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MainStage Season presents ultimate battle of the sexes in Charles L. Mee’s 'Big Love'

October 26, 2010

This Nov. 5–14, the ASU School of Theatre and Film’s "MainStage Season" presents "Big Love," a tale of 50 Greek women who escape to an Italian villa from arranged marriages to 50 American cousins. Their intended grooms hunt them down to claim what they believe rightfully belongs to them. "Big Love" is intended for mature audiences, and contains violence and nudity.

Playwright Charles L. Mee uses bold dancing, singing, language and drama in "Big Love," which is inspired by one of the oldest works in Western literature, "The Suppliant Women," or "The Danaids," by Aeschylus, written circa 490 B.C.

According to Kim Weild, the play’s director and a visiting artist from Manhattan, "Big Love" examines ancient, yet still-relevant issues of women’s rights, gender inequality, politics, immigration, male/female stereotypes and the complicated, contradictory and conflicting nature of human relationships.

“Mee has taken the initial premise of 'The Suppliant Women' and focused his lens on three of the sisters originally 50 sisters functioned as a chorus to amplify their plight and magnify the thoughts and emotions associated with love and marriage,” Weild says. “Within his re-making of the chorus, Mee gives each of the three women a distinct voice: the militant Thoyna, the conflicted Lydia, and the romantic Olympia, then releases them into a post-contemporary grand opera of a play.” In so doing, Weild adds, “Stereotypes are cracked open wide; human relationships are exposed, skinned to the bone and laid bare for all to see. This is an epic, messy battle of the sexes with the discovery that love conquers all: ‘Amor vincit omnia!’”

"Big Love" is showing at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St., ASU Tempe campus. "Big Love" is intended for mature audiences, and contains violence and nudity. Showtimes are: Nov. 5–6 and 12–13, 7:30 p.m.; and Nov. 7 and 14, 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are: $8–$23; Half-price tickets are available on the First Friday of any "MainStage Season" production. Student tickets are $8. ASU faculty and staff receive $12 tickets on Friday– Saturday performances, $10 Sunday–Thursday. Call the ASU Herberger Institute box office at 480.965.6447, or visit: