The Method Gun
A co-presentation with The Wilma Theater
Theater / 90 minutes
The Wilma Theater
"The show is named for an acting exercise said to have taken the lives of some who attempted it. Though Rude Mechs tried in rehearsals to recreate it, we were unsuccessful, thankfully, insofar as everyone who worked on the show is still alive."
“Clever and funny and the actors are immensely likeable.”
From Austin-based Rude Mechs comes a theatrical exploration about the ecstasy and excesses of performing. The Method Gun is based on the methods of Stella Burden, the 60s and 70s actor-training guru who disappeared in 1972 under mysterious circumstances. Burden created what became known as the most dangerous acting technique in the world, The Approach, which fused Western acting techniques with risk-based rituals in order to inject even the smallest role with sex, death, and violence.
Based on historical documents, the show explores what happened to the company after Burden’s sudden departure, enacting the final months of rehearsals for a nine-years-in-the-making production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Set within the company’s rehearsal room, where company members lived and worked, the show bounces between radical rehearsal sequences, haunting interior monologues, and incendiary group interactions as a growing sense of inadequacy, frustration, and desperation takes over.Hilarious and deeply felt, The Method Gun is the ultimate immersion into a group’s peculiar dynamics and its subsequent breakdown.
"In this immensely funny, abruptly touching physical-theater work. . . . They keep taking perilous theatrical leaps, but we are the ones to feel sweaty-palmed, nearly vertiginous exhilaration."
In short: a gun, acting in the 70s, overdoing it, when gurus depart.
Since 1995, Rude Mechs has created a mercurial slate of 23 theatrical productions that represent a genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs, and dizzying spectacle. What these works hold in common is the use of play to make performance, the use of theaters as meeting places for audiences and artists, and the use of humor for the investigation of ideas.
Previous Live Arts shows: Get Your War On (2006), How Late It Was, How Late (2004).
Created by Rude Mechanicals Written by Kirk Lynn Direction Shawn Sides Sound/Compositions Graham Reynolds Set Leilah Stewart Lighting Brian Scott Costumes Katey Gilligan Performers Thomas Graves, Heather Hanna, Hannah Kenah, Lana Lesley, Jason Liebrecht
Appropriate for ages 16 and up.
* Post-show discussion on Sept 3 at 8pm moderated by Walter Bilderback, dramaturg and literary manager, Wilma Theater.
A project of Creative Capital, The Method Gun was presented in the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The Method Gun has also received support from the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, The Orchard Project Theatre Residency Program orchardproject.com, the University of Texas Humanities Institute, The Harry Ransom Center, and The Long Center for the Performing Arts, and touring support from the National Endowment for the Arts.