Congrats to The San Diego MENding Monologues!

I went to see the The San Diego MENding Monologues, a group of men who were inspired by our work and have created their own show, using some of our material and writing much of their own. This is the second year they’ve done the show and it keeps getting better and better.

I want to express thanks and call out a few people for special praise for their contribution and creativity. First of all, behind every good man is a woman. In this case, two women: Kym Pappas and Carla Nell, who are also the directors and producers of V-Day in San Diego. They have done a tremendous job, in adding The MENding to V-Day and advertising the two shows together, positioning it as the ying and yang of solving the problem of violence. Thank you, you two strong, beautiful and wonderful women for giving men a voice in this very important work.

Next, I need to thank Brendan Cavalier and Christopher Burger. Christopher stepped forward to direct this project last year (thank you, Chris, it’s hard to be the first lemming off the cliff, I know) and Brendan took it on this year. Both of them are amazing men with big hearts and lots of creative juice.

I want to call out special thanks to Rod Rodriguez, who is a gifted writer. He has written a ton of pieces for this show, many of which I’m hoping, with his permission, to add to our general MENding script to make it available for other groups of men to do this work in college and communities around the country. Moreover, I plan to feature his work on this blog in the weeks to come.

But of all that he has written, by far my favorite is: “To Whom It May Concern:” is about an attempted rape and abduction of his sister 15 years ago that was thwarted by her and a sticky door handle on the rapist’s van. This piece wraps up the show and is one of my favorite for its depth and vulnerability. Rod is also the writer of “Breast”, “I am a man.”, “I am not a hero.” , “Curly” and co-author of several other work in the show. My other favorite piece (of many favorites!) is “Forgive Yourself” by Christopher Burger, which is expertly and movingly delivered by the talented Patrick Mayuyu. “Forgive Yourself” deserves a whole blog later, but it recounts how a 14-year old boy is sexually harassed and nearly molested by a priest. It is a subtle, first person account that shows that sexual misconduct doesn’t have to result in gentile touching or penetration for someone to be damaged.

I also want to honor David Wittenburg for his stunning delivery of Dr. Vaginski (see blog). Even though I wrote this piece and thought that I couldn’t laugh at my own jokes any longer, David delivered such a devastatingly funny performance that he had me rolling with gut laughs—and I’ve only heard this piece about 500 times.

I also want to thank Scott Amiotte for his performance of “Tantra” (see this blog), and for writing the piece “Babe”, which is another work I plan to feature here with his permission.

I also want to thank Paul Savage, Steven Schmitz, George Soete, Reed Willard, Marc Amial Caro, Josh Hyatt, Ryan Martinez, Tony Bejarno, Tony Hamm, Gilbert Quintana, Patrick Kelly, and Zach Goode for their hard work and participation in writing and performing in this show. You guys ARE heros.

Finally, one of the most rewarding moment for me happened after the show. I was approached by Brendan Cavalier’s mother, the director of this year’s show, who said the following to me: “Thank you so much for doing this work. Because of Brendan’s involvement with this show, I have seen a side of my son that I have never seen before, and I have to tell you, I like this side of him very much.”

So do I.

In fact, you could say I like this side of all these men—very, very much.

I love you guys and really look forward to working with, performing with, and collaborating with you on your special San Diego-flavored version of the MENding Monologues in the months and years to come.

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8 Responses to “Congrats to The San Diego MENding Monologues!”

  1. Josh Hyatt March 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    As one of the actors in the MENding Monologues this year in San Diego and a survivor of childhood physical and emotional abuse, I will say that my involvement was both powerful and empowering. The stories and the fantastic, supportive cast unveiled to me how we, as men, hurt each other with our words and intentions behind the words and how society casts a dark shadow over masculity as a whole. We all need to work together to make this a more unified and accepting community and not tear at the fabric of our differences. Our differences should be embraced and celebrated. Thank you for the great work you and everyone involved has done on this topic.

    • Derek Dujardin March 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

      I’m never sure if real purpose of the MENding is to let women know we as men have their backs or for, us men to connect and acknowledge our shadows and our light so we can heal those wounds. I know it’s both. But thank you Josh for raising that point.

    • David S. Cohen February 23, 2012 at 4:10 am #

      Josh! How great to be exploring this MENding blog for the first time and then discover the articles about last year’s San Diego production—correction, the SD MENding from 2010, so just a few months before I met you at MOXIE/Intrepid in the context of ‘The Crucible!’ I am in this year’s MENding in San Diego (2012) & so now have a whole nother person to communicate with here about this remarkable process & the remarkable community it & V-Day & The Vagina Monologues have engendered (to coin a phrase!)

    • Derek Dujardin July 21, 2014 at 12:01 am #

      Thanks Josh. You did an amazing job in each and every piece you were in. Great actor and even a greater man. With gratitude.


  2. theatre goer March 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    you forgot to mention the talented patrick kelly in this. But other then that I strongly agree!

  3. Patrick M. March 9, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    It was an honor having you there!

    • Derek Dujardin March 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

      Thank again Patrick. Let me know if you guys are can make it out to our ASU performance April 4 and 5.

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