By Charles L. Mee
Directed by Robert Faires
50 runaway brides seek refuge in a villa on the Italian coast in this hilarious and heartbreaking comedy by Charles Mee. When 50 determined grooms drop out of the sky, the villa erupts in a clash of wills, song, dance, violent fits, satin ribbon and one final, unforgettable showdown.
Based on the oldest play in the western world, The Suppliants by Aeschylus, Mee's modern take is at once an unflinching look at the themes of justice and revenge, and an ode to the enduring power of love.
Robert Faires directed this dangerous confection of a play, featuring some of Austin's finest theatrical talent on the Rollins Stage at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in November of 2012.
Lydia - Shannon Grounds*
Thyona - Julianna Wright
Olympia - Andrea Smith
Nikos - Aaron Alexander
Constantine - Rommel Sulit*
Oed - Nathan Osburn
Piero - Robert Matney
Giuliano - Michael Slefinger*
Bella - Lana Dieterich
Eleanor - Anne Hulsman
Leo - Robert Deike
Brides - Rachel Weise, Bethany Harbaugh
Grooms - Dane Krager, Chris Hejl
Director - Robert Faires*
Production Manager - Melinda Parr
Stage Manager - Johnny Gonzalez
Set Designer - Ia Enstera**
Lighting Designer - Patrick Anthony**
Sound Designer - Buzz Moran
Costume Designer - Pam Friday
* Award Nominated - **Award Winning
"Ready to get heady about love? In the Long Center's Rollins Theatre, Shrewd Productions explores the conundrum of this impossibly gargantuan subject in a thought provoking new production of playwright Charles Mee'sBig Love. Arts critic and Austin theater veteran Robert Faires directs a fearless team of actors through a complex labyrinth of a play that touches on the interconnected social, political and personal aspects of love."
- Michael Graupmann - Austin Culturemap - Full Review
"Shrewd Productions has fortunately cast its production of Big Love with a lovely, lovely group of actors who fit their parts well. Under the direction of ChronicleArts Editor Robert Faires, the ensemble is so good that it's difficult to isolate just one or two performances...Instead, it's better to relish the sight of men and women in their wedding best flinging themselves onto the ground or to enjoy the sight of so many characters with conflicting intentions work their way through the story...it's great fun to listen to them – or even to let all the words simply wash over you and watch the story float by."
- Elizabeth Cobbe - Austin Chronicle - Full Review
Video Trailer - Lydia Nelson
Production Photos - Kimberley Mead