CHAPEL HILL — Austin, Texas, theater ensemble Rude Mechanicals will be developing a performance piece while in residence with UNC’S PlayMakers Repertory Company the next two weeks.
Originally conceived in 2012, the environmental theater piece called “Now Now Oh Now” immerses participants in an interactive puzzle reflecting on the challenges of navigating a world driven by competition, pleasure and random events. Inspired by evolutionary biology, the Brontës and LARP (live action role play), “Now Now Oh Now” embodies the company’s desire to create a tangible, social, active and personal experience for the audience.
Rude Mechanicals is a collaborative theater company which creates new plays. The company garnered national attention in 2000 with its adaptation of “Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century,” based on the book by Greil Marcus. This irreverent examination of 20th Century politics, art and the Sex Pistols brought the group national attention, with a New York production, national and international tours. The company garnered further notoriety with “Requiem for Tesla” (Fresh Terrain Festival), adaptations of James Kelman's novel “How Late it Was, How Late” (Philly Live Arts Festival) and David Rees' internet comic strip “Get Your War On” (Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh Festival), and an original production “The Method Gun” (Humana Festival 2010). With five co-producing artistic directors guiding the collective of 29 members, the creation of their work springs from dedication to collaboration and physical theater.
The Rude Mechanicals come to PlayMakers as part of an annual residency program that provides support for the company’s creative research and development with access to PlayMakers’ professional staff, production shops, rehearsal halls, performance spaces and the intellectual resources of UNC. They will also work with a game designer and ornithologist as they develop “Now Now Oh Now.” The company will then take the piece on to performances across the country.
The ensemble is the fourth participant in the PlayMakers residency program, which is supported by a $250,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding annual residencies by theater ensembles. Previous participants have been Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company and New York’s SITI Company and The TEAM.