New Jersey Stage

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ROWAN THEATRE BRINGS MEE'S BIG LOVE TO THE STAGE

(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– Classical drama collides with modern-day excess in Charles Mee's acclaimed play Big Love, a fiercely extravagant adaptation of Aeschylus presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance at Rowan University. Performances are October 28 – November 6 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm) in Tohill Theatre on the Glassboro campus.

The play has been described by The New York Times as "an MGM musical in Technicolor, a circus and, believe it, a Greek tragedy." Fifty brides flee their grooms and seek refuge at a villa on the coast of Italy in a modern reimagining of one of the world's oldest plays, Aeschylus' The Suppliant Maidens, also known as part of The Danaid Tetralogy. The grooms catch up with the brides (represented by just a few actors in this production) and mayhem ensues; with contemporary songs, romantic dances, a bit of violence and more.

Director Melanie Stewart calls it "a messy play." The production mixes pop culture references with surreal qualities and extreme physical action. It is "movement-driven theatre" that plays with time and motion. It created a very intense world. It raises issues of displacement, borders and refugees while also asking many questions, as well: Does love triumph over all? What rights do these women have? Where do these issues reside in the hearts and minds of Rowan students and audiences in 2011? 

"It is a fable for our time," Stewart says, calling it "ancient and contemporary all at once."

The cast features Dexter Anderson of Salem, MA as Nikos, Chris Bratek of Mullica Hill as Giuliano, Brittany Cinaglia of Mullica Hill as Olympia, Felix Cori IV of Sewell as Constantine, Anthony Crosby of Cherry Hill as Oed, Kaitlin Kemp of Fredericksburg, VA as Thyona, Jenna Kuerzi of Mullica Hill as Bella, Emily McHale of Mount Laurel as Lydia, Dwight Merritt of Collingswood as Leo, Joseph Napolitano of Dover, DE as Piero and Megan Oates of Bridgewater as Eleanor.

Tohill Theatre is located in Bunce Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ. Tickets are $15, general admission; and $10 for seniors, non-Rowan students and Rowan alumni. Tickets for Rowan students and staff are free with valid ID. For tickets and information, visit www.rowan.edu/theatredance or call the box office at (856) 256-4545.