‘Big Love’ theater preview

Ashley Soley-Cerro

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Imagine a world in which arranged marriages were still common in the 21st century. The cast of “Big Love” uses this idea to make evident the deep seeded fears and mistrust towards the opposite sex that secretly lies in each of our hearts.

Michael Fox and Alex Pike rehearse a scene from "Big Love." Photo credit: Kris Fortin / staff reporter

Directed by Christine Menzies, “Big Love” was written 10 years ago by Chuck Mee as an adaptation of the oldest play in the Western world, “The Suppliants” by Aeschylus, written sometime after 470 B.C.

“I figure I’m the leading expert in what I know and love, so that’s what I speak to,” Mee said. “I was hoping to see if the themes of then still speak to us and of course they do.”

Immediately one can see that a battle of the sexes is a theme in “Big Love.” Yet it goes beyond how the sexes interact to speak about love and hate, acknowledging insecurities and hidden fears, realizing there are consequences to every action, and learning that the biggest challenge isn’t facing others expectations, it’s facing your own.

A healthy mix of drama, contempt, romance, dance and even nudity come together in “Big Love,” when 50 women (depicted by 10) run away from Greece to Italy, from the 50 men (also depicted by 10) that are to be their husbands through arranged marriages. Safety seems within reach for a short time when the women find shelter at a family’s house, until the men come looking to take what is thought to be theirs.

The relationships between the three couples most portrayed, Thyona (Monica Schallert) and Constantine (Alex Pike), Olympia (Carla Ruiz de Chavez) and Oed (Michael Fox), and Lydia (DeAnne Destler) and Nikos (Alex Manolopoulos), show different parts of human interaction, to opposite extremes at times. Throughout the play, the audience will likely find themselves relating to each character. The actors have done a thorough job of humanizing their characters, so the viewer will see the heart behind even the most seemingly hateful decisions.

Dates:

Feb 11-12-13, 16-17-18-19-20

7:30 pm, except Sundays at 2 pm

Prices:

General Admission $16

Seniors $15

Faculty $15

Students $15

Early Bird Students $8