IF YOU GO
What: Original show about the emotional struggles of a young man named J.D. (John Doe)
When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 11; 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13.
Where: Foulds Theater at the Lee County Alliance of the Arts complex, 10091 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers
Cost: $16 adults; $12 students; buy tickets online
Something Else: No nudity, but strong themes; parental discretion advised.
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FORT MYERS — Carmen Crussard wants audiences to get "naked" on May 11. And May 12. And May 13.
But not that kind of naked.
Southwest Florida's newest theater company, City Scenes, debuts with "Naked," an intense, original, one-man show about one boy's struggle to go through life.
Crussard, City Scenes' executive director, co-wrote the piece with City Scenes' artistic director Adriel Munoz; she also credits Munoz with the show's concept.
"We are both very passionate about the subject," Crussard said. "There is such a lack of compassion in the world these days I think, sometimes, we need to be reminded that underneath it all, we're all the just people trying to get along in life."
The show follows a young man, named J.D. (as in John Doe) through various experiences. Crussard describes J.D. as "not particularly popular" and "picked on," leading to the provocative title.
The word "naked" in this case refers to the raw, unraveling emotional state of the young man in the play, not bare skin.
"We chose the title 'Naked' because we believe many people feel the most vulnerable when they're naked," Crussard said. "Some people, like J.D., experience that vulnerability all the time."
The show does not include nudity, although Crussard cautions that "Naked" does have some strong themes and is not a "kiddie show."
"There are parts where J.D. dresses and undresses down to his underwear, but he will never be nude," Crussard said. "There is also some strong adult language so parental discretion is certainly advised."
Munoz, who describes himself as someone with "rhythm in his soul," convinced Crussard to include dance in the show.
"[Adriel] really wanted to tell part of J.D.'s story through dance," Crussard said.
While "Naked" won't be a dance show, Crussard did add several contemporary-style dance numbers where the pair thought they might enhance the storyline.
Crussard and Munoz launched City Scenes out of a mutual love for theater.
"We really just want to be able to express our art on our own terms," Crussard said. "We want to create opportunities for actors from different cultural backgrounds to be on stage and create art out of topics that may seem uncomfortable or controversial."
The group has plans for additional shows this fall and winter; although dates haven't been finalized.
Crussard says the pair isn't "out to change the world," but "we hope our audiences love us and keep us going for a long time."
"Naked" plays at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11; 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students. Tickets are available online at cityscenestc.com. For more information, go online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on City Scenes Theater Company, go online to cityscenestc.com or facebook.com/cityscenestheaterco.