People, for the most part, avoid vulnerability. That’s obviously not without legitimate reason. It’s obstructive having strangers observe our odd little worlds – the ones we are accustomed to piloting away from foreign pupils. When such unwanted spectators take a closer seat, we feel awkward, disturbed and bothered. Our personal and private selves conflict, causing tension in ourselves and the relationships we share with others. This is precisely what happens in Annie Bakers nationally produced play Body Awareness.
Joyce, an outspoken professor, and prototype for feminist liberal academics,endures such conflict when a headstrong male photographer rooms as a house guest with Joyce, her partner Phyllus, and Phyluss’ son, Jared, whose deranged and obsessive behavior is best explain by a familiar mental condition we recognize as Asperger’s.
Frank, an avant-garde photographer, whose portfolio consists largely of naked women, is immediately a target for the fiery female activist. His provocative images incite an almost daily dose of wild and charged attacks from Joyce concerning the exploitation of the female body and inferiority of his disgusting gender. Disregarding the continual blows against his art and male tendencies, Frank asks Phyluss if he can add her anatomy to his body of work. Sick of Joyce’s condescending lectures about the advantageous position college professors occupy, and the incompetency of high school teachers (Phyluss is a social studies teacher at a local high school) she gladly accepts Frank’s scandalous invitation. Joyce’s discovery of this self- degrading (in her eyes) infraction bursts into a bloody free-for-all as the bourgeoisie scholar organizes an informative seminar at her university called “Body Awareness,” addressing topics from geopolitical controversies to experimental platforms of artistic expression.
Stark Naked Theatre is located at 1824 Spring Street, Studio #232. Body Awareness premieres October 25th and runs through November 10th. Tickets are available online now: $10 for students, $15 for seniors, and $20 for general admissions.
Annie Baker’s stabbing humor will be a great way to take a break from November’s election and the proceeding aftermath. We’ll all need a breather by then.