The stage was painted with an array of colored shapes and a red curtain was open to reveal the set resembling a confessional in a Catholic Church. The Katzen Arts Center Studio Theatre had a few lights shining toward the artwork and cast of Bare on Thursday, February 23 for the opening night. Directed by Department of Preforming Arts professor Carl Menninger, Bare, an off-broadway production, is one the spring semester plays at AU.
The theatre department selected to put on Bare last April and this semester kicked off a series of events to engage the AU community. These included activities on the quad, a special presentation to gay youth and TV appearances. Director Menninger and actor Matthew Ingraham, who plays Zack, appeared on FOX news the morning of the opening performance to promote the musical and share how they are promoting with the issue of gay bullying. Menninger and Ingraham talked about how the play showcases the struggles of teenagers going through an issue extremely relevant today.
Bare premiered in Hollywood California back in 2000 to raise awareness about gay marriage and civil rights. The setting takes place at a Catholic boarding school about two young men named Peter and Jason, who are in a secret relationship, played by freshman Carter Lowe and senior Sam Edgerly respectively. The play tells the tale of how one of them wants to reveal their relationship to the world but the other does not. Throughout the story, they both learn the hardships of coming out to their peers and facing society.
Part of the reason the American University theater department chose to do this production is due to how prevalent the civil rights movement is and the how accepting American is of the LGBT community. Opening night received rave reviews from AU students and staff members which will, with no doubt, add to it’s success. The production makes a great night out for any AU collegiette wanting to support her school and classmates.
Bare runs for a second weekend this Friday, March 2nd and 3rd at 8:00 p.m. in the evening with a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on the 2nd.