Getting ‘Bare’

New Paltz students performed a production of “Bare: A Pop Opera,” directed by Brett Rothstein, in McKenna Theatre on Dec. 2, 3 and 4.

The musical follows the story of lovers, Peter and Jason, as they come to terms with their sexual orientation and their reservations due to their religious and social environments in a Catholic boarding school.

“The show was first written in early 2001 when these issues weren’t new, but new enough to really impact an audience. We see these issues being brought up in most new-age television shows: ‘Glee,’ ‘Degrassi,’ ‘True Blood,’ ‘Skins,’ etc.,” said Nicholas Mannino, who played the role of Jason. “The thing is, we as an audience are becoming way too desensitized by these issues. ‘Bare’ tries to bring forth the issue of homosexuality and religion, which still are distinct in society, without breaching a heavy and controversial issue to begin with. The show is trying to express that God is love and thus, what does it matter who we chose to fall into that love with? Peter and Jason had a love that was pure and sincere.”

Sister Chantelle, a nun at the boarding school, makes a statement essentially summing up the theme of self-acceptance in the play: “God don’t make no trash.”

“I think the writers of ‘Bare’ really wanted to drive the point home that no matter who you are, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, what have you, God is not judgmental and nobody should be ashamed of who they truly are,” said Stephen Kalogeras, who played the role of Peter.