

    You people are making it more difficult for me to even think of thinking of not getting an acceptance letter. With every post and comment by you guys I feel that at MIT is where my destiny lies.

  22. Samujjal says:

    Karen, I was pleasantly surprised by this post. I have been wanting to share my thoughts about The Vagina Monologues which I saw last year and more importantly my family experiences before and after watching the play and the realization that my Mom is special and strong not just because she’s my Mom but because she’s a “WOMAN”.
    “VAGINA IS NOT A DIRTY WORD”. Well!! That’s what my mother had to convince my Aunt Pratima last year (my Father’s elder sister) when she told her that she was taking me to watch The Vagina Monologues playing at a famous local theatre. I?? I wasn’t sure I was willing to watch it, especially after the previous night’s intense ‘debate’ (it was literally a quarrel of sorts) between my parents regarding the play after they came back after watching the play together. My Dad (or was it the egoistic MAN in him) was furious over the play because he thought that it was the work of a bunch of dirty ‘publicity crazy’ (ironically the same reason he went to watch the play; it had generated a lot of controversy here in India and he was curious what all the hullabaloo about ) pseudo-feminists who were, in the name of fight against violence with women were polluting the society. This brought out the “WOMAN” in my Mom: vehemently supporting the play and negating my Dad’s (which after watching the play my self I can say were, dubious) observations. My Mom praised the play saying that it is not merely a play written for and by feminists, it is a form of rebellion, a step closer to the elusive goal of female emancipation; and contrary to what my Dad (or rather the selfish man driven society at large) thought the play does not reduce women to their sexual organs, but merely acknowledges that our identities as people are inextricably linked to our sexualities. (I don’t think Eve Ensler could’ve presented the objective of her play better herself). And this went on for quite a while…..before my Dad give up (And now I know that he had no other option).
    Yes…I did go to the play that day with my Mom. Though I won’t say that I was very comfortable watching it with my Mom ‘initially’, but after the play I found me and my Mom discussing how deep rooted this problem and was not limited to the slums of the poor. Before I saw this play, I knew there was a problem. I just didn’t appreciate the extent of it. At the end of the day I really thought that I had evolved as an individual, as a “MAN”.

    P.S. Yes!! Even my Aunt Pratima watched the play wink

  23. Paul says:

    Samujjal – Melis blogged about Formula SAE a while back. In addition to checking out their website, I would suggest getting in touch with the team’s student manager, Alex Soo, if you want more info.

  24. Samujjal says:

    Paul, thnx for the link!!! And thanks for Alex’s email id, I will get in touch. I did check out thre site…its coll!!!

  25. E. Rosser says:

    Haven’t been to the Monologues yet, but from what I see and hear they’re an amazing experience.
    MIT has theater buffs!!!!!!!!!! Happiness Abounds for a frustrated musical theater/costume design/ANY production junkie!
    And, lastly, to echo the masses: Utterly catching title… wink