Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s 2008 play tells the story of British suffragettes and their struggle for equal rights in the early 20th Century.
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) Mainstage Acting Series resumes in February with the regional premiere of Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s enthralling drama, Her Naked Skin. Directed by CCM Acting Chair Richard E. Hess, Her Naked Skin plays Feb. 9-12 with a special preview performance on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Set in London in 1913, this production focuses on the thousands of suffragettes who served time in Holloway Prison after demanding their right to vote.
Her Naked Skin explores a crucial moment in the Suffragette Movement when, with emancipation almost in sight, women refuse to let the establishment stand in their way. Political battles collide with personal struggles when Celia Cain, trapped by the policies of the day and a frustrating marriage, begins an affair with seamstress Eve Douglass while they are imprisoned.
Lenkiewicz’s plays “give theatre a fighting chance in an easily distracted age,” wrote The Guardian. One of her first works, The Night Season, won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2004. Four years later Her Naked Skin became the first play written by a living female playwright to be performed in London’s Olivier Theatre, the National Theatre’s largest venue. The play “plants a defiant feminist flag” on stage, praised The Guardian after its premiere.
“It is imperative that the CCM Acting Department presents stories written by women that place women center stage,” says Hess. “There is a gender bias to so many aspects of life, intentional or not, and Her Naked Skin stands proudly on the side of inclusion and equality.”
Current events, such as the Women’s March on Washington, and a tumultuous political climate make this play resonate with “unexpected timeliness,” Hess adds. “The students in this play, many of whom participated in the recent marches, do not view this as a story of the past.”
Hess elaborates, “CCM Acting students must be engaged with the world, and our world is currently not unlike the world of 1913. Audiences will be exhilarated by the universal struggle presented in Her Naked Skin.”
Her Naked Skin isn’t the first play from the National Theatre that Hess brings to CCM. The National Theatre is known for presenting sweeping historical dramas like Helen Edmundson’s Coram Boy, which premiered in Cincinnati during CCM’s 2011-12 Mainstage Series. “These scripts, first presented in London, will be new to Cincinnati audiences,” Hess says, “and the drama on stage is guaranteed to be epic and exciting.”
“The right to vote is not guaranteed, although it seems to be promised. What would you do to fight for the right to vote if you were denied? Her Naked Skin answers that question.”
This production contains adult themes and situations, including brief nudity, and is intended for mature audiences.
- Richard E. Hess, director
- William Sawyer, scenic designer*
- Tanner Elker, sound designer*
- Patrick Jansen, sound designer*
- k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
- Whitney Glover, projections & media designer*
- Ashley Berg, costume designer*
- Marilyn Caskey, dialect coach
- Foster Johns, dialect coach
- Erik McCandless, lighting designer*
- Danae Jimenez, wig & make-up designer*
- Chelsea Taylor, stage manager*
- Kenzie Clark as Emily Davison/Mary Nicholson
- Sarah Durham as Miss Brint
- Mickey Tropeano as Celia Cain
- Julia Netzer as Eve Douglas
- Sydney Ashe as Flower Seller/Mrs. Major/Mrs. Collins
- Carissa Cardy as Clara Franks/Miss Beacham/Waitress
- Mafer Del Real as Florence Boorman
- Ella Eggold as Mrs. Schliefke
- Clare Combest as Mrs. Briggs
- Meg Olson as Woman in Street/Prison Wardress
- Katie Langham as Prison Wardress
- Annie Grove as Nurse
- Carter Lacava as John Seely/Guard/Freddie
- Nicholas Heffelfinger as Augustine Burrell/Guard/Dr. Klein
- Graham Rogers as Edward Grey/Guard
- Owen Alderson as Herbert Asquith/Cecil/Guard
- Spencer Lackey as Newspaper Vendor/Keir Hardie/Guard
- Landon Hawkins as Potter/Speaker/Brown/George Curzon
- Ryan Garrett as Dr. Vale/Hunt
- Rupert Spraul as Dr. Parker/Charlie Power
- Isaac Hickox-Young as William Cain
- Andrew Ramsey as Guard
- 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 (preview)
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9
- 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
- 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to Her Naked Skin are $27-31 adults, $17-20 non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Feb. 8 preview performance are just $15.
Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12-15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, also based on availability.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/her-naked-skin.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.
All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.