Law Students' 'Monologues' for Charity; A Popular Play Receives a New Interpretation by Florida Coastal

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Byline: MATT COLEMAN

Florida Coastal School of Law produces no-nonsense lawyers - not thespians.

But for some students at the Jacksonville school, the lure of the theater simply can't be ignored. They'll be taking the stage tonight, for the benefit of others.

"It's our way of giving back," said Karen Winston, a law student and amateur play director. "But we get something out of it, too. It's a hell of a lot of fun."

An ensemble cast - made up of about 30 Florida Coastal students, male and female - performed the popular episodic play, "The Vagina Monologues," last night at the Five Points Theatre in Riverside. Another performance is slated for 6 p.m. today. All proceeds go to charity.

Written in 1996 by Eve Ensler, a New York playwright, the play tackles issues inherent to female sexuality and other taboo topics, such as incest and sexual abuse, with a deft, conversational touch. Some of the monologues lampoon social stereotypes about women, and one even analyzes the vulgar connotations of a four-letter word describing a part of the female anatomy.

"We definitely hit on some controversial issues," co-director Molly Tandy said. "I'd say it's not for the faint of heart - or the shy."

That suits the brash, in-your-face world of law school.

Florida Coastal might not have an arts department or a theater program, but each year they have a groundswell of interested actors and actresses show up for auditions.

And even though other colleges, public and private, put on their own renditions, Winston said the Florida Coastal version stands out for one reason.

"Being a lawyer is already like being an actor," Winston said. "You're up there in the spotlight in front of everyone. It's a natural fit, and we make it work."

This is Florida Coastal's fifth turn at the monologues, Winston said. Both directors have been involved in each of the past three productions. …