COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

The Method Gun: Rude Mechs

Friday–Saturday, January 18–19, 2013
8:00 PM each evening, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Seeler Studio Theatre

The Method Gun
Rude Mechs

According to the New York Times, the Rude Mechs are one of three ensemble-theatre companies in the country “making theatre that matters.” Their daring play The Method Gun explores the life of Stella Burden, actor and training guru of the ’60s and ’70s. Her training technique, The Approach (often referred to as “the most dangerous acting technique in the world”), fused Western-acting methods with risk-based rituals in order to infuse even the smallest role with sex, death, and violence. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series, Theatre Program, and Committee on the Arts. Residency activities are made possible by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts. Tickets: $25/20/6.  Go to the Box Office>>

Please note this performance includes adult content and nudity.

Read the press release>>



The Method Gun

Written by Kirk Lynn

Directed by Shawn Sides

Created by Rude Mechs

Featuring Thomas Graves, Hannah Kenah, Lana Lesley, Jason Liebrecht, Shawn Sides

RUDE MECHS Based in Austin, TX, 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 as a tool for intellectual investigation. We tour these performances nationally and abroad; maintain The Off Center, a performance venue in Austin for arts groups of every discipline; and run a year-round arts mentoring program for teenage girls. For more information, visit

THOMAS GRAVES (Ensemble) is a Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. As such, he has developed, performed in, and produced CherrywoodHave You Ever Been Assassinated?Decameron Day 7: Revenge, the Rudes' re-enactment of Dionysus in 69 (William Finley), and The Method Gun. Graves co-directed with Lana Lesley Rude Mechs' western operetta, I’ve Never Been So Happy. With Rude Mechs, Thomas has performed at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theater, Arts Emerson, Humana Festival 2010, Arena Stage, New York Live Arts, Philadelphia Live Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre, Time-Based Art Festival, Princeton University, and the World Theatre Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse. He is currently working with Dayna Hanson on her next piece, Clay Duke. Thomas holds an MFA in Performance as Public Practice from The University of Texas at Austin.

HANNAH KENAH (Ensemble) has been developing work and performing with Rude Mechs as a company member since 2008, including The Method Gun, I’ve Never Been So Happy, and a re-enactment of Dionysus in '69. She served as writer and performer for Rude Mechs’ most recent work, Now Now Oh Now. With Rude Mechs, Hannah has performed at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theater, Humana Festival 2010, Arena Stage, New York Live Arts, Philadelphia Live Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre, Time-Based Art Festival, and the World Theatre Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse. Other recent work includes writing and performing Guest by Courtesy at Salvage Vanguard Theater, and performing in Agnes & Alfred for Physical Plant Theater. Hannah holds a B.A. in Drama from Dartmouth College, and is a graduate of Dell’Arte International. In addition, she spent three summers working at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference.

LANA LESLEY (Ensemble) is a founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs, and has worked as a collaborator, producer and actor on nearly thirty original Rude Mechs productions, including, most recently, Now Now Oh Now, and I’ve Never Been So Happy. With Rude Mechs, Lana has performed at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theater, Humana Festival 2010, Arena Stage, New York Live Arts, Galway Arts Festival, Kiasma Festival, Szene Salzburg, Edinburgh Fringe (Winner – Total Theater Award for Best New Play by an Ensemble), Philadelphia Live Arts, UCLA Live!, Bumbershoot, the Walker Art Center, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Wexner Center for the Arts, On The Boards, and DiverseWorks. With SITI Company, Lana toured their piece systems/layers to the Krannert Center and Utah State University. With The TEAM, Lana has toured their piece Architecting to BITE Festival, Culturgest, The Arches, and to Theatre Junction. Lana recently co- directed with Thomas Graves Rude Mechs' new western operetta by Kirk Lynn and Peter Stopschinski, I’ve Never Been So Happy, which premiered April 2011, and toured to Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in October 2011.

E. JASON LIEBRECHT (Ensemble) has been developing work and performing with Rude Mechs as a company member since 1999. Rude touring: Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, On the Boards and Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle, WA), UCLA Live, Szene Salzburg (Austria), Woolly Mammoth (Washington D.C.), Live Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Under the Radar (New York, NY), Kiasma Festival (Espoo, Finland), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), and Galway Arts Festival (Ireland). Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.), Yale Rep and The Humana Festival at ATL (2010). Off-Broadway: Lipstick Traces (Rude Mechs / Foundry Theater), Get Your War On (Rude Mechs), Cowboy Mouth, The Unauthorized Moving Picture of John Dillinger (Hourglass Group) and Steve Earle's Karla (Culture Project), and The Method Gun (Rude Mechs / NYLA). Film: David Byrne's True Stories, Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, Matt Zollar Seitz's HOME and The Bed Thing, Spencer Parsons' Chainsaw Found Jesus.SHAWN SIDES (Director / Ensemble) is a founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. With Rude Mechs, she has co-conceived, -adapted, and/or directed a new work every year, give or take, since 1996 including Get Your War On and Lipstick Traces. Shawn’s work has toured around the country and to a handful of very lovely European venues. Last spring she directed and performed in Rudes’ Now Now Oh Now. Shawn is currently working on Rudes new show, tentatively titled Thank Yourself, and with playwright Sybil Kempson and a passel of Austin theatre companies and artists through the New Dramatists/Full Stage USA commissioning project on a collaborative work entitled River of Gruel, Pile of Pigs: The Requisite Gestures of Narrow Approach.

KIRK LYNN (Playwright) is a founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. With Rude Mechs, Kirk has written and adapted more than a dozen plays including Lipstick TracesRequiem for Tesla and I’ve Never Been So Happy. Kirk also wrote Major Bang and How Much is Enough for The Foundry Theatre (NYC). Kirk is currently working on a couple new Rude Projects, and a solo show teaching audiences how to cast spells, and an opera with his pal, Peter Stopschinski, about Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips. Kirk remains committed to fixing all of Shakespeare's bad plays, including, but not limited to, King JohnHenry VIII and Timon of Athens. Kirk is the head of Playwriting and Directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin.

LOWELL BARTHOLOMEE (Stage Manager / Projection Designer) has been developing work and performing with Rude Mechs as a company member since 2005, including most recently, I’ve Never Been So Happy, and Get Your War On. Rude touring: Kirk Douglas Theatre (Los Angeles)Arