CCMâ€˜s Her Naked Skin Bares Timely Truths
Review by Spenser Smith of Her Naked Skin: CCM Acting
Her Naked Skin takes us back to 1913 London and the suffragette movement is gaining traction. The period costumes (Ashley Berg), inventive set and projections (William Sawyer and Whitney Glover) lighting and sound (Erik McCandless and Tanner Elker/Patrick Jansen) lead us to believe we are in another time and place. We think we are settling in for a story of the past, maybe even a little history lesson. The lights come up and we see the first â€œVotes for Womenâ€ sash and we are immediately brought back to the present. As I sat through the two and half hour show, I was constantly being reminded how this new play by Rebecca Lenkiewicz is just as important right now as it was over 100 years ago.
Michaela Tropeano plays Celia Cain. Sheâ€™s the leader of the troupe of women central to the movement. She seems to be steadfast in her aim to gain equal rights for all women while simultaneously playing fast and loose with her personal life. The local prison is a revolving door for the featured women in this story. No sooner have they been released when we see them returning for another 3-7 month stay. Celia meets Eve (Julia Netzer) and their time together inside and outside the prison bring them closer together while the ideals of the movement threaten to rip them apart. The chemistry between the ladies seemed forced at times, but that doesnâ€™t necessarily distract from how that relationship would have played out in real time. Mafer Del Real plays Florence Boorman, the oldest of the imprisoned marchers. She truly embodies her character and I found her story to be the most interesting, despite being a supporting role. The play features characters from all around the region and it seems as though each of them has a different dialect. Great work by Marilyn Caskey and Foster Johns who serve as the dialect coaches for the cast.
Richard Hess shares with us in his directorâ€™s note that he chose this play in 2015. At that time, the prospect of the first female President was looking like a real possibility. Little did he (we) know at the time that this play would be so important right now.
The play does include strong language, sexual material and brief nudity. It is all tasteful and relevant to the story. Donâ€™t let that defer you from the important story being told on the Patricia Corbett stage through February 12.
Tickets for the show, running through this weekend , can be purchased by calling 513-556-4183.