I have been writing about the upcoming Disrobed virtual event for over a week now, and wow, it’s been quite a ride!
It all started when Tim Chizmar, of Naturist Living Show fame, offered me a sneak peek at the production. This was a review version - not the final cut, missing some small elements (like the opening theme and credits), and with some potential reshoots yet to be inserted. But it was essentially a finished version of the movie. I could have access if I’d consider writing a review.
I watched the show late on Christmas Day. I knew the source material already; I had listened to a full audio production of the original play on a Naturist Living Show podcast some years ago. But this was something new, and something exciting. Putting any work in a modern - which means distanced, online, webcam-enabled - setting is weird and difficult, but this director had pulled it off. Even if I hadn’t liked the play, I would have been impressed by the way it was brought to life for the COVID age.
But I had an idea: maybe a few of the cast members would be willing to do a brief interview. I could send them the questions and have them send back their answers at their convenience. The originator of the play would get a few extra questions, too. The cast has been busy promoting the event, with appearances on Clothes Free International ] and the Our Naked Story Podcast.
I hoped to get two or three responses at best - it was short notice, after all.
Instead, almost every cast member enthusiastically and generously gave of their time, and had some fascinating background and perspective to share. Karen Lasater and Dave McClain, who play Sierra and George, the parents, both gave me lots of background about themselves and their part in the play.
Eloise Gordon revealed an affinity for non-sexual social nudity that had long been a part of her life, even though she had never labelled herself a nudist. And Ian Hayes is known to some friends as “Nakie Boi” for his own preference for being nude - though he had never been in a nudist setting. Clearly, though, the entire cast was ideal for this production, not only because of their acting capabilities, but also because of their attitudes, backgrounds, and fresh, positive takes on nudity.
Troy Peterson, the driving force for the whole production, is himself a naturist and definitely sees the film as a way to promote the naturist philosophy. He and everyone involved, both cast and crew, deserve much credit for making this show a reality.
It’s been a highly rewarding and interesting couple of weeks for everyone involved with Disrobed - the Online Event, and for me as well, even though I’ve been on the sidelines. I’m really excited to see it in its final form myself. For anyone who is a naturist or nudist, or even who just agrees that non-sexual nudity is a positive and appropriate choice for everyone, this is essential viewing.
We need more naturist media, more naturist voices, more stories, more art. We don’t need any more works that exploit nudists for a cheap laugh or naughty thrill. We don’t need any more works that stridently declaring the benefits of naturism. We need works like this, that take on different sides to the naturist question, that show naturists as they really are, and - most of all - that reach out and try to make connections between people.
Whether naturist or not, that’s where art, and life, truly lie.
Disrobed: the Virtual Event will stream for three shows only, on January 15, 16, and 17. The performance will stream live, and disappear immediately thereafter. For information, and to purchase tickets, see https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/6996.