Anatomy Lessons

Jessica McWhirt first encountered Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues not in a theater production or on HBO, but in a mainstream bookstore. “I first saw the book on a shelf in Barnes & Noble when I was in high school, and at the time, I couldn’t even say the word ‘vagina.’ I had some stupid euphemism for it,” says McWhirt. “I picked up the book a thousand times, and I’d read a couple pages, and finally I just bought it and totally fell in love with the idea of what Eve Ensler was doing.”

Tonight, McWhirt will direct a version of the award-winning play, which Ensler wrote after interviewing more than 200 women about their anatomy and sexuality. The series of monologues range from the humorous “My Angry Vagina,” which laments the injustice of tampons, to the heart-wrenching “My Vagina Was My Village,” based on the experiences of Bosnian women in rape camps.

Proceeds will benefit the Blue Bench (formerly RAAP), a sexual-assault support-and-prevention center. The Vagina Monologues will be performed today and March 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Tickets, $10, are available at the door. For more information, visit
Wed., March 5, 7 p.m.; March 7-8, 7 p.m., 2014