WASHINGTON -- Full-frontal nudity in a local production of the Tony Award-winning play "Take Me Out" at Arlington's Dominion Stage has some questioning the appropriateness of such theatrics at a taxpayer-supported venue.
In an on-going poll launched Thursday, ARLnow.com posed the conundrum to readers. Though a majority of participants agreed that artistic decisions should not be regulated by the government, scores took the opposite stance.
An actor in the production, David Austin, told the Sun Gazette that the nudity, which takes place during a locker-room scene, is integral to the show. The show's producer, William Parker, also noted that county officials were informed of the nudity as a matter of courtesy.
“To my knowledge, we’ve never had any complaints –- Arlington County has not had any issue with any of the content of the shows we’ve done recently, and we’ve hit many racy topics,” he told the Sun Gazette, referring to past shows that tackled drug abuse, prostitution, mental illness and gay relationships.
In the past, Arlington County officials have taken a hands-off approach when it comes to arts regulation. In 2003, a troupe rented the county government's Rosslyn Spectrum space to present "Puppetry of the Penis," a risque production that, true to its name, involved the theatrical contortion of male genitalia. Despite some vocal detractors, then-County Manager Ron Carlee let the show go on as planned. “We do not regulate legitimate art content," he said at the time.