NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A public display of one of Shakespeare’s classics is offering a very revealing performance, but the participants said it is not about shock value.

CBS2 was there for a clothed dress rehearsal for the dressed-down performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” by Torn Out Theater.

The all-female cast will be all nude come showtime next month inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The group also performed earlier this year in Central Park.

“We were really interested in getting an audience to be able see nudity as non-sexual, non-threatening, and eventually not even strange,” said director Pitr Strait. “By the end the play, it’s normal.”

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the actors said it sends a message of body positivity.

“It’s being courageously vulnerable and generous with yourself as an artist, first and foremost, and saying, I’m doing this for this purpose,” said Suzannah Gratz.

Tracie Morris, a humanities and media studies professor at the Pratt Institute, said the work alone grabs viewers’ attention.

“Shakespeare’s language is so strong that it really doesn’t matter what kind of costuming you have,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re not wearing a costume.”

The performance breaks no laws. Nudity is allowed in New York City when considered part of an artistic performance.

“Which is great for us, but also really strange,” Strait said. “We all accept that this isn’t obscene as long as they’re speaking in verse.”

But some parents in the park were not sure it was something they wanted their kids to stumble across.

“My son, he’s 5 years old,” said Adelle Cekic of Prospect Park. “He might ask questions that I would not be able to answer him.”

Others said they thought it was no big deal.

“I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” said Rasha Dalbah. “I mean, you explain to them that it’s art. They’re, you know, expressing themselves. It’s a performance.”

The show will be performed every night from Sept. 7 through Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Music Pagoda at Prospect Park. Admission is free.

The group’s performance in May drew several hundred spectators.

Comments (128)
  1. Dan Althenn says:

    Sin. Not so cleverly disguised as art.

  2. MediaMike says:

    Ethics only provides further proof of Newtons 2nd Law. There is no advancement through “evolution,” just constant decay.

    1. MediaMike says:

      I typed “this” and it substituted “ethics.” Weird.

    2. dieter says:

      How, strictly speaking, does nudity artistically enhance Shakespeare?

      1. Shakespeare for perverts…

    3. parallax says:

      That would be the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which was formulated well after Newton’s death…but, point well taken.

      1. I don’t take that point well at all.
        I’m appalled, frankly, that there are apparent grown-ups walking around who think a nude performance of “The Tempest” signifies “decay”, is “garbage”, is “disgusting”, “lewd”, “ugly” and is fit only for “perverts” or the “mentally ill”.
        Or, for that matter, that the value of a nude performance lies in the prurient appeal of the performers.
        Gee whillikers, people — grow up!

  3. thrushjz says:

    What they’re doing is destroying the mystery, the allure, the sensuality of the human form…they’re making it so obvious and ordinary and in your face that it’s destroying the specialness of it…

    1. christine says:

      Pretty soon we’ll be like the naked tribal natives…or animals.

      1. Michael says:

        Hey Americans make sure your stupid kids watch bloody TV and movies and feed them this constant diet of violence and then worship any participants and call them heros . It’s the American way. Love and Nudity is something that might corrupt them LOLOLOL Uh oh BREAKING NEWS. I interrupt this message for breaking news out of American occupied (for no particular reason) Afghanistan. An American University was just bombed. Make sure your kids see this

        1. Ryan J Brown says:

          You sound like you hate freedom.

          1. letmepicyou says:

            Is that what troops in Afghanistan are providing for us by guarding poppy fields and shipping heroin and opium on military transports? Freedom?

    2. Hart says:

      You mean, if you see a naked woman doing something other than having sex, that will change your relationship with sex? Seek help. You have sexual problems.

  4. Silverfawn says:

    Part of the fun of watching works by the Bard are the elaborate costumes. So, no thank you ladies.

  5. flyfisher111 says:

    At least there will be no threat of Islamic violence – or will there be?

  6. Larry Evans says:

    An observer of the Art community must feel like an elementary school teacher.

