Nothing in theatre elevates the identity of actor over character more completely than nudity. Yet as a performance or spectacle, nudity remains a form of masking, insofar as it amplifies the desire to discover, to expose something hidden by clothing. But what happens when nudity becomes less and less containable within conventional theatre spaces and urges performers to expose the theatricality of spaces that otherwise seem imperturbably “real”? Toepfer analyzes nude performance aesthetic strategies in Germany over a 100-year period, from 1893 to 1992.

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