Rensselaerville Stage Creations to perform “The Vagina Monologues,” raise funds for women

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Two views: Cheryl Rudolph, left, strikes a skeptical pose as she listens to Isabelle Caffaro — both performing in "the Vagina Monologues" as a fundraiser for Equinox, which helps battered women.

RENSSELAERVILLE — With female artists and business owners in tow, Rensselaerville Stage Creations is looking to shake things up on and off stage.

The Rensselaerville-based theater troupe will be performing “The Vagina Monologues” on Friday and Saturday, as well as holding a silent auction for victims of domestic violence.

The group began in 2011 with a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” said producer and founder Tara Hostash. “The Vagina Monologues will be the eighth show in six years, after their production of “Godspell” last summer.

This year, said Hostash, the theater is holding a silent auction during the two performances, the proceedings of which will go to Equinox, a charity based in Albany. Equinox, noted Hostash, helps victims of domestic abuse.

Auction items are being provided by local businesses and artists, many of which are female-led businesses and female artists, like Cluckin’ A Critter Farm in Greenville, a farm that also has a boutique with locally made items. Hotash said owner Vicki Watt helped organize the auction.

Hostash is originally from Rensselaerville, and after attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan, returned to her hometown where she started the stage company.

“We pride ourselves on being a part of the community,” said Hostash, of Rensselaerville Stage Creations. “The community here is so amazing, and so supportive, and so generous.”

The play, written by Eve Ensler, consists of numerous monologues by women about their titular body part, and other taboo subjects surrounding it such as rape and masturbation.

“Each monologue is a story in itself,” said Hostash, who noted that, although many of these stories are painful to listen to, there are positive ones as well, and some told with a sense of humor.

Hostash said that, although some monologues are driven by political events, the show as a whole remains neutral.

“We try to stay politically neutral in the group,” she said. “Even members of our board have very different opinions.”

The decision to perform “The Vagina Monologues,” was made in the early fall, shortly after the production of “Godspell” had run. Rehearsals started in late January. Hostash noted that set and costume design was slightly easier than other grander productions.

“We really want the focus to be on the actors,” said Hostash. “It was easier to go simpler on the set and costumes.”

Hostash said she’d like the audience to see “a piece of art come to life.”

“I hope to break down some boundaries,” she said. “I hope that the word ‘vagina’ isn’t so secretive.”


The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Floored: Emleigh Tanner performs in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday night at Conkling Hall in Rensselaerville.


“The Vagina Monologues,” by Rensselaerville Stage Creations, will be performed Friday, March 3, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, March 4,  from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at Conkling Hall, 8 Methodist Hill Rd, Rensselaerville, NY 12147. Tickets are $15. Contains adult content. For additional information and tickets, please call 669-5150.

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