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The University of Texas at Austin

Department of Theatre and Dance p r e s e n ts

ed and C r e at m e d b y perfor

hs c e M Rude eatre Company the Resident Th Rude Mechs isrsity of Texas at Austin nce. Da for The Unive Theatre and Department of

September 10-14, 2014 | Oscar G. Brockett Theatre


The University of Texas at Austin

Department of Theatre and Dance p r e s e n ts

Created and Performed by

Rude Mechs

Presented in the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

the cast (in alphabetical order) THOMAS GRAVES as Carl Reyholt as Pablo / Paper Boy / Tamale Vendor / Doctor HANNAH KENAH as Connie Torrey as Colored Woman / Mexican Woman LANA LESLEY as Koko Bond as Negro Woman / Nurse E. JASON LIEBRECHT as Robert “Hops” Gilbert as Steve SHAWN SIDES as Elizabeth Johns as Eunice The performance is approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

production team Kirk Lynn Shawn Sides Madge Darlington Brian H Scott Leilah Stewart Katey Gilligan Graham Reynolds Lowell Bartholomee Lowell Bartholomee/ Michael Mergen Adrien-Alice Hansel

September 10, 11, 12, 13 at 7:30 p.m. September 13, 14 at 2:00 p.m. Oscar G. Brockett Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building utexas.edu/finearts/tad

cover Photo: Kathi Kacinski

Playwright Director Production Manager/Technical Director Lighting Designer Scenic Designer Costume Designer Sound Designer/Composer Stage Manager Projection Design Dramaturg


about rude mechs Since 1995, Rude Mechs has created a mercurial slate of original theatrical productions that represents a genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs, and dizzying spectacle. What these works hold in common is the use of play to make performance, the use of theaters as meeting places for audiences and artists, and the use of humor as tool for intellectual investigation. We tour these performances nationally and abroad; manage The Off Center, a performance venue in Austin for arts groups of every discipline; present nationally recognized artists; and run Grrl Action, an arts mentoring program for teenage girls. You can find us at rudemechs.com.

A visual representation of the collaborative creation of the original play.

The Method Gun is a project of Creative Capital, and has received creation support from the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, The Orchard Project Theatre Residency Program orchardproject.com, the National Endowment for the Arts, The University of Texas Humanities Institute, The Harry Ransom Center, and The Long Center for the Performing Arts (2008 Premiere). Rude Mechs is supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. Rude Mechs Exclusive Worldwide Tour Representation: ArKtype | Thomas O. Kriegsmann, President t. (917) 386-5468 | f. (212) 749-7696 | e. tommy@arktype.org | arktype.org


about the method gun Using found text from the journals and performance reports of Stella Burden’s company, The Method Gun explores the life and techniques of Stella Burden, actor-training guru of the 60s and 70s, whose sudden emigration to South America still haunts her most fervent followers. Ms. Burden’s training technique, The Approach (often referred to as “the most dangerous acting technique in the world”), fused Western acting methods with risk-based rituals in order to infuse even the smallest role with sex, death and violence.

Body position is the second part of a stage kiss. For most romantic kisses little or no light should be seen between the couple. The woman should be facing the audience, and the man should be facing her, his back squarely toward the audience. The couple should decide ahead of time which way they will tilt their heads—to the right or to the left. The couple does not have to make any actual physical contact at all; many professional actors do not. Correct foot and body position give the illusion of a real kiss.

When Stella Burden left the United States in 1972, her company continued her nine-year rehearsal process, using training techniques from Burden’s Approach, as well as others adapted from text books, other gurus, and—at one point—a high-school film strip entitled What Makes an Actor, all of which have been incorporated into the contemporary understanding of The Approach. The text reproduced here includes some of the research Rude Mechs unearthed in their investigation into the company’s training.

The third and most important part of the kiss is the count. A sweet romantic kiss lasts one second; a reasonably romantic kiss lasts two seconds; and a very romantic kiss lasts from three to five seconds. Anything over five seconds will usually cause the wrong audience response.

KISSING PRACTICE From Theatre: Art in Action © Glencoe/McGraw Hill Romantic scenes require careful rehearsal. They should be rehearsed privately with the director before they are attempted in rehearsals with the entire cast. There are four key parts to a successful stage kiss: (1) proper foot position; (2) correct body position; (3) exact time count; and (4) a smooth break. The script or the director will tell you what kind of kiss is needed in the scene—a motherly peck or a romantic embrace. The first part is getting into the embrace. The woman usually faces the audience with your feet about six inches apart. The man then steps toward the woman on the foot closet to her, puts that foot between her feet and swings around so that they end up facing each other.

