by Emma Durbin
When I am single on Valentines Day, do I feel failure because I am lonely, or is it because I’ve been told that my relationship status determines my value as a human being? And what if I chose to be alone and ignore “Galentine’s” Day? Does my decision to not be with my friends make me less of a person?
This Valentine’s Day, our multicultural professor, Laura Biagi, will be performing a short 15-20 minute monologue with movement in search of an answer to these questions. Biagi says “you’re not going to find a card that says ‘if you’re single you still can love yourself because that’s the highest form of love. Congratulations!’” The performance is her version of writing this card.
Celebrations on February the 14th began as a wild festival celebrating fertility and the Roman god of agriculture. As the Roman Catholic Church spread into Europe, it appropriated the holiday, naming it after two saints: both martyred, and both called Valentine. These themes of fertility and nature are central to Biagi’s performance. “It’s two contrasting stories. In one of them I talk about the crisis which I felt alienated and isolated and I felt I didn’t belong anywhere. Within 24 hours I had an experience in nature that brought me to a different state in which I was feeling completely connected.”
More recently, Singles Awareness Day (or S.A.D) has found its way into the February 14 story. S.A.D holds a place of importance in Biagi’s performance, “It almost feels like if you’re not with someone, you’re not supposed to celebrate? Or you’re not loving? It’s such a strange holiday, and it just so happens that even when we know that it’s random, a lot of people still suffer during this day.”
When in conversation with Biagi, I realized that the pressure to constantly be connected with others has been harming my ability to be in love with myself when I’m the only other person in the room. Biagi has created a space for all of us to gather together on Valentines Day, and grapple with our own self love. She is giving students and faculty the opportunity “to just look at each other and remember that even when we don’t belong at all, we do belong where we’re at.”
Chocolates will be offered after the performance.
Performance Time: 12:00 – 12:30
Space: The Theatre School Lobby
Tickets: No ticket necessary. The performance is free and open to all students and faculty.