UWinnipeg presents: BIG LOVE “A Wild Extravaganza!”

innipeg, MB – Fifty reluctant brides flee their fifty determined grooms and seek refuge in an Italian villa in Charles Mee’s Big Love, a modern re-make of one of the world’s oldest plays, Aeschylus’s The Danaids.   The University of Winnipeg’s Honours Theatre students present this insightful, frenetic examination of the meaning of true love February 5-12 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film.

When the fifty grooms catch up with their brides, pandemonium ensues:  helicopters hover, women repeatedly throw themselves to the ground, and there is much singing and dancing.  When the women do not succumb to “reason”, Constantine – one of the grooms – tells his bride:

The future is going to happen, Thyona,

Whether you like it or not.

You say you don’t want to be taken against your will.

People are taken against their will every day.

Finally, true feelings and societal pressures resolve and a Grand Guignol wedding does take place, with both humorous and horrific results.  Featuring important portrayals of contemporary themes around changing cultural norms, date rape, domestic abuse, and gender inequality, Big Love fearlessly negotiates significant ground and challenges us to engage these issues from new perspectives.

Charles Mee explains:  “In a work of art that occurs in time, like a novel or a play, you usually need a plot line so people don’t wonder what’s going on and where they are.  But with a lot of things – like choreography and music – there isn’t a story line.  Big Love has a plot line, but it also uses these other, unconscious techniques of coherence:  morning, afternoon, night, gloom, awfulness, dawn, or no dawn.  Or chaos and confusion, sweetness, disaster.  There are all of these ways of structuring things that I find wonderful, and more like the complicated lives that we actually live.”

Ultimately Mr. Mee’s questions go deeper. “What does it mean to be a man, a woman, a human being, a displaced person?”  And the play – with its rowdy, exhilarating lunacy and audacious nature – is a vibrant celebration of the enduring power of love.

Performances are Friday, Feb 5 through Sunday, Feb 7 and Wednesday, Feb 10 through Friday, Feb 12 at 8:00 pm nightly at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony St).  Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Please call our 24-hour Reservation Line at 204.786.9152, or visit  UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film website at http://theatre.uwinnipeg.ca

Based in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film at The University of Winnipeg, the Department of Theatre and Film offers areas of study in Acting, Design, Drama in Education, Filmmaking, Playwriting, and Production/Stage Management. Our classes are small and our approach is practical. Our faculty is comprised of highly respected and award-winning professionals who are experienced teachers and remain active in their disciplines, bringing relevant and up-to-date instruction to our students.

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UWinnipeg is one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions, consistently recognized by both Maclean’s magazine and The Globe and Mail. UWinnipeg is noted for academic excellence, Indigenous scholarship, environmental commitment, small class sizes, and campus diversity. UWinnipeg is committed to improving access to post-secondary education for all individuals, especially those from non-traditional communities. Find out more at uwinnipeg.ca. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Patty Hawkins, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
T: 204.786.9955, E: p.hawkins@uwinnipeg.ca

Shelagh Carter, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
T:  204-786-9489, E: s.carter@uwinnipeg.ca

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