University of South Carolina

Jessi Noel (left) and Yvonne Senat escape arranged marriages in
Jessi Noel (left) and Yvonne Senat escape arranged marriages in "Big Love."

‘Big Love’ to explore battle of the sexes

Theater South Carolina brings to the stage the struggles of relationships and the importance of love in their production of Charles Mee’s “Big Love.” The play will run Nov. 12-20 at Longstreet Theatre.

Tickets are $16 for the public, $14 for military, faculty and staff and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Longstreet box office beginning Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. or by calling 803-777-2551.

Based on Aeschylus’ “The Suppliant Women,” the play explores complex and changing ideas about the roles of men and women in relationships while following 50 women who, escaping their grooms, flee to an estate in Italy. Soon after their arrival, the grooms catch up with the wives by helicopter, and a battle of the sexes ensues, and issues of gender politics, love and domestic violence are brought to light.

Director Chris Clavelli describes the production as a music video that takes the audience around the world.

“There’s a lot of opportunity in this show for music, and so we’re going ‘around the world’ in our music choices for the show,” he said. “We have calypso, 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, classical, pieces from the film, ‘Cinema Paradiso.’ It’s an outlandish, crazy three-ring circus of physicality. When the men and women get frustrated at each other, they basically beat each other up and throw themselves all over the set, which is actually a padded playground set … It’s chaotic, it’s ecstatic, it’s hysterical. If the production works, the end should be a huge dance party for the audience.”

First-year MFA acting students Jessi Noel, Amanda Forstrom, Yvonne Senat, and Catherine Friesen play the roles of the free-spirited women, while undergraduate theater majors Mark Whitesidis and Liam McDougall play the roles of the grooms.

Charles L. Mee is an American playwright and author, born in Barrington, Ill., in 1938. He was diagnosed with polio in 1953, which he documents in his 1999 memoir, “A Nearly Normal Life.” Mee is also an accomplished historian, having written about the Potsdam Conference and World War II. He currently teaches playwrighting at the Columbia University School of the Arts.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 11/05/10 @ 1:20 PM | Updated: 11/05/10 @ 1:23 PM | Permalink

'Big Love'

  • What: Charles Mee's play about the struggles of relationships and the importance of love
  • When: Nov. 12-20
  • Where: Longstreet Theatre

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