Perhaps the most difficult part of the stage embrace is the parting or separation of the couple. First, it must be done with the same emotional value as the kiss established, usually a smooth slow release. Second, it is important for the couple to maintain physical contact with the hands until the “break”-- the actual separation. To do this, the couple slowly pulls apart while sliding their hands down each other’s arms. The break may occur at the forearms, or the couple may continue until they are holding hands. Then they may step away from each other, gently releasing their hands.

RASABOXES ™ www.actorsmovementstudio.com/rasaboxes This actor-training technique was adapted from a theory of emotion detailed in an ancient Sanskrit manual on performance (circa sixth century BCE to second century CE) called the Natyasastra. Rasa, from the Sanskrit language, literally means flavor, essence, or “juice.” It also refers to specific “emotional flavors” or states that are shared between performers and audience. There are eight primary rasa states: sringara (love), adbhuta (joy, wonder),


about the method gun hasya (humor, cheekiness), karuna (pity, grief), vira (courage, energy, also translated as ‘like a stallion’), bhayanaka (shame, regret), raudra (anger), smaronmada (insanity), and bib- hatsa (disgust, also translated as “disdain”). The RasaBoxes method also incorporates modern ideas such as those of French playwright, actor, and director Antonin Artaud, who demanded that actors be “athletes of the emotions,” capable of hopping in and out of a scene’s needed sensibilities with the same dexterity that an athlete uses when moving between the bench and live action. The Natyasastra gives very specific instructions on the portrayal of each emotion; RasaBoxes uses an improvisational approach that allows for each actor’s individual expression. In the RasaBoxes exercises, participants move through nine boxes of equal size drawn on the floor. Each represents a rasa

state. Participants spend time allowing the rasa state to possess them, rather than attempting to portray the state.

RESIDENT THEATRE COMPANY Rude Mechs is proud to serve as the Resident Theatre Company for The University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance. From now through the 2014/15 scholastic year, Rude Mechs will serve as the Resident Theatre Company. Through this innovative partnership of a renowned Tier 1 research university and Rude Mechs, a generation of new undergraduate and graduate students will gain a unique perspective on collectively creating new plays and managing a mid-size theatre.

about texas theatre and dance The Department of Theatre and Dance is a world-class educational environment that serves as the ultimate creative incubator for the next generation of artists, thinkers and leaders in theatre and performance.

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who’s who Lowell Bartholomee (Stage Manager, Projection Design) has been a Rude company member for nine years. He’s an award-winning director, actor, video designer, and producer. He’s also a playwright and screenwriter for which he’s won no awards. He’s appeared in the Rude Mechs productions of Get Your War On, Decameron: Day 7: Revenge, I’ve Never Been So Happy, and Fixing King John. Madge Darlington (Production Manager/ Technical Director) is a founder and CoProducing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs. A producer and director with a M.F.A. in Theatre Technology from The University of Texas at Austin, Madge was most recently Production Supervisor for RM’s run of Stop Hitting Yourself at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater. In 2013 she directed the world premiere of Kirk Lynn’s Fixing King John. With Shawn Sides, she co-directed RM’s reenactment of the Performance Group’s Dionysus in 69 (Bessie Award nomination 2013). Thomas Graves (Ensemble) is a Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. As such he has developed and performed in Stop Hitting Yourself, The Method Gun, I’ve Never Been So Happy, Now Now Oh Now, Decameron Day 7: Revenge, Cherrywood and the Rudes’ re-enactment of Dionysus in 69. Other Austin acting credits include Agnes and Alfred by Physical Plant Theater and Casket of Passing Fancy by Rubber Rep. Thomas holds a M.F.A. in Performance as Public Practice from The University of Texas at Austin. Hannah Kenah (Ensemble) is a member of the Rude Mechs and has been developing work and performing with the company since 2008, including Stop Hitting Yourself, The Method Gun, I’ve Never Been So Happy, and Dionysus in 69. Additionally she served as the writer and a performer for Now Now Oh Now, which will go on tour this coming fall. In February of 2015, Physical Plant Theater will premiere Hannah’s new play, Everything is Established.

