by Haley Burnside
On Saturday night, the Manhattan College Players presented an emotional show displaying solidarity with women and girls. The show, titled “These Are My Pieces,” featured monologues, works of poetry and speeches written by women and for women.
The show was directed by senior Ange Lopilato and freshman Gabby Kasper.
Both male and female students stood in front of the audience gathered to present works written on a range of topics related to women. Many of the poems and speeches discussed rape, abuse, heartbreak and female empowerment.
The stark presentation of stone-faced students shuffling around the stage to read their pieces had a poetic result.
The recurring piece during the evening was Samantha Roth’s reading of the “Stanford Letter,” an emotional personal story that drew attention in the media following a rape on a college campus.
The most lengthy piece from the evening, titled “Fur is Back,” was presented by Isabel Quinones. The monolog covered topics such as female genital mutilation, the hijab, kidnappings of girls, and a young woman’s quest to fit in with the popular crowd.
Another performance, by freshman Christopher Nuzzo, addressed issues related to the LGBT community.
The wide range of topics within the field of women’s issues helped the narrative of the show to be inclusive and emphasize intersectionality.
Sophomore Erin Murphy participated as a cast member for the second time in the annual V-Day show.
“I think that the most important part is that it is bringing awareness to violence against women and girls, especially in our own community,” said Murphy. “Some of the pieces this year were actually written by students themselves.”
The Players aimed to entertain while informing, according to the cast.
“I hope that the audience realizes that these problems are not only around the world but also to affecting our friends and family,” said Murphy.
Carra Toner was one of the students in attendance. She explained how the show reached her on a deep level.
“It was honestly a heartfelt experience,” said Toner. “You could just tell everyone involved was really connected to what they were saying and reading. I got emotional during some of the last performances.”
Toner was not alone in her experience. Many of the audience members were moved to tears by the performances.
Though most of the cast members were women, there were six male performers. Freshman Ryan Askin was one of these men.
“I think it is important for guys to get involved in these types of events,” said Askin. “We need to support everyone in life. We need to focus on these crimes and injustices so we can raise awareness and help people who need it. The arts are the best medium to do that.”
Another male expressed his motivation to participate in the performance. Hamilton Wyatt-Luth, a Manhattan College freshman, read “Interstate 78,” a monologue that he wrote himself.
“I wanted to read that because you just have to find a way to get involved. This is my way of contributing to this movement,” said Wyatt-Luth.