The University will once again host a potentially controversial play by the prolific Eve Ensler, author of the intensely debated “The Vagina Monologues,” as the RC Players prepare to stage three performances of “Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man” this weekend at the Residential College Auditorium in East Quad Residence Hall. Although some believe “The Vagina Monologues” only resonates with audiences thanks to over-the-top shock value and a negative portrayal of males, RC senior and Director Megan Shuchman believes that while “Floating Rhoda” is “honest in its portrayal” of an abusive relationship, there is “empathy for both sexes” as the play seeks to “focus on the problems of society that lead to such behavior.”
Despite flyers that highlight the production’s sexual aspects in a lighthearted manner, there is no denying that this earlier piece of Ensler’s work contains just as much emotional weight as its more confrontational successor. The play features intense displays of physical abuse coupled with titillating scenes of sex. But Shuchman argued that “within these two plays, there are two different versions of shock,” and “Floating Rhoda” is more versatile. She explained that this play “is more universal than ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ ” and that its message can “transcribe to any group in society.” She worked with the production of “The Vagina Monologues” for three years and explained that while “Rhoda is not necessarily a representation of every woman,” the lives she and rest of the characters lead are more readily accessible.
Shuchman was more than enthused about her cast, which includes solid veterans such as LSA senior Zach Spencer and RC senior Erin Kaplan, who both appeared in the Rude Mechanicals’ version of Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale,” and rising talents like RC sophomore Anna Rose Kessler Moore, who shined in this winter’s RC Player’s “Evening of Scenes.”
For those who may have missed “The Vagina Monologues,” this play is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate not only one’s opinion of Ensler, but more importantly, Ensler’s message.