Brave and Raw: 13th Annual Sewanee Monologues

Camille Pfister

Arts and Entertainment Editor 

Brynn Anderson

Contributing Writer

The room was dark and a singular light shone;  Sewanee students took the stage and blew the audience away. At this year’s 13th annual Sewanee Monologues, an event organized and hosted by the Bairnwick Women’s Center, there was an array of different stories and perspectives. 

The audience listened to stories of love, hate, and remorse. Every emotion in the book was displayed on that stage. This event was an opportunity for students to share stories or feelings they want the world to know, and want to change the world with. You never know what could change someone’s entire perspective. 

Each monologue was unique and explored the varying emotions of life in completely different ways. Some were sweet and filled with images of love and connection. It was powerful to hear how people find small moments of joy, explore what they love in their world, and go through the process of realizing who they are more deeply than ever before. 

Others recounted how trauma has influenced their life and changed their viewpoints. A lot of the monologues were twinged with heartbreak and heartache, past traumas and abuse, sexual violence, and the process of healing from the past. This year’s Sewanee Monologues followed the school shooting in Nashville, where 6 people were killed, and a few monologues included the pain in regards to the danger of mass shootings. 

Other monologues were lighthearted and made the audience laugh. For example, I Love You, written and performed by Peggy Owusu-Ansah (C’23), explained the present day online dating scandals and how they can change in a second. It was nice to hear honesty about how not every online relationship ends with vows and a wedding. The jokes and “receipts” of the online dating interactions gave the audience an insight into her personal relationships while making them laugh. 

The theme in my mind while watching the performance was “bravery.” Each performer stood up in front of an audience and explored their deep inner thoughts in beautiful language. Explorations of past trauma are extremely hard for people to do by themselves, much less in front of complete strangers. 

Knowing that many of the monologues included sensitive topics, the Wick included trigger warnings in audience’s programs and reserved a room in Guerry Auditorium for people to excuse themselves to if needed at any time. The monologues were also live streamed. 

Some of the monologues performed were written by the performers themselves, while others were written by other people, some of whom were anonymous writers. 

The one word I would use to categorize all of these performers is raw. Every single one was from the heart. It made me realize everyone is hurting from something; you just experience the hurt in different ways. It is nice to hear other people open up about the tough times that have fallen on them and how they came out better on the other side. Sewanee Monologues is a story of hope.