CRT Opens Season with BIG LOVE by Charles Mee, Now thru 10/13

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CRT Opens Season with BIG LOVE by Charles Mee, Now thru 10/13

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present Big Love by Charles Mee, tonight, October 3 - 13 in the Nafe Katter Theater, Storrs. For tickets and information, call 860-486-2113 and visit www.crt.uconn.edu.

"Because true love has no conditions. That's why it's so awful to fall in love." - Charles Mee (from Big Love)

Classical drama collides with modern-day excess in Charles Mee's Big Love, a fiercely extravagant adaptation of Aeschylus' The Suppliants that The New York Times described as "an MGM musical in Technicolor, a circus and, believe it, a Greek tragedy." Big Love is a luxurious, riotous, wild romp in which 50 brides - all sisters - vow to escape their 50 fiancés - their cousins- on their wedding night. Seeking to get away from the old country, where marriage is contracted and love is unheard of, the sisters leave their betrothed standing at the altar as they hop a boat for better times and a little equality. As the brides seek asylum at the villa of a family man who is unwilling to take sides, the grooms catch up - by helicopter. With no one to stand up for them, the women decide to stand up for themselves by any means necessary. Big Love gives the term "battle of the sexes" a whole new meaning!

Mee himself has said, "I like plays that are not too neat, too finished, too presentable. My plays are broken, jagged, filled with sharp edges, filled with things that take sudden turns, careen into each other, smash up, veer off in sickening turns. That feels good to me. It feels like my life. It feels like the world. In this way, Big Love presents some of the most familiar male and female stereotypes and literally smashes them up against each other to see what will happen."

Through comedy, Mee seeks to open dialogue about deep and often difficult topics. Mee touches on questions at the core of feminism, sexism, entitlement, ethics, revenge, passion and courage. Mee's characters ask audiences to think about what it means to be a man, a woman, a human being, or a refugee in today's world through wild humor and shocking entertainment.

Director Helene Kvale said, "Big Love mixes dance, theater and vaudeville with comedy, beauty and brutality. Honest and sensual, it captures the complexities of relationships with a brave and poetic take on how we live and love today."

THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Helene Kvale (Director) is Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. Her productions for Connecticut Repertory Theater include Pride and Prejudice, The Skin of Our Teeth, Too Much Memory and Gut Girls. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she trained as an actor in London where her professional acting career spanned two decades in award winning theatre, television, radio and film. Theatre includes: Ian McKellen's Richard III (Lady Anne) and Brian Cox's King Lear, Napoli Milionaria, Shift, and Gitta's Atonement all at The National Theatre, London. West End and regional productions include Burning Blue, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Secret Rapture, Life During Wartime, Getting Out. Film and TV includes: Prime Suspect, Soldier Soldier, This Life, Hearts and Bones, Lovejoy, Deceit, Daddy's Girl, Tomorrow La Scala (Un Certain Regard, Cannes), 5:45, Talk. In Hartford, Helene founded Bated Breath Theatre Company where she served as Artistic Director until 2011. For BBTC, she translated and directed A Doll's House (Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC), and created and directed The Parkville Project for The Playhouse on Park, as well as Hunger for Real Art Ways. Helene's writing credits include the screenplay for Burning Blue, soon to be released with Lionsgate Films.

Marie Boyette (Choreographer) is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Dramatic Arts in Movement. Past choreographic credits include: His Girl Friday (Choreographer), Romeo and Juliet (Dance Choreographer), O Beautiful (Fight Choreographer) at CRT; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Choreographer, Theater VCU), Grease (Fight Choreographer, Theater VCU), Jack and the Wonderbeans (Choreographer, VCU Players), Godspell (Choreographer, The Prizery), White Christmas (Assistant Choreographer, Barksdale Theater), and 42nd Street (Assistant Choreographer, Pioneer Theater Company). Marie received her MFA in Theater Pedagogy from VCU, her BA in Theater from UF, and is currently completing her training as a Certified Movement Analyst at the Laban Institute for Movement Studies in NYC.

The Design team includes: Tim Golbiewski, Scenic Designer; Pat Ubaldi, Costume Designer; Erika Johnson, Lighting Designer; and Brandon Purstell, Sound Designer.

THE CAST:

The cast will feature Equity actors Libby George (Bella) and Mark Elliot Wilson (Piero/Leo).

The cast will feature MFA actors: Thomas Brazzle, Darek Burkowski, Anthony Goes, Will Haden, Colby Lewis, James Jelkin, Olivia Saccomanno , and Sarah Wintermeyer; as well as BFA actors: Alison Danielczuk, Marisa Desa, Kaitlyn Gorman, Briana Maia, Ryan Marcone, and Susannah Resnikoff.

Call 860-486-2113 for tickets or for more information. Call or visit the box office for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change. Tickets available online at www.crt.uconn.edu.

New Box Office Location - Please note that the CRT box office is now housed in the Nafe Katter Theatre, located at 820 Bolton Road. There is short term parking on Bolton Road, in the loading zone directly in front of the theatre. CRT tickets can no longer be purchased at the Jorgensen box office. CRT's box office is open Monday-Friday, noon - 5 p.m., and will also be open one hour prior to show time at the theatre where the performance is taking place.

Weeknight evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Weekend evening performances start at 8 p.m. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $7 - $37.

Pictured: Nikos (James Jelkin) with Lydia (Briana Maia) in a scene from Connecticut Repertory Theatre's production of Charles Mee's BIG LOVE. Photo by Bob Copley.

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