This weekend, students will be flying across zip lines, engaging in intense hand-to-hand combat, and getting thrown across a room—all in the name of good showmanship for Randolph’s spring theatre production of Big Love. This thrilling, dark, romantic comedy opens Friday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Thoresen Theatre.
Big Love, written by American playwright Charles Mee, is a modern remake of one of the western world’s oldest plays, The Suppliant Women, by Aeschylus. The plot follows 50 brides who flee their 50 grooms and seek refuge in a villa on the coast of Italy. When the 50 grooms catch up with the brides, mayhem ensues.
Stephanie Earl, theatre professor and director of the play, believes unique special effects and movement synchronization will make Randolph’s performance especially memorable.
“It’s really different from anything we’ve done at Randolph in the past few years because it’s way more physical,” Earl said. “There’s a ton of stage combat, so that makes it very unusual.”
Earl said many students requested Big Love for Randolph’s 2017 spring theatre production because they had already learned about and rehearsed several scenes in class. Some also took Randolph’s special Stage Combat course last spring, and were eager to use the skills they had learned.
Underneath all of the action, Earl said there is a positive message and a plot that is relevant to current world events.
“It’s got some messages in it that are particularly relevant to what’s going on now in the world,” she said. “It’s about these women who are refugees. They talk about refugees and use the word refugee frequently, and it explores a lot of gender issues. It’s also got a strong message of acceptance of all people, which is part of the reason I like it and part of the reason that the students are really drawn to it.”
One of the student actors, Travis Byram ’18, said he enjoys the humor and satire of the play, in addition to its message.
“I hope the audience takes away what Chuck Mee is saying about gender here,” Byram said. “There are ridiculous portrayals of femininity and masculinity. Mee shows us we’re all the same, all goofy and wonderful, and always falling in love with the idea of love, it seems.”
For Lucy Kindstrand ’17, who plays Thyona, Big Love is the conclusion to her acting career at Randolph. She performed in her first play, Our Town, in 2013, and most recently directed Dog Sees God for her Senior Capstone project.
“For this to be my last play at Randolph is surreal,” Kindstrand said. “I feel so fortunate to be portraying such a fierce and powerful role under the direction of someone as inspiring as Stephanie, and alongside such amazing friends and ‘sisters.’ In the end, I feel that this is a good conclusion to my theatre career here, and it’s nice to sign off with such an exciting production and a talented, lovely cast.”
Big Love opens this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Thoresen Theatre, located inside the Harold G. Leggett Building. Shows are also scheduled April 15, 16, 21, and 22. Tickets are available at http://www.randolphcollege.edu/tickets/.
*** This production is intended for mature audiences