October 17, 2019

Students perform monologues for AIDS week

PHOTO BY MAX BOUVATTE / The Journal Andrea Lopez, senior international relations major, plays the part of a bi-sexual whose lover gave her AIDS at the Latex Lounge, an event hosted by the MCISA on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the Sunnen Lounge.

Andrea Lopez wore red high heels as she played the part of a bi-sexual whose lover gave her AIDS. Lopez, senior international relations major, was performing a monologue at The Latex Lounge in the Sunnen Lounge on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

“I never thought I’d end up dead with the boy in red,” Lopez said to the crowd, projecting the feelings of her character.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, approximately 40 guests attended the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs’s (MCISA) —in association with the LGBTQ Alliance—AIDS Monologue. This event, part of AIDS Week, was designed to promote awareness and understanding about the deadly disease.

The AIDS Monologues included 13 of the original 30 performances from Bill Russell’s “Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.”

“ ‘Elegies’ is a musical as well as a monologue and we didn’t think to do the musical part, so we narrowed it down for the evening,” Nikki Parres, MCISA assistant director, said.

David McDonald, sophomore film production major, felt his two performances informed the audience with two perspectives of the illness.

“With Mitch, it was so much anger and people get to see the ‘Why me?’, ” McDonald said. “The second piece with Walter was the settled down and I’ve accepted it part.”

The event featured the AIDS Memorial Quilt, brought by  non-profit organization The Names Project. The quilt’s panels are dedicated to those killed by the virus.

Parres searched for themes that promoted AIDS awareness. She found that someone had done Russell’s play already and it received a wonderful response.

“There are so many different characters from male to female students will be representing,” Parres said.

Krystal Wilson, junior speech communication studies major, played a grandmother in her 70s.

“Honestly a lot of friends thought I would be good for the part,” Wilson said. “I thought she’s old school and they thought I related to her.”

Each monologue had a short time frame, and many of the students had never performed before.

“I’m not a producer and I’ve never done this before so it’s stressful fun,” Parres said.

Lopez said it was her first time performing and she was a little nervous, but thought it would be a fun experience. Students auditioned for their monologues and rehearsed a day before the event.

“They only had one rehearsal and it’s the week before finals so the fact that they did it is great,” Parres said.

AIDS statistics lined the walls of the event. One statistic stated Missouri reported 587 new cases of HIV in 2008. One statistic on the wall estimated 563,000 Americans become infected each year.

“People tend to think that AIDS is a forgotten disease and exhibits like this show how people are affected,” McDonald said.

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