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. Bill Williams says:

    Don’t let Rapey Billy Clinton know about this.
    They’re still wiping up the presidue from his last infestation.

  2. Bill Williams says:

    Man, I’m sick of pointless leftism for the sake of shock value.
    These idiots vote for democRats, for God’s sake – why bother with anything they say or do?

    1. SC Anti Statist says:

      Ugly pale fat chicks do shakespeare. Common 16th century literature for a vulgarized late Roman bread ad circuses populace…what a shock!

  3. What’s the big deal. Nudity is not a sin.

  4. Saves a lot of $$$ on those pesky costumes! 😃 Garment Workers Union Unite against this Job Killing activity! I wonder how big their audience would be if they put their drawers on? lol 😃

  5. I scream descrimation…all female!! BS BS BS

    and there were several women that should have the sense to not be naked in public….Fat and Ugly= FUGLY!!

  6. WhatDup says:

    Change the law, “must be inside an enclosed structure so children are not exposed to” perverted artists in public area.

  7. ““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.””

    Bad news Adelle your future is going to be very traumatic. You can expect 100’s of questions about topics you may not be able to answer for him. Should the governments; local, county, state, or federal; ban all activities and events that you can not explain to your son?

  8. brenrod says:

    LOL, children discovering themselves in public…… I heard one line in the video in this report which sounded like a whiny six year old……… whining of course

  9. Suz Houchen says:

    Obscene in verse or not. Nudity has it’s place and it is not in a public park. If this is the way the law reads then anybody can dance down main street in the nude as long as they are dancing in artistic form. ABSURD.

  10. Steve says:

    Hey, animals don’t where clothing, they are ‘au naturale’ … why wouldn’t we do the same….oh wait, because we are the civilized species. Some should get a clue!

  11. Bill says:

    We love nude performers

  12. brenrod says:

    If I gave a wanking exhibitionist pervert, doing his bit in public, a poem to recite…. what would be the difference. I think they seek to distract from their questionable acting and directing abilities…. few will notice how bad they are.

  13. brenrod says:

    exhibitionists using shakespeare to show their body parts……. nothing whatsoever to do with shakespeare…. just their unsatisfied Freudian needs from their childhoods. Perhaps Achmed will follow them home…. and then later they will complain.

  14. Mary Ann Ludwig says:

    These women are doing it for shock value. Why else do it? I’m betting that they are so “amateur” in their acting that they couldn’t pull off an all female version of The Tempest unless they did something as asinine as this. Hey, let’s take off our clothes and pretend that we are doing something really really artsy and cool! If they did it in a theater, I’d say go for it girls. Get stupid and see who comes beside a bunch of pervs and poseurs. Doing it in public where there might be people who didn’t expect to see naked idiots trying to spout Iambic pentameter in Middle English just might be really really offensive instead of really really artsy and cool. Get some costumes. Doing and all female version of Shakespeare is radical enough to start with.

  15. Andylit says:

    Not for shock value? Really?

  16. Nick says:

    Yeah, and that guy in the audience with his pants down around his ankles is just applauding….

  17. Stephen M says:

    They do it, it’s art. I do it and it’s go home you’re drunk… Double standards I say!

  18. Rebel Thompson says:

    Gives new meaning to the phrase: “Move along, nothing to see here.”

  19. larry smith says:

    Why are the people who want to go nude are the ones no one wants to see nude??

  20. Senor CO Jones says:

    Mine eyes doth bleed, my Lord.
    The thespian wench is bovine. Lo, she maketh me wretch
    Oh, the humanity

  21. robert wagner says:

    please spray paint these perverted morons.Be sure to use quick drying paint.

  22. Diane D says:

    Ms. Morris says that Shakespeare is so powerful that it doesn’t matter what you are wearing. Great, try wearing burkas.

  23. Wade Ward says:

    If the girls are ugly, it will not be sexual. The bushless girls of today are not desirable either.

  24. Jamie says:

    My question is this. Why even out the nudity in there? Bill Shakes wasn’t nude and isn’t it all about the costumes and speeches? I simply don’t even get where nudity and Shakespeare even go together? Seems odd….

  25. Howard Hanek says:

    Oh, and heaven forbid any of the cast are body shamed afterwards. Their public nudity is OK but any criticism of the suitability or aptness of the ‘performers’ must be vigorously suppressed.

    I look at it as a ‘variant’ of the revival of Ghostbusters where the true purpose is to revile half the audience so the other half can feel ’empowered’.

  26. lgvenable says:

    If good lookign were part of the quest, the Bard will not be hurt, the women I saw were \dog b u t t ugly..yccchescchhh…

  27. K.Diggs says:

    These filthy liberals should all be lined up and SHOT. IN FRONT OF KIDS YOU FOKKING BEASTS?????

  28. Melody says:

    GOOD GRIEF. What fools. “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins,
    led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
    – II Timothy 3:6-7 –

  29. M. Hart says:

    Here’s a solution. If you don’t want to see it, don’t go. You cannot tell others what they can watch. Not even on govt land. Get over yourself and your hate for everything you do not approve of. You have personality issues.

  30. Ryan J Brown says:

    What’s the point of an all nude play? There is no point. Shakespeare plays have survived the test of time. How does performing it nude enhance the story? It does not, it distracts from the story.

    I’m going to guess that this theatre troop is awful and they needed some sort of publicity. Window lickers like this always claim they do things nude for “art”, it’s really all about attention. It’s a very shallow thing.

  31. Nothing like a Drudge link to bring out the crazy old scared people and America bashers.

  32. deerjerkydave says:

    Sorry but the message 95% of men will get is to objectify women.

  33. The rise of the idiot class. 8 years of DUH WON has that effect.

  34. Redford says:

    The Tempest. Why not, ” Much Ado About Nothing”?

  35. Jim Smiley says:

    Give the neighborhood kids pea shooters. I guarantee there won’t be a repeat performance.

  36. T.C. says:

    I’m guessing the first thing humans did was learn to eat and the second was how to clothe themselves. Humans were pretty damn stupid back them but they survived because the learned how to keep warm and dry with clothing. Now these idiots come along and want to take us back to when we were cold and hungry instead of just hungry

  37. christine says:

    Oooh so edgy. Now where did I put my eye bleach.

  38. peterwoohoo says:

    Ah, to be nude or not to be nude, that is the dilemma… If I was in a Shakespearean play I would look like them…0bama

  39. Paul Ingram says:

    To see, or not to see: that is the question. If you slap and tickle us, do we not laugh?

  40. ferd says:

    Once again here is proof that women don’t understand men.

  41. EZE says:

    Won’t hide bad acting if that’s the idea…

  42. Sickos says:

    Artists, better known as, valueless, lacking morals ethics and decency.

  43. NYC is getting sicker by the day…it’s glory days are over!

  44. cyberats says:

    Shaming and the overall lack of sexual activity in our society, makes nudity a taboo.

  45. The unimaginative, uneducated, unethical always resort to “Shock and Awe” to gain attention.

  46. Skip says:

    Now let’s see a production of all women dressed in burkas.

  47. Fred says:

    One more cavity in the dentition of civilization.

  48. RonJon says:

    Pictures of the cast naked would be helpful in accessing the value of this performance.

  49. Jason Campbell says:

    People who use their naked body or dress like sex workers to get attention are really saying, “I don’t believe I have much to offer to the world. I don’t have confidence in my ability to impress and attract people with my whit, charm or accomplishments. The only thing I have to offer is my body.” I hope these poor people get some help and some self esteem in some real accomplishments in life.

  50. Tom Menino says:

    Where will they sheath their swords?

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