Show Some Skin

- (part of a series)

Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Last year, Show Some Skin broke the silence about injustice, violence, identity, and difference with reverberating effects across campus. We explored themes surrounding body image, military love, race, class, immigration, political polarization, depression, and sexual assault, among many others, with over 1,200 students, faculty, and staff attending our show. True to our mission to combat stereotypes and give voice to the most marginalized stories, in a first for Show Some Skin, we included monologues written by incarcerated men at Westville Correctional Facility. Our team was honored to read the dozens of reviews left by audience members last year after we asked for their reactions. Here are a few:


“It was incredibly moving and extremely emotional. Thank you for helping give a voice to these issues that often go unspoken about.”

“I feel it’s important for every member of the Notre Dame student body to see at least one time before they graduate.”

“I continuously had chills throughout the performance.”


In the coming year, Show Some Skin will embark on its seventh year and continue to expand its role and grow in its goal of being a catalyst for positive change. We are excited to extend an invitation to renew your support for the show and its mission. Without the continued financial support of departments, centers, institutes, and dorms, including the Gender Studies Program, we would not have had such a successful production.


Show Some Skin has received immense support and approval across campus since its inception. Last year, our four performances sold out in less than a couple hours and we estimate our stories have touched more than 5,000 people. This figure increases exponentially as the show is shared via online platforms and is incorporated into all Moreau First Year Experience seminars. During the past year, Show Some Skin has been at the forefront of building inclusive dialogue through storytelling and giving voice to unspoken narratives on our campus and beyond. Among our many efforts, we led a traveling team of actors to John Adams High School to perform monologues related to immigration to English as a Second Language students. Performances inspired these students to write over 30 powerful monologues on racism, crossing the border, depression, body image, and experiences with poverty. In our hopes of expanding Show Some Skin’s involvement in the larger South Bend community, some of these monologues will be included in our show at the South Bend Civic Theatre in early April. In 2017, our education and outreach branch coordinated over 60 in-class performances with past actors to utilize the show’s medium as a way of giving life to relevant academic conceptions of class, gender, and race.


Show Some Skin has partnered with numerous student organizations to help us reach a wider audience and truly push for more positive, tangible change. Notably, we joined forces with Student Government to organize an event crafted for first year students,“First Year: Unfiltered,” with monologues on mental health and sexual assault followed by resource panels. We co-led the event “BeyoND Abortion: Seeking Common Ground for the Common Good,” bringing together pro-choice and pro-life students for the first time. Also, we participated in the Mendoza College of Business’ Diversity Conference, “Moving Beyond Tolerance,” as key speakers.  Show Some Skin moved beyond the medium of theatre to print a biweekly column in The Observer, receiving top reviews by the viewpoint editor as “captivating and pertinent.”


This year we are building on our past successes with a show that challenges our writers, actors, and audience members with the theme “Try Us.” 2017 has not been the year for civility and so it has become more pressing to prioritize listening over preaching. In our first-ever video call for stories, we asked “what would happen if we spoke and listened in a way that reflected our interconnectedness, where one voice could snowball into an avalanche that envelops us all?” Nearly a hundred brave writers responded to our call with beautiful stories that left us heartbroken, inspired, joyful, exhausted, and in awe. Thus, selecting the monologues to incorporate into our performance was an incredibly difficult process for our team, but we are proud of the unprecedented breadth of diversity in topic and nuance this year’s show will cover. We also had a record of 74 bold students audition to help us give voice to unspoken stories of identity and difference.


Show Some Skin: Try Us will be held on February 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30pm in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center. The special performance at the South Bend Civic Theatre will be on April 7 in collaboration with Indiana University South Bend students. This year’s performance places a special emphasis on moral imagination. We have dared our writers and actors to emerge with something that will try our capacity for empathy, and we know our audience will be challenged as we have been.


Given the current climate and the role that university campuses can play in facilitating constructive dialogue on crucial issues around mental health, race, gender, poverty, sexual assault, etc., Show Some Skin plays an indispensable role in initiating, enhancing, and over all, humanizing these necessary conversations on our own campus and broader community. Over the past years we have successfully created a space where dialogue on these essential issues are brought to the forefront and conducted in a constructive and thoughtful way. The art form we employ has also proved to have the most potential in facilitating needed changes to our campus climate. We aim to elevate the conversation, giving a human voice and face to topics that are all too often reduced and weaponized for tribal political machinery.


It has been a great six years and as we look to ensure that Show Some Skin: Try Us is a successful performance.


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Co-sponsored by Gender Studies Program