Shawna Leader/The AS Review

This week Western women will share their truths and experiences at the Vagina Memoirs, an annual event put on by the AS Women’s Center. The memoirs will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see the events calendar on page 4 for locations).

Each of the 17 cast members will perform a memoir they have written. The style of a memoir can range from conversational to telling a story, Women’s Center Coordinator Devin Majkut said.

The memoirs will focus on breaking the pervasive silence that has historically prevented women from speaking about topics such as violence, sexuality, body image, gender and race, Majkut said. The memoirs will address all these issues, recognizing the beauty and value in breaking silence, she said.

The memoirs are not a play but rather an opportunity for telling personal truths, Majkut said.

“People aren’t putting on a costume, people aren’t playing a character,” she said. “They’re onstage as themselves.”

Cast members have spent the past three months participating in group discussions, daily journal writings, group writing workshops and spoken word exercises, Majkut said.

Anyone is welcome to attend the event, Majkut said. Sharing truths and experiences is a gift and when audience members hear the memoirs they can reflect, learn and be inspired to break their own silences, she said.

T-shirts, underwear and sweatshirts will be for sale on Vendor’s Row throughout the week. Proceeds from merchandise and donations will go to Womencare Shelter, a local organization that provides a place to stay and counseling for women experiencing domestic violence, and the Women of Color Empowerment program, a Western group that hosts the annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner.

This event is free to students and community members.