Lana Lesley (Ensemble) is a founder and CoProducing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs, and has served as a co-creator, performer, and/ or producer on nearly every Rude production since the company’s inception. Lana has also served as playwright/adaptor of one production and director of three productions. This year, Lana will go with the Rudes’ Now Now Oh Now on a five-city tour, direct development readings of Fixing Timon of Athens, and co-create our next production, Field Guide (coming April 2015). E. Jason Liebrecht (Ensemble) has been developing work and performing nationally and internationally with Rude Mechs since 1999; most recently in Stop Hitting Yourself (Lincoln Center/LCT3), Fixing King John, and Now Now Oh Now. Off-Broadway credits include: Lipstick Traces (Rude Mechs/Foundry), Steve Earle’s Karla (Culture Project) and The Method Gun (Rude Mechs/NYLA). Film/TV credits include: David Byrne’s “True Stories,” Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life,” NBC’s “Revolution,” and John Ridley’s “American Crime.” Kirk Lynn (Playwright) writes plays, generally with the Rude Mechs theatre collective, where he’s one of five Co-Producing Artistic Directors. Kirk is the Head of the Playwriting and Directing Area in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. Kirk was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Kirk also writes plays alone like Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra, or a new one he’s working on called The Cold Record. Graham Reynolds (Sound Designer/Composer) creates, performs, and records music for film, theatre, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater and Jack Black to DJ Spooky and the Rude Mechs. Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, his music is heard throughout the world on BBC, NPR and HBO, from the Cannes Film Festival to the Kennedy Center. He recently scored


who’s who Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, which was called “nearly perfect” by The New York Times.

Brian H Scott (Lighting Designer) is a member of SITI Company and Rude Mechs. For Rude Mechs, he has designed numerous productions including, Stop Hitting Yourself at Lincoln Center, Now Now Oh Now, The Method Gun, I’ve Never Been So Happy, Lipstick Traces, Requiem for Tesla, and Match-Play. Recently he designed Oktophonie, Ann Hamilton’s The Event Of A Thread, Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall, and Steel Hammer with Bang on a Can All Stars. Shawn Sides (Director, Ensemble) is a founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs with whom she has co-conceived, -cre-

ated, and/or directed a new work every year, give or take, since 1996. With Rudes, she’s toured her work throughout the US, Europe and Australia. She’s currently working on their new devised piece Field Guide and touring their interactive, semi-immersive, nerd promenade piece Now Now Oh Now.

Leilah Stewart (Scenic Designer) is a freelance scenic designer and performance artist. She is currently designing Love and Information at St. Edward’s University where she also works as a student mentor and scenic artist. She collaborated with Daniel Alexander Jones on this summer’s production of Bright Now Beyond at Salvage Vanguard Theater. She is a company member of Rude Mechs. She earned an M.F.A. in Scenic Design at The University of Texas at Austin.

department of theatre and dance crew assistant stage manager JOE HEIKE

FACULTY DRAMATURG ADVISOR ANDREW CARLSON

DRAMATURGS Patricia Bennett Colton Perry

ACADEMIC PRODUCTION MANAGER DAVID STEWART

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Shannon Barry Taylor Davis Kaiwen Fa Matthew Hill Sarah Pendergraft Kevin Tran Aaron Valdez Abigail Vela

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Morgan BATHE


Coming to the stage Introducing the 2014/2015 Subscription Series Esperanza Rising

The Blue Angel

Story by Pam Muñoz Ryan Adaptation by Lynne Alvarez October 3–12, 2014 Forced to flee from Mexico to California during the Great Depression, a young girl must overcome adversity and find unexpected inner strength.

An original idea developed by The Moving Company February 12–15, 2015 Inspired by The Blue Angel, this new work follows the rise of cabaret singer Lola-Lola, played by icon Marlene Dietrich in the original film. Consumed by desire for LolaLola, an esteemed professor descends into madness as the singer’s star ascends.

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams October 10–19, 2014 In the sultry streets of New Orleans, passions flair and cultures collide as Blanche DuBois, a fading relic of the Old South, comes to the end of her line.

Fame The Musical Conceived and Developed by David De Silva Book by Jose Fernandez Lyrics by Jacques Levy Music by Steve Margoshes November 21–December 6, 2014 Based on the Academy Award-winning film and hit television series, Fame The Musical is the unforgettable journey of a group of dedicated students with stars in their eyes.

Dance Repertory Theatre presents

MOVE ! March 6–14, 2015 The award-winning ensemble Dance Repertory Theatre performs innovative dance works by nationally renowned choreographers, including New York-based artists Kate Watson-Wallace and Sidra Bell.

The Cohen New Works Festival Presented by BROADWAY BANK April 13–17, 2015 Presenting over 30 new works to more than 7,000 attendees in five days

For more information about the 2014-2015 season, including additional events, visit JoinTheDrama.org Titles and dates are subject to change

The Method Gun Created by Rude Mechs  

Presented by The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance, September 10-14, 2014

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