‘Hers, Theirs, Ours’ spotlights inclusivity, solidarity through Tulane-focused stories

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor

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When many people wish to speak up at the same time, the result is incoherent noise. It’s chaotic, unorganized and a message rarely gets across. There are a lot of issues regarding stigmatization on campus that call for continued discussion, and this weekend there will be a clear, artistic medium through which many can become one.

“Hers, Theirs, Ours” is a uniquely Tulane experience. Replacing “The Vagina Monologues,” a famous, pre-produced series of monologues that Tulane students performed in past years, “HTO” aims to create a more inclusive atmosphere in an age where the gender binary is being broken and womanhood is open to those without vaginas.

“A woman is not a woman just because she has a vagina, there’s so much more to womanhood,” Tulane sophomore Ivanka Reksono said. Reksono is one of the three co-producers of this year’s show.

The motivation behind moving away from Eve Ensler’s well-known play is founded in the importance of addressing current issues around Tulane, many of which are rooted in conceptual and political deviations from Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”

“Hers, Their, Ours” mimics the structure of Ensler’s work as series of monologues, and this year features over 100 Tulane students, most of whom either identify as women, gender nonconforming or nonbinary. This includes a cast and crew who have spent the last year putting together this show, which included writing, blocking and casting an original performance. The topics vary greatly, but an overarching connection is with Tulane. Virtually all of the monologues are written, edited and performed by Tulane students. Many of the stories are based on real experiences faced by members of the Tulane community.

“There’s nothing made up, there’s nothing fabricated, there are no stories pulled from other shows or other productions,” Tulane junior and “HTO” co-producer Tova Steele said. “It’s all based on our experiences as a Tulane community or from the New Orleans community as well.”

HTO explores issues through comedy and with more serious tones. One monologue explores the world of Tinder from a funny, endearing perspective, while other stories talk about sexual assaults at Tulane. The 22 monologues slated for performance all center around stories that any student can relate to, for better or for worse.

“It’s a really varied show and I think that’s important,” Teryn Yazdani, another co-producer of the show said. “People are going to come, they’re going to laugh, they’re going to cry, it’s just an experience that’s really well-rounded.”

The show is meant to provide solidarity and empowerment. When both victims and students in general understand that they’re not alone in their troubles and have a community ready to hear their voice and support healing, it can uplift the student body and improve awareness and health for Tulane as a whole. 

“Hers, Theirs, Ours” will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for the general public.