The TTU Department of English and the APO Dramatic Honor society presented the 28th Annual Dorothy Printz Pennebaker Memorial spring production of “Big Love” by Charles Mee from April 5-April 14.
Directed by Professor Mark Harry Creter, “Big Love” is a modern take on “The Suppliants” by Aeschylus. The plot centers around the story of fifty Grecian brides who flee to a manor in Italy to avoid marrying their fifty cousins. The play adapts the plot of the original Greek play into modern times, including modern music and the brides being ambushed by their grooms via helicopter. As the characters wait for their wedding day, issues of gender, politics, love and domestic violence are raised.
“You don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys. You don't own me, don't say I can't go with other boys.” these lines, made famous in the song by Leslie Gore, are sung by the 3 female protagonists in first act. In a way, this tender moment of sisterhood and solidarity set up the tone of the performance and foreshadowed the events yet to come.
However, what really made this production shine, is the cast. It was easy to tell that each actor gave their all and that they fed off of each other’s performance energy. Some memorable moments included Thyona (Samia Anderson), Lydia (Dallas Stark) and Olympia (Sy Matlock) screaming at once all the different ways they hated men; while throwing themselves against the stage and walls. I felt their frustration and it really added authenticity to the piece. Another part that I liked was when Thyona and Constantine (Andrew Neal) interacted. The hatred Thyona felt for the misogynistic and entitled Constantine was palpable. Her emotions made me understand the actions she would eventually take.
Overall this production was one of my favorites that I have seen at the Backdoor Playhouse. The cast was cohesive and the story was current and sucked me in. If you didn't get a chance to see it, you missed out.