Multicultural Women Unite for a Cause

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What’s not to love? On April 17, 18, and 19, the University of Bridgeport will unite men, women, and all those who believe in equality everywhere to what is sure to be a breakthrough moment for the UB community. Under the passionate direction of Producer Jill Bassett, Associate Director of Residential Life and Student Conduct, preparations and rehearsals are well underway for UB’s first production of The Vagina Monologues.

Need tickets? Grab yours before they are all sold out:
Office of Residential Life and Student Conduct
Seeley Hall (rear entrance)
490 Waldemere Avenue, Bridgeport

On the afternoon of Friday, February 27, a multicultural cast of UB-affiliated actresses gathered for their first rehearsal reading. Pictured above, some of Jill’s most ardent supporters remind all of the performance dates, and the hearts behind the scenes beating in anticipation. They include:

  • Edina Oestreicher, Jill’s supervisor
  • Askar Morisseau, was a R.A. under Jill’s supervision
  • Tyna Stefak, the Assistant Producer of the show
  • Mary-Jane Foster, whose support made this all happen
  • Kassandra Ramirez, a student of Jill’s First Year Seminar class
  • JPink Fang, who lives in North Hall, the first hall Jill supervised when she came to UB

Below they share their hearts and voices in support of The Vagina Monologues, Life, and women/girls everywhere.


Name: Edina R. Oestreicher
Hometown: Orange, CT
UB Affiliation: Staff, Dean of Students
Fun Fact: Loves to hike, camp, kayak, x-c ski, snowshoe, travel, enjoy nature, and play the ukulele

1 Why “The Vagina Monologues” For You?

I saw it performed in college, found it incredibly inspiring, and always wanted to be a part of it!

2 Favorite Quote

“If you want to go fast, go by yourself, if you want to go far, go with others.”

3 What’s Your Hope For Women/Girls?

I am so honored to be a part of UB’s production and especially for our partnership with the Center for Family Justice, which does incredibly meaningful work in the greater Bridgeport community. My hope is for all girls and women to always feel safe, feel empowered to create change, have their rights respected, and know that their voice matters.

Name: Askar Morisseau
Hometown: Brockton, MA
UB Affiliation: Alumnus, M.A. Global Development and Peace
Fun Fact: Proudly Haitian born and raised by phenomenal grandparents; loves life, family, an awesome workout, traveling, and a good laugh. Life is all about living life to the fullest.

1 Why “The Vagina Monologues” For You?

I performed in The Vagina Monologues my senior year in undergraduate at Umass Dartmouth, which was dedicated to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The monologue inspired many and really impacted the way that people viewed the earthquake aftermath in Haiti. It was a life-changing moment not only for the audience but also myself, because it exposed me to the truth about poverty and underdevelopment: two factors that are interwoven into a web of disadvantage that leaves our society crippled emotionally, physically, and intellectually, especially women.

The Vagina Monologues made me find courage in myself that I did not know I had, helped me see the world from a different perspective, and gave me strength to press forward. I love this show, and I am very excited and honored to be part of it again.

2 Favorite Quote

“I love the woman I am becoming because I fought to be her.”

3 What’s Your Hope For Women/Girls?

The Vagina Monologues means equality and justice for women and girls everywhere. More importantly, it means empowerment and finding your voice. Women and girls often stay silent about many things, whether its insecurities, violation of their human rights, mistreatment by those around them, isolation by their communities, stereotyped for not fitting the social norm, or lack of support or education which leads them to being powerless and losing their autonomy. The Vagina Monologues is about taking back that power and finding your voice – the voice to empower others, the voice to share our stories, the voice to make a change, the voice to find our worth, the voice to be the women we are meant to be. There is nothing more beautiful and precious than being a woman, and I think that The Vagina Monologues provides people everywhere with the chance to see the truths about being a woman. More importantly, it provides hope and encouragement for women to see that they are not alone and they have the power for greatness, but they need to take back their voices. Silence is no longer an option.

Name: Khyrstyna Maria Stefak
Hometown: Wethersfield, CT
UB Affiliate: Staff & Graduate Student, Resident Director & MBA Grad Student
Fun Fact: Uses cooking as a form of art and therapy. Also enjoys challenging herself physically by kickboxing, running, and working out. Passionate about student affairs, the global economy, and traveling and experiencing different parts of the world.

1 Why “The Vagina Monologues” For You?

I have a vagina and I am forever on a mission to end violence against women and support the movement towards equal rights.

2 Favorite Quote

“She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire.” – Charles Bukowski

3 What’s Your Hope For Women/Girls?

Being a part of The Vagina Monologues is a very empowering feeling. It is my duty as a woman to stand by and support other women. My hope for women/girls is that we continuously band together to make the changes that we need to make for equal rights.

Name: Mary-Jane Foster
Hometown: Bridgeport, CT
UB Affiliate: Staff, Vice President of University Relations
Fun Fact: Loves politics, movies, books, and eating great food with wonderful friends.

1 Why “The Vagina Monologues” For You?

The Vagina Monologues is an anthem, a poem by the poet laureate, a sonnet to women. How could I not? I’m so proud UB is producing this show.

2 Favorite Quote

“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.” – W.H. Auden

3 What Is Your Hope For Women/Girls?

I hope with every performance of The Vagina Monologues, women and girls will find or renew their belief, confidence, and pride in themselves. Repeat after me: “Vagina, vagina, vagina!”

Name: Kassandra Ramirez ’16
Hometown: Manhattan, NY
UB Affiliate: Current Student, I.P.E.D./Political Science Major
Fun Fact: Second oldest of 6 siblings, and nights are not complete without a great book to read and spending time with loved ones

1 Why “The Vagina Monologues” For You?

I am continuously inspired by Eve Ensler and her amazing work through the Vagina Monologues, and hope to become even half the women she is some day!

2 Favorite Quote

“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

3 What’s Your Hope For Women/Girls?

Being in the Vagina Monologues means the absolute world to me! I love acting and being a feminist, and putting two of my favorite things together will always call for an awesome experience. I hope one day that all women everywhere can empower each other and crush the patriarchy ☺

Name: J. Pink ’15
Hometown: Fujian, China
UB Affiliate: Current Student, Global Media and Communication Studies
Fun Fact: Sibling to twins, and enjoys singing and dancing

1 Why “The Vagina Monolgues” For You?

It is an important play on behalf of women and girls, and It would be a great experience for me to be a part of it.

2 Favorite Quote

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”

3 What’s Your Hope For Women/Girls?

Being in The Vagina Monologues provides me an opportunity to challenge myself as I don’t have a lot of experience acting in a play. And I think women should take the courage to speak for themselves.

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