By Emmy Walters
Photos by Kimberly Williams
Each story moves mountains, and on Monday, February 16, audience members had the opportunity to hear 39 powerful monologues written and performed by Sewanee students. In its fourth year running, Sewanee Monologues has continually brought the unheard voices of Sewanee into the limelight for a night of unapologetic honesty and conviction. This year was no exception as students told stories of their anonymous peers (and of their own) that ranged from hilarious to tragic to everything in between. The night began with the dedicated members of The Wick, who invited the audience to listen. In a powerful introduction, the 11 residents dedicated the event to “everyone whose stories don’t fit into a nicely packaged narrative…the broken, tired, and helpless…the ones who’ve dared disturb the universe.”
Then, students from all corners of Sewanee read a compilation of narratives (anonymous and not) that covered issues ranging from race to sexuality to Shake Day to familial problems to sexual assault. Each monologue was honest, brave, and vulnerable in seeking to voice the experiences of those in our community – the good, the bad, and the ugly. On her fourth year attending the event, resident and co-director of The Wick Michelle Howell (C’15) said, “Sewanee Monologues is so transformative because it is truly a platform for Sewanee voices. Some years the event focused more on one particular issue, like sexual assault, and we’ve gotten criticism for that. But what we always say back is, these are the stories we get. If you don’t like what is being said, change it. This year was extremely amazing because the actual event felt like a dialogue. It wasn’t a one-way street. The audience was applauding after specific phrases, affirming the performers and the writers along the way. It truly felt like the student body was connected throughout.”
Thank you to The Wick for hosting another night of inspiring and powerful stories, and thank you to those who allowed us to share in their joys, pains, and triumphs – your stories move mountains.