‘Her Naked Skin’ chronicles suffragettes’ trials

DSC_0034 small

Provided by Joanna Mizak

 

BY GRACE MANDATO – STAFF WRITER

On Nov. 19 Susquehanna’s Department of Theatre premiered the play “Her Naked Skin” in Degenstein Theater.

Performances will also be held on Nov. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Nov. 22 at 2:30 p.m.

The play is set in 1913 London where the women’s suffrage movement is underway and many women are serving time in Holloway Prison. A woman named Celia Cain, played by junior Hunter Brady, is in jail where she gets to know a seamstress named Eve Douglass, played by sophomore Rebekah Krumenacker. Cain feels trapped by policies directed at women and a frustrating marriage to William Cain, played by junior Robert Barkley. A love affair begins between the two suffragettes as they learn from each other in the midst of a chaotic time.

“It is a story about the struggles that women went through in going in and out of jail and what they put their bodies through in protest of eating,” Brady said. “The ongoing circle of in and out of jail, continuing to fight for the vote.”

She added: “Celia meets Eve Douglas, a younger woman who is starting up the suffragette movement. It’s about how their relationship grows and becomes a romantic one.”

Brady also commented on the historical context of the play. “I think that it is an extremely educational show,” she said. “It’s not just a great story about life struggle, but a story about how women have fought to get to where they are today. It really actually pertains to our present-day battle. We now see women really bringing themselves to the forefront and fighting as individuals, which was not a big thing back then.”

Anna Andes, assistant professor of theatre, directed the production. Junior Oona Newman was the production stage manager. Brady said, “Without the stage management team, we would not be able to happen.”

“I think what people don’t realize about theater is that you see what’s going on onstage, but you don’t realize what’s going on backstage,” Brady added.

The play runs for about two hours with a short intermission.

Senior Christina Ungaro said, “Even though it is a two hour show, there are so many different scenes that will keep the audience engaged.”

Ungaro is prop master for the play and has been involved in making all the different props used onstage.

She said that an unusual aspect to “Her Naked Skin” is just how many scene changes there are. “There are thirty one scene changes,” Ungaro said. “You can’t get bored because you are always seeing something different.”

The cast consists of 19 people. “It’s been a cast of really hardworking individuals,” Brady said. “A lot of the students have never done a production here before. It’s nice to see how much we all have learned from each other.”

Auditions were held early in October and the play was put together in six weeks.

Sophomore Marisa Cedeno, who plays two minor roles in the show, a suffragette and Celia’s house servant, spoke about the dynamic of the cast.

“With such a big cast, coordinating everything and practicing together, we’ve really bonded,” Cedeno said.

“Since it’s a very serious show dealing with a very serious topic, you need that background of individuals who can keep you up and the energy going. In rehearsals you can really feel the energy that everyone wants to bring to the table, and it translates into our performances,” she added.

Tickets to “Her Naked Skin” can be purchased at the box office in the Degenstein Campus Center Theater lobby Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. or by phone at 570-372-ARTS. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and non-Susquehanna students and are free for Susquehanna students.