Santa Barbara theatergoers can look forward to seeing 13 women present heartfelt lectures about their vaginas on stage this year – in addition to the local annual performances of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Local poet and storyteller Lisa Citore recently created “Bloodlines,” a new series of theatrical productions that will focus on sexuality, femininity and issues surrounding women’s menstrual cycles. Like “The Vagina Monologues,” “Bloodlines” – which will open March 15 at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara – will be produced as a series of monologue readings performed by 13 women from different cultures, generations and backgrounds, Citore said.
According to the production’s website, a wide range of topics and themes will be addressed in the “Bloodlines” monologues – from a young woman’s realization of her own homosexuality when a friend showed her how to insert a tampon, to a Hindu woman’s story of the red bindi on her forehead, to a story of a woman throwing a TV out of a window inspired by PMS.
Citore has been collecting the stories for the play over the past few years by gathering personal stories from friends, and talking to many women all over the world during her travels to different countries.
In addition to being inspired by these sources, Citore said she said she originally created the play for her teenaged daughter when she was beginning her menstrual cycle for the first time.
“I have a 16 year-old daughter, and she was getting ready to bleed,” Citore said. “So, really, I wanted a celebration. It started off with me e-mailing friends around the world. I wanted women to send her cards with their wisdom and gifts. I kept them until she bled, and we had a ceremony.”
Citore said she hopes to get feedback from UCSB about the play because she wants to be able to show it in other cities, particularly in academic settings.
“My vision is that I see [“Bloodlines”] traveling through the colleges and university,” Citore said. “I think it’s ideal to do for a V-Day show. I really want to get it out to younger women. The goal of [the play] is for women to really embrace the mystery of what we are. I believe the blood holds the mystery of life and death.”
V-Day is an event focusing on the elimination of women’s violence that occurs each year in February or March in conjunction with performances of “The Vagina Monologues.” UCSB’s V-Day, organized by the Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe, is set for March 1 in Storke Plaza.
In addition to “Bloodline’s” live performances, Citore is in the process of publishing a book of the monologues and creating a DVD of the show. In the future, she said she would like to set up a website where women could post and share their stories about similar topics to those in the play.
The play runs March 15 through March 25. Presale tickets for students, if purchased before Feb. 28, are $15.