Known as the youngest Vagina Warrior ever since her debut in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues at the age of 13, Charlene Virlouvet is one of Cebu’s most respected actors. She has performed in 2TinCans Philippines productions such as Emotional Creature, Agnes of God, and more. She is currently engaged in behind the scenes work, keeping busy as the Managing Director of 2TinCans Philippines.
What do you think makes The Vagina Monologues still relevant, even 20 years since its first run?
I believe that The Vagina Monologues is still urgent, particularly in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. Stories of abuse and harassment dominate the headlines with more and more women coming out with their truths. We have come a long way, it’s true. But women talking about sexuality, childbirth, and rape still make some people uncomfortable. If we keep quiet about these parts of our lives, then when someone gets hurt within these spaces, their stories get swallowed up in that same silence. Our production is our way of reaching out to those who have been silenced and letting them know, it’s okay. You are strong, and you are not alone.
On a personal level, how is performing in The Vagina Monologues important to you?
Five months ago, my best friend died in the most atrocious way. That experience completely redefined the word warrior, a term I had been using for years but didn’t really know what it meant. She was an outspoken feminist, a fierce woman, dauntless from the moment I met her until her last breath. I do this to end violence against women and girls. I do this for her.
If your vagina could talk, what would it say?
“I am glorious.”
photography Shekinah Danong