    Every year some ignorant little kid runs up and exclaims that they’ve discovered how to be original and provocative by taking their clothes off.

    People have been doing this for thousands of years. It’s not original. YOU are not original.

  7. Ram6 says:

    Liberalism=Mental Defect or Disease!

  8. John Johnson says:

    In a country full of obese people, nudity is an assault.

  9. Dave says:

    And they expect police protection when they get raped?

  10. When people take off all their clothes in public to do something normally done clothed and claim it’s not about shock value, then it is absolutely about shock value.

  11. Why are Libs so obsessed with nudity? Weird.

  12. Bruce Smith says:

    Men have body parts. Women have different body parts. Grow up and get over it.

    1. Brian Hunter says:

      Let’s hope some perv doesn’t help your young daughter “grow up”.

    2. Racklefratz says:

      But DECENT “men and women” don’t flaunt their “different body parts” in others’ faces.

      1. letmepicyou says:

        Flaunting it in their faces? So you equate somebody being unclothed with being teabagged? They take their clothes off, so in your mind you imagine someone pushing you down, standing 2 inches from your face and screaming “LOOK AT MY GENITALS!!! LOOK AT EM!!!” That’s REALLY what you see?

  13. Joseph P. Campbell says:

    Perversion is everywhere!
    The end times must be close at hand…

  14. Lukuj says:

    Sad that nothing can be private or special any more. There is a lot to be said for mystery and valuing yourself enough not to want to expose yourself to strangers.

    1. letmepicyou says:

      “Sad that nothing can be private or special any more.” Being naked isn’t private or special. It’s a state of being unclothed.

      “There is a lot to be said for mystery” You must LOVE the current state of government then. Me, I prefer TRUTH over mystery. To each their own I suppose.

      “and valuing yourself enough not to want to expose yourself to strangers.” I would imagine a sense of self value might come from something OTHER than the current state of your clothing. So a woman who is raped loses value because she loses clothing? A person on the beach is worth less because they wear less? Your notions come from a profound sense of self image sickness. What you carry inside is a billion times more valuable than the outer shell.

  15. Sigmund Tomas says:

    The vile vulgar and violent left marches on. Perverted thinking from perverted people.

  16. BPatMann bin BPatMan says:


  17. cali says:

    Simply indecent exposure. This is illegal. No perv has the right to run around naked in front of kids. Lock them up!

  18. Maybe these girls figure that if Hillary and Obama are going to start letting perverts and pedophiles (and other males posed as transgenders) come into the girl’s bathrooms and showers with them, then they might as well go ahead and show ’em what they want to see?

  19. Chris Appel says:

    liberals and their obsession with nudity…nobody would come see their play so they strip for some attention..pathetic.

  20. One need ask, who are these people who presume the authority to decide what is or is not to be considered “normal” in an open society? If our society wished to make nudity normal it would already be normal. It isn’t normal to be naked in public and there is no desire from the majority of people living in this society to have it so. So, by definition, these “actors” are abnormal and should not be tolerated. They do not “enlighten” they impose their arbitrary view on others. An orderly, safe and functional society requires cooperation and virtue.

  21. jksu2 says:

    Of course, this will be in the shadow of the many Mosques in NY.

  22. Evander says:

    Notice how hot chicks don’t do that stuff, only ugly chicks? Same thing with nudist beaches.
    Just thought I’d point that out.

  23. Cletus B Neckbeard says:

    The unimaginative usually resort to shock or offense.

  24. ARpg says:

    Funny, these “liberals” all vote “hillary” yet, when she is finished bringing all the muslims into the country, sharia law will have them beheaded as “honor killings” You can’t GET any more retarded than the modern liberal… Uhh… I mean COMMUNIST!

  25. SeanInAZ says:

    Oh no, liberals – naked female bodies!!! The outrage! THE OUTRAGE!!!! Won’t someone think of the children!!! Quick, instead of just not watching this event, lets get on the internet and express our outrage based on hypocritical morality that we libs just invented!!! Get a burqa and cover those disgusting female forms immediately!!!!!

  26. matt durham says:

    I am sure it will be well attended by 12 -14 year old boys.

  27. Hubert Smith Smith says:

    It is odd that our “modern artistes” can think so far inside the puerile box…..their level or wit and creativity is nil.

  28. Jack Davis says:

    Raise thine gaze young knave, for mine eyes are up hereth.

    1. John says:

      Very clever.

  29. Machismo says:

    All-Female Nude Shakespeare Performance Seeks To Change Perceptions In Prospect Park.

    Made for perverts – How can the city allow this?
    The Mayor needs to be fired! A lack of decency, morals, honesty, class = Liberals. Why not have people ‘F’ ing on stage? That could be considered art and just as entertaining for perverts. Where do you draw the line? It seems the line no longer exists.

    1. aubreyfarmer says:

      Mental illness takes many forms. This is a good example of the reprobate mind. They are unable to see the immorality of their own actions. Look at me. Look at me. It isn’t any different than those that disfigure themselves to get attention. Perhaps they wish to show off their labiaplasty or some other equally ridiculous narcissistic indulgence.

  30. ilovevictoriasbows says:

    I suppose a pervert standing in the front row masturbating, “by the end of the play,” is normal, also.

  31. 7For they shall sow wind, and reap a whirlwind, there is no standing stalk in it, the bud shall yield no meal;

  32. tngilmer says:

    Not about shock value? ROFLOL

  33. Jack Inmanz says:

    Yes, ladies, we are paying attention to you.

  34. JP Austin says:

    Gat agenda on display

  35. “the participants said (the nudity) is not about shock value.”

    Yes it is because it has absolutely nothing to do with the play.

  36. John Dendy says:

    What a stupid idea. Who ever came up with this is a moron.

  37. Wharfplank1 says:

    Take a good look, folks. These are obama voters. Twice. Mrs. Bill Clinton is his 3rd term.

  38. In early childhood development, children go through a phase starting at about 18 months forward to learn to disrobe themselves at very inopportune times. They run gleefully through the house or if possible run gleefully down the block with embarrassed parent chasing. This is the level our population has dropped down to. At age two and beyond children in normal families are beginning to be taught modesty for healthy reasons. It establishes self respect and boundaries that no one is allowed to cross without consequences. We have now gotten a new generation of 19 month old’s running gleefully around the neighborhood, with no modesty, no boundaries and no sense what so ever. Then they wonder about why the election would Pander to a Financial Opportunist and a Reality Show Host.

    1. get over yourself, this story is not about politics…obsessed much?

  39. Robert says:

    Ugly cows scaring the park birds.

  40. David Sher says:

    Dumb dumb dumb. Shockspeare. These “artists” are simple trying to gin up attendance through obscenity. Never mind the materials.

  41. These girls better do it now and not wait! .. If they wait and Hillary’s pals enact Sharia Law, the girls might get burned at the stake for being witches.

  42. Gregory Zink says:

    Pitr Strait, director, is a man. Shocker!

  43. Allie says:

    Inappropriate and disgusting. This is a new low. We are living in an age totally lacking in morals and respect. This program should be banned from public venues.

  44. Joe says:

    Right. Lewdness is legal. No problem for a nation that murders babies in the womb. This is a cake walk in comparison.

  45. Take away our private fantasies, give us nothing to dream and feel personal about, this infringement is just another insidious way to destroy our personal life. If nude wasn’t sexy, why have strippers? Panties with holes would be all that’s needed. Nude bozos running around do not make flesh attractive, it makes it boring and ugly.

  46. Bugs Bunny says:

    People can be so freakish and perverted.

  47. Kurt Smith says:

    Sodom and Gomorrah would be proud.

  48. Joe says:

    Nudity is not sexual? You are not a man you are a pervert. You will do well in New York.

  49. John Smith says:

    Typical of so called “artists of today” to take true art and turn it into garbage simply because they have no genuine appreciation of art. They were never good at math either.

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