Mary Wilson: From

By |2003-02-27T09:00:00-05:00February 27th, 2003|Uncategorized|

It’s an interesting combination, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and “The Vagina Monologues.” They are both cultural phenomena; both have been seen on countless stages across the country and, indeed, the world. But, still, one can’t help but wonder how the two met up.
“I’ve done a lot of off-Broadway plays and I’ve done musicals all over the world, in London and Sweden and all,” Wilson explained to Between The Lines.
“I really like the theatre, and my agents are always looking out for projects for me, and this one came up. A couple of my friends were actually in it, Marla Gibbs did it, and Jackee’ did it, and I went to see them and they both said, ‘Mary, you should do this.’ So when it came it up, I was like, ‘OK.'”
OK, she said, but wasn’t she the least bit apprehensive? Certainly one wouldn’t expect Wilson to get stage fright. Still, standing on a stage talking about one’s vagina is a long way off from standing on a stage in a sequined gown singing “Baby Love.”
“I enjoy doing things that are really challenging because it helps me stretch and it helps me to get over my inhibitions, which I have,” she said. “So for me, I think this is going to be one of those great ventures that’s going to free me up from some of my own fears.”
Is one of those fears what Mrs. Maxine Powell, etiquette instructor extraordinaire from the Motown school of charm, might say should she show up to a performance? After all, Mrs. Powell taught the Supremes to stand in the presence of kings and queens. And surely “vagina” was not on the list of proper topics for making polite conversation. Is Wilson’s part in “Monologues” going against her teaching?
“No, no, no, it’s not,” she insists. “That’s what the vagina monologues are all about, breaking the taboo. Why can’t you talk about the vagina? You can talk about the arm, you can talk about the neck. So it’s not a vulgar topic.”
So, Mrs. Powell will approve?
“Well, as long as I keep my legs crossed the proper way and I’m a lady in how I’m presenting the text, she’ll be quite pleased. She’ll say, ‘You see, I taught you how to be prim and proper and still be able to handle any situation.’ That’s what’s going to make this really great, because I’ll be able to do it and still be prim and proper.”
A prim and proper vagina monologue – now that’s an interesting combination!

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.