All-female cast in Brooklyn stages nude production of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'

Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:43pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - To be clothed, or not to be clothed? That was a no-brainer for members of an all-female cast in Brooklyn who stripped down to celebrate their freedom of expression in a nude version of Shakespeare in the park.

The Torn Out Theater company of New York teamed up with The Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society for the unique production of "The Tempest," which completed its second set of performances in Brooklyn's Prospect Park on Saturday, following a spring run.

The idea behind the free show is to use storytelling and theater to get its message of body positivity heard.

"It's an interesting thing to feel like I'm not only making a statement as an actor, getting to play an amazing part," said Gina Marie Russell, who played Prospero, the duke of Milan.

"But I'm making a statement as a woman about female sexuality, female nudity and really trying to normalize that and make it non-sexual and non-threatening," she added.

Director Pitr Strait said he was a little apprehensive about the play, but that everything went smoothly.

"Even I was kind of nervous the first rehearsal and then within minutes I was like, this is normal - so normal that when we had an actor come on in clothes, she looked strange," Strait said.

The production company had to obtain permits in order to perform fully nude.

"It was sort of like you could feel like a new chapter turning," said actress Reanna Roane, who played Ariel.   Continued...