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Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 12:10 AM

This thread has been labeled as non-PG13 by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for younger users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So this has been a hot debate topic in my house and with my friends recently. At my college they're doing a show in which every one of the cast members has to be nude in some way for some scenes. Full frontal for both males and females.

Every one of the cast members had to sign a paper agreeing that they were okay with appearing nude onstage. However, the thing was if you did not agree to being nude you would not be considered for the show.

Now here are the issues:

Issue 1: Should nudity even be allowed in college theatre? College is a place of education and academics. The students in the shows are in them so they can learn.

Issue 2: Is it fair for the director to say you have to take off your clothes or you can't be considered for the show?

Issue 3: Couldn't they have cut the nudity and just gone with underwear instead?

My take: It's the directors choice to have nudity or not. The script may call for it but it's the directors choice to keep it or change it. And if the actors are okay, consenting, and comfortable then there shouldn't be a problem. Nudity is fine. However, I don't necessarily believe in the contract saying "you have to get naked or you won't be considered." Everyone should have had a fair shot being considered regardless of if they want to be nude or not. I understand that the directors choice was for full cast nudity however I think those who didn't want to be naked should have had the opportunity to be considered anyway. The director should have accomanded everyone and maybe cut people from the nude scenes or allowed them to wear underwear. It's unfair to deny someone a learning opportunity because they're uncomfortable exposing themselves in that way in front of the entire department, friends, family, etc.

I know this is kind of an obscure topic but what do of guys think?


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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 12:24 AM

I understand where the director is coming from. Sometimes in movies and shows there is nudity and I think it's part of their learning how to act and be comfortable in front of a camera nude. Some movies are strict on nudity and others there is nudity. There isn't anything wrong with showing nudity in show or movies it also depends on what type of target audience they are looking for.

I think when you're learning how to be an actor or actress this director is showing students that in their careers they may be asked to play parts but there is nudity. For the more intimate scenes the director is also teaching them what and how to play those parts nude. It's also a learning experience if they do feel they enjoy that aspect but later find out they don't, then they won't sign onto something knowing they don't like it, if they do then they will know for sure.

Although it might seem really outrageous but I see it as a learning experience for the new actors and actresses in their careers they need to be aware of those parts and if they've never had experience then they may not know how to play those parts and if they don't want to do any nudity in shows or movies then that is completely fine too. Not every show and movie has nudity.

I hope this makes sense.

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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 01:19 AM

Originally Posted by Phantom_Girl View Post
Issue 1: Should nudity even be allowed in college theatre? College is a place of education and academics. The students in the shows are in them so they can learn.
Yes, it should be allowed. It's going to be involved in the workplace within the field, then it should be used in college as well.

Originally Posted by Phantom_Girl View Post
Issue 2: Is it fair for the director to say you have to take off your clothes or you can't be considered for the show?
Again, same comment as the above. There are certain shows where such is required. If someone is not comfortable doing so, then it's the directors right to reject such a person.

Originally Posted by Phantom_Girl View Post
Issue 3: Couldn't they have cut the nudity and just gone with underwear instead?
Depends on the show, and what the artist is trying to convey. Nudity projects more of a vulnerability in artists that underwear doesn't. I think underwear gives more of a sexuality than full nudity -- ironically. But that's just me (and I think the way culture sexualizes lingerie, underwear, etc.).

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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 03:30 AM

1. Should it be allowed? I think so, provided the audience is old enough and mature enough to handle it, then yes it should be allowed. Plus, this is something that actors will encounter in the industry and they should have the opportunity to figure out how they want to handle it in a somewhat protected environment. Either decide they will decline and how it feels to turn it down, or if they choose to do it, they'll learn how to play parts like this and how comfortable they are actually doing it. Sometimes things sound like a good or okay idea in theory, but you get into it and realize you don't like it.

2. Is it fair to be cut for refusing? I think so. In the real world this will happen, and people need to learn that it's perfectly fine to stand by your values, but that will come with consequences (being denied certain roles.) However, if someone isn't comfortable in nude roles, they probably wouldn't audition for them anyway, or if they realized later that they were required to do nude scenes, they could turn the role down.

Now, for college specifically: If people are graded for appearing in shows, then I don't think it's fair for someone's refusal to affect their grade. In that case, there should be another way to earn credit, or enough other opportunities to make up for not doing it. If it's just for learning sake, then I think it's fair, because there will be other shows they can learn from that they will be more comfortable in.

3. Can't they just cut the nudity out? They could, but if the goal is to create as realistic an environment as possible, and the show requires nudity, then I think it should be left in.

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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 09:20 AM

1. Yes, I think it should be allowed. If these actors are looking to become professional, it's something that will probably come up eventually and this provides a good learning experience for them. Also the audience will be mature enough, and it's in some ways a safer environment than in a general theatre, as it's a more protected environment. As its a college the decision will have been taken with the protection of the actors in mind, thus the decision should be allowed

2. I'm a bit split over this. In a way I find it unfair that you would cut someone simply for not wanting to be fully nude, as they might be a really good actor and it's quite a big decision to make. However, the show requires everyone to be nude, so if there was one actor who wasn't it would look strange, and I imagine the show wouldn't flow as well. Also nudity is something that will be asked for at some point in the acting industry, so this is good preparation

3. Could they cut it? It depends what the script requires. If it specifically mentions nudity, I suppose it should be kept in, and it would have more impact than just underwear, so the play would resonate more

It is a tricky issue, but I think it all depends on the actors' willingness, and the decisions of the director

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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 05:00 PM

Aren't there those nude tights that actors can wear? Lol I thought there would be an invention like that. The reality is that not every actor needs to learn to be entirely nude. College should reflect the students' interest and thoughts. Is the director a professor?
What is the title of the play? Is it a known play? I wonder if my opinion would change if I was familiar with the title/plot/etc
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Re: Nudity in college theatre - October 30th 2016, 05:56 PM

I think this is perfectly acceptable and yes I do think it's fair for someone to be not considered because they don't want to have nudity. That's what the role requires and I'm sure its not the only production that will be put on. Not everyone or everything will cater to your wants and needs, if you aren't comfortable you can't expect the entire play to be changed. There are plenty of productions that don't contain any nudity.

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