Elite University's Musical Theater Goes Fully Nude — but Modestly Masked

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool

Regarding garments, it’s traditionally a priority to cover one’s privates.

But priorities have changed.

Case in point: a recent theatrical performance at Stanford University.


Each year, the school puts on a musical as part of its Big Game Gaities celebration.

The student-penned extravaganza plays a week before the game against football rival Cal Berkeley.

A description from The Stanford Review:

It’s a…tradition, every autumn quarter: inside jokes, original musical numbers, caricatures of campus groups, a drunken Friday-night audience screaming at the cast to make out with one another (and the cast obliging), the awkward but usually hilarious cameo appearance of Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and above all, the denigration of all things Berkeley.‌

What could make for more magnificence? How about an airing-out of unmentionables:

Don’t forget the “naked run.” It could happen at any moment — suddenly the lights dim, the cast freezes in place, the music comes on, and a flashing of strobe lights illuminate the stage as a crowd of student streakers run out in their birthday suits for a few chaotic, glorious moments. Then they dip back behind the curtains, and the show goes on — it must go on.‌

Though last year’s show didn’t go on, the pandemic couldn’t keep it tucked away for good.

Even so, safety first: The Review reportedly obtained an administrative email permitting performers to take a crack at showcasing their shut-ups.


Yet one thing was non-negotiable:

You’re required to wear a face mask that covers both your nose and your mouth. You can wear more aesthetic masks on top of it. (Be creative and make it fun!)

So orifices below the neck were fine to flaunt, but don’t expose the secret shame of your incisors.

Review writer Maxwell Meyer confirmed the crew wasn’t too crotchety over the requirement.

Not in the persnickety way, at least:

I was pretty speechless when I read [about the rule] but really didn’t think that anyone would…be masked while otherwise totally nude… To my distress, I learned this morning from a source who stripped for opening night that nearly all those in the buff were also masked up.

Stanford isn’t the first place to mull over a mask mandate and decide ’tain’t no big deal.

In June, Philadelphia saw its Naked Bike Ride draw hundreds of peeled pedalers.

This year’s (12th) jaunt was christened “The Mask Edition.”

As I noted at the time, that wasn’t solely without sense: Perhaps some participants boldly baring their bodies felt the need to hide their faces.

More from my article, in anticipation of the event:

Hopefully, everyone will be pumped and no one has a blowout.

Particularly due to the pent-up frustration of last year’s lockdown, I bet a bevy of in-the-buff bikers will be giving it a go for the first time.

And of course, it isn’t for everyone.

Not every biker will have a ball, but surely many balls will be had.


Where protocol’s concerned, COVID’s definitely drummed up some oddities.

Last December, high school wrestlers in Ohio were told it was fine to wallow all over each other with spit and sweat bound to fly.

But they were warned: Due to germs, don’t shake hands.

And last June, New York City issued its “safer” sex guide in light of the virus.

The handbook encouraged intimacy, but with admonition:

The virus has been found in the semen and feces (poop) of people with COVID-19.



Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face-to-face contact.

And that’s the recipe for making love.

Back to Stanford, the Review offered advice to strictly-masked streakers:

[I]f you’ve already dropped your undies in front of a thousand hollering classmates, you can drop the mask, too — I promise you won’t feel much more naked than you already are.

That may be true; but in our era of upgraded enlightenment, evidently, society’s flip-flopped on which cheeks should be shown.

Hence, Stanford’s students flopping.

But at least if they forgot to turn their heads and cough, no one would get sprayed.

So goes our modern mindfulness. And — strangely if not sadly — our new normal.




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