Theatre UAB presents epic battle of the sexes with “Big Love”

A modern treatment of the oldest known Greek play, “Big Love” explores justice, violence and the nature of love, with a student and faculty cast.

Theatre UAB will present a radical reconstruction of one of the Western world’s oldest plays, a wild tale of 50 brides escaping arranged marriages to 50 grooms, with “Big Love” from Oct. 16-20, 2013.

theatre_biglove_sWritten by Charles Mee, the story is a remaking of Aeschylus’ “The Supplicants.” When three of the brides entreat the owner of an Italian villa for help, they are blocked by their intended grooms, and a darkly comedic fracas ensues. This extravagant group nuptial turns into an extreme battle of the sexes.

“Big Love” contains adult language, adult themes and brief partial nudity. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly Oct. 16-19 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, in the Sirote Theatre at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. General admission tickets are $12 and $15; student tickets are $6; and UAB employee and senior citizen tickets are $10. Call 205-975-2787 for tickets. Visit Theatre UAB at

The modern treatment of the oldest known Greek play, explores such themes as the war between the sexes, justice and violence, and the nature of love, said “Big Love” Director Karla Koskinen, M.F.A., professor in the UAB Department of Theatre.

“This highly entertaining, evocative show is bound to provoke strong reactions in our audiences that will keep them talking about these timeless issues,” she said.

This production is a unique collaboration between Theatre faculty and students.  Faculty members Dennis McLernon and Marlene Johnson will join seven student actors in the ensemble, and student Rebecca Harper of Valley Head, Ala., will co-direct the production. UAB Department of Music major Kevin Peek of Birmingham is assembling the play’s musical score. Guest artist Jones Welsh of Diavolo Dance Company worked with the cast on movement during a week-long residency.

The student cast includes Russell Alexander of Montgomery, Ala., as Giuliano; Kyle Hulcher of Fort Worth, Texas, as Nikos; Alora King of Boonsboro, Md., as Lydia; Renita Lewis of Birmingham, Ala., as Thyona; Calvin Nielsen of Budapest, Hungary, as Constantine; Julia Spring of Alabaster, Ala., as Olympia; and Ellis Oswalt of Anniston, Ala., as Oed. Samantha Helms of Corner, Ala., is stage manager; Markeitra Gilliam of New Orleans, La., is assistant director; Lauren Edwards of Chelsea, Ala., and Vickie Morales of Priceville, Ala., are assistant stage managers; Lauren Seale of Greenville, Ala., is assistant costume designer; and Andrew Taylor of Suwanee, Ga., is assistant set designer.