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Portrait of a Nude
Portrait of a Nude
By Laura Shamas.

Cast: 3m., 2w. (minimum. May be expanded.) Our response to art is subjective. Is our reaction to art really based on the work itself, or on the "politically correct" values of our times? Portrait of a Nude traces the history of response to Francisco Goya's masterpiece "Naked Maja" from the time of its inception in 1798 in Spain to the recent sexual harassment case surrounding it in 1991 at an American university. Spanning 193 years and based on real events, the play is in four parts, detailing the portrait's impact in Spain, France, England and America. Goya first painted the portrait, "Naked Maja," known to be the Duchess of Alba, in 1798. Later he was summoned by the Spanish inquisition and forced to defend his work in order to save it from destruction. Manet, 50 years later, painted his work "Olympia" as an answer to Goya's "Naked Maja," which he much admired. Manet's work was labeled pornographic and had to be moved high up the wall of the exhibition hall in Paris to stop angry crowds from destroying it. Manet's career was nearly ruined by the scandal until a young writer named Zola wrote a treatise that defended it. In the late 1980s, in England, we experience the conflicts which occur when Goya's painting is considered inappropriate for viewing by both the princess and a schoolboy. The final part takes place at a college in America in 1991. A female professor feels harassed teaching in front of a print of the "Naked Maja." The professor demands to have something done about it. When the dean of her college doesn't act quickly enough, she investigates the possibility of a lawsuit—under the banner of sexual harassment. This play is a fascinating exploration of issues of artistic inspiration, history and censorship. Area staging.

Play details
Status:  In Stock
Type of show:  Full-Length
Catalog Code:  P22
Cast Size:  5
No. of Act(s):  2
Pages:  67
Royalty:  $75.00 /perf.*
Cost:  $8.95
Approx. Running Time:  85 min.
Target Audience: High School | College and Adult
Performing Group: College Theatre | Community Theatre | Stock & Lort
Genre: Comedy | Drama
ISBN (10): 0871294753
Laura Annawyn Shamas is a writer and mythologist. Her work intersects theatre, mythology and film. She has written more than 30 plays. Her play­writing awards include a 2008 Garrard Best Play Award from the Five Civilized Tribes Museum (Oklahoma), a Drama-Logue Award and a Warner Brothers Award. Shamas holds a Ph.D. in mythological studies and teaches in the M.F.A. Screenwriting ...More
Rights & Availability
This title can be licensed/sold throughout the world
* Please note that royalties quoted in our catalog are intended for K-12 schools with a standard curriculum only. All other producing groups must submit a completed application.

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