A Staged Reading
Martin Golan’s short story “Nora, Standing Naked” was performed to a standing-room-only crowd at the popular Zafman-Ross Art Gallery in Montclair, NJ. The story, staged by nine different actors, centers on a woman who undergoes life-threatening surgery for breast cancer.
As Nora lies unconscious, the others reflect on what her body means to them, in effect defining her not only by her body but also in her absence. The characters range from her loving but overwhelmed husband; a friend
who’s had a secret crush on her for years; a former lover who still fantasizes about her; a creepy guy with whom she once had
a silly, meaningless fling; and a girlfriend who while sympathetic is also jealous of Nora’s great body and how it always drew looks from men. Their comments are frank and bold, even crude and shocking at times, and drive home the complex role of women’s breasts in our culture. Nora herself appears only at the end, to triumphantly reclaim her body, herself, and perhaps her soul.