CMC Research Brownbag Series: When Filipinos Go Bold: The Actors' Intimate Self Unveiled in the Praxis of Performing Arts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 4:00pm


by Archie Lawrence Palima Geneta


Interest on nudity as a research topic began when the actor had nudity in one of his performances.  Studying nudity seemed very promising and exciting.  It then became a form of intellectual curiosity in the realm of knowledge production in the humanities particularly in search of a social construction of one’s identity as an artist.   Soon, the actor became a researcher working through a bold and original research project. 

The research trails the experiences of selected stage actors who had nudity in one or a few of their performances.  This concern demonstrates an attempt on the part of the researcher to capture the “inside world” or subjectivity of his respondents as this is hardly manifested in very concrete terms as they perform onstage.  Meanings drawn from the actor’s narrative serve as an important source in articulating the relationship between self and art, between nudity and culture.

As a secondary interest, the researcher is curious to know the insights of selected audience members who had the chance to watch a theatrical performance with nudity.  Through a method known as Theater talk, the researcher was able to conduct a more systematic way of studying these insights.

Finally, the research provides a brief discourse on the relationship between nudity, performance, and culture.  Focus interviews with selected experts in the field of performing arts like Direk Joel Lamangan and Dr. Glecy Atienza were conducted in view of the researcher’s attempt to provide seminal ideas that may help construct a more rationalized understanding of nudity and its meaning in Philippine performing arts.

Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos of the nude human form are either artistic or erotic depending on how the viewer perceives these.  Likewise, the presence of a warm human body onstage creates an experience not only to the viewers, but more importantly to the actor who gave a full offering of the self…in the nude.  

About the lecturer:

Archie Lawrence P. Geneta’s undergraduate thesis titled “When Filipino Actors Go Bold: The Actor’s Intimate Self Unveiled in the Praxis of Performing Arts” won the Best Thesis Award on 2005.  Since then, it has gone through several revisions in preparation for its publication in the Philippine Humanities Review.   

He earned his baccalaureate degree in Theater Arts (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines and is currently finishing his thesis for the M.A. Psychology degree.

His research interest deals with the following areas: performance studies, media & communication, and personality & clinical psychology.   

He taught with the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts from November 2006 to May 2009.  At present, while teaching fulltime with the Department of Communication Research, he is also a media practitioner and a part-time instructor at John Robert Powers, International.