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BIG LOVE

by Charles L. Mee
directed by Darron L West
August 30 - September 29, 2001


Rude Mechs are proud to present the first play in their 2001/2002 Season – BIG LOVE by renowned playwright Charles L. Mee. BIG LOVE is a luxurious, riotous, wild romp in which fifty brides (all sisters!) vow to murder their fifty fiancés on their wedding night. Seeking to escape the old country, where marriage is contracted and love is unheard of, the sisters leave their betrothed standing at the altar as they hop a boat for better times and a little equality. They land, instead, in Italy. As the brides seek asylum at the villa of family man who is unwilling to take sides, the grooms catch up. With no one to protect them, the women decide to protect themselves by any means necessary. The play unfolds the story of the sisters’ betrothal, attempted flight, murderous pact and one immense wedding reception/massacre. Throughout, this acclaimed comic play is a visually luscious and physically explosive look at the tension between love and justice, beauty and violence, pleasure and pain.

Something Old: Big Love is a re-telling of the oldest extant Greek Play, THE SUPPLIANTS by Aeschylus.

Something New: This regional premiere by playwright Charles L. Mee updates the ancient tale to a modern Italian villa, exploring the contemporary battle lines of the war between the sexes: feminism, violence, male bonding and even skin care.

Something Borrowed: The Rude Mechs have drafted acclaimed Guest Artists to collaborate on the production: Director Darron L West (sic), the Obie Award winning sound designer and director from the renowned SITI Company of NYC and Brian Scott, the SITI Company’s Resident Lighting Designer.

Something Blue: Nudity.

WHEN

August 30 - September 29, 2001
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm
(No show on Sunday, Sept. 2, special benefit performance on Wed, Sept. 26)

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

CHARLES L. MEE, JR. (PLAYWRIGHT)

Charles Mee's critically acclaimed play, BIG LOVE, was a favorite at the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. His previous piece, THE BERLIN CIRCLE (an adaptation of THE CHALK CIRCLE), was produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. TIME TO BURN, was also produced by Steppenwolf and was nominated for Chicago’s prestigious Jeff award. His theatre work has been presented at the Public Theatre, the Kennedy Center and throughout a number of cities in Europe. His plays include: THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDERS IN EL SALVADOR (1989 New York Theatre Workshop), IMPERIALISTS AT THE CLUB CAVE CANEM (Public Theatre) and VIENNA: LUSTHAUS, a collaboration with Martha Clarke which won the OBIE for Best Play in 1986. His plays ANOTHER PERSON IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY directed by Anne Bogart, TROJAN WOMEN A LOVE STORY and ORESTES, both directed by Tina Landau, were produced by En Garde Arts. Mr. Mee has also written history books, and has recently begun to write historically based theatre pieces.

Charles Mee's work is made possible by the support of Richard B. Fisher and Jeanne Donovan Fisher.

 

DARRON L. WEST (DIRECTOR AND SOUND DESIGNER)

Currently Sound Designer and Company Member of Anne Bogart's SITI Company. Broadway: Wait Until Dark. Off- Broadway: numerous productions all over Manhattan as well as a "Usual Suspect" at New York Theater Workshop. Regional Theater: LaJolla, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Louis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, Juneau, Boston, Los Angeles, Columbus, Austin and Williamstown. International work includes productions in: London, Prague, Paris, Tibilisi, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Dublin. Former Resident Sound Designer for Actors Theater of Louisville. 1997 Princess Grace Award, 1998 OBIE Award for SITI's BOB, three time Drama Desk nominee and currently TCG Artist-in-Residence at The Children’s Theater Company Minneapolis. Recently honored with the SITI design team the Entertainment Design Magazine 2000 EDDY Award.

 

BRIAN SCOTT (LIGHTING DESIGNER)

Resident Lighting Designer and Lighting Supervisor for SITI Company. Recent designs include: BOBRAUSCHENBERGAMERICA for SITI Co. at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE RADIO PLAY for SITI Co., LA FEMME DE CHAMBRE for Banal Molotov in Paris France, THE TROJAN WOMEN for Will Bond at Williams College, EPIPHANY PROJECT for composer John Hodian, as well as adaptations of designs for numerous SITI Co. shows on tour. Future projects include THE RACHELS PROJECT, a text based dance piece with musicians The Rachels, Chuck Mee and the SITI Co. and GERTRUDE AND ALICE for the Foundry Theatre in London.

 

 

 

 

 

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

directed by Darron L West
lighting design by Brian Scott scenic design by Michael Raiford costume design by Leslie Bonnell
sound design by Darron L West stage managed by Jenny Slattery asst. stage managed by Jose Hernandez

THE CAST

The cast features Rude Mechs Co-Producing Artistic Directors Lana Lesley, Sarah Richardson and Shawn Sides – onstage together for the first time since 1997. Other actors in the ensemble cast include reigning local theatre diva Karen Kuykendall (ROCKY HORROR SHOW, FULL GALLOP), returning former company member Robert Newell (CRUCKS, TOO MUCH LIGHT), company member Michael Mergen (LIPSTICK TRACES, WAR), company member Jon Watson (IN THE HOUSE OF MOLES, ART), Bill Jonshon, and newcomer Atticus Rowe.

RESOURCES

Chuck Mee's website

Austin Chronicle review

 


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