“Bare” Comes to Utah—and Utah Comes to “Bare”

UTBA Bare Banner WITHOUT UTAH REP LOGO_Layout 1 copyAn especially relevant production for Utah audiences, “Bare” showcases what happens when culture and counter-culture collide — as bullying, faith, sexuality, God, jealously, acceptance, drugs and love all struggle for recognition.

What happens when two male students in a strict Catholic boarding school dare to fall in love? As their forbidden love affair plays out on stage, “Bare” reveals how their story touches and changes the lives of those around them.

A story that battles peer pressure, questioning of faith, bullying, and the desire to live up to the perceived expectations of those around us takes center stage in this coming-of-age Romeo and Juliet tale.

However, “Bare” is about more than just two people falling in love. From a character of a young girl using brash humor to cover up her self-image issues to the boy in love with someone he perceives to be out of his league, “Bare” is for anyone who has struggled with self-acceptance.

What makes “Bare” an especially relevant show for audiences in Utah is the religious aspect. In heartfelt, soul-searching moments, characters often turn to God for support and guidance. For anyone who has ever found themselves on their knees in times of desperation, “Bare” is sure to strike a chord.

Are you there? Are you there?
Do you watch me when I cry?
And if it’s in your power,
How can you sit idly by?

“Are You There?,” sung by two “Bare” lead characters, Matt and Peter

As the stories on stage unravel against the religious backdrop, one can’t help but identify similarities found in our own culture of spirituality. “Bare” takes a wonderful stand by reminding us that God is often found through love rather than through man, and that empathy has the power to save lives where judgment has the power to destroy them.

It’s not a surprise that this show, relatively unknown but a fringe favorite, has taken its time making its way to Utah.

What is a surprise is the love and passion “Bare” has found at is Utah premiere. The auditions produced record number attendees as young actors came out in droves to tell this tale. The first rehearsal was accompanied by story after heartbreaking story from those involved in the production that punctuated the relevance and importance to our community.

With the changing landscape of heightened bullying-prevention programs and marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, it’s easy to look past the personal stories of people still struggling with self-acceptance and battling judgment from others. “Bare” tells the story of finding and fighting for love (for others and for self) despite a world that may not be welcoming to it.