The first show of OU's 2019 "Me Too Monologues" is scheduled for Wednesday evening. The show aims to give unheard voices from across campus a chance to share sensitive experiences with their peers.
"Me Too Monologues" is a production created from anonymous stories submitted by members of the OU community, said special education senior Zoey Tingler, the production’s head theatrical director.
Submissions from OU students, faculty and staff can focus on any topic — from stress induced by college life, to sexual assault, to racism — and are presented by student and faculty actors as a stage production.
The show was initially inspired by a production performed at Duke University in 2009, which sought to “foster a more supportive, honest and empathetic campus culture” according to the Duke University performance’s website. "Me Too Monologues" first came to OU in 2013, Tingler said.
The first showing will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 in the Oklahoma Memorial Union’s Meacham Auditorium and will last slightly over an hour, according to an OU mass email about the performance, and admission to each showing will be free. The second performance will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 in Meacham.
“It’s a really great way to be able to tell these stories that someone might not feel comfortable sharing with their peers or their friends and family,” Tingler said. “We open it up so that their voice gets to be heard.”
Accounting sophomore Laiba Fatima, an actress in the show, said she joined the performance because she understands the difficulties that come with sharing the kinds of stories that the "Me Too Monologues" represent.
“I know it’s really hard to talk about more personal stories to your peers, and it’s really cool to have a way to present them in a way that everyone can relate to,” Fatima said. “We’re all people with similar stories and sometimes we forget that because we like to not talk about these things.”
Women and gender studies sophomore Johlea Johnson, another actress in the show, said she hopes people see the show as a therapeutic and supportive environment and realize they are not alone in facing hidden problems.
“Somebody else in the cast might be performing and I’ll be like, ‘That’s exactly how I feel, and that’s probably exactly how many people on campus feel,’” Johnson said. “We look at each other every day and say, ‘Everything’s going great,’ but we have so many stories we’re hiding and this is one way we can show them and speak about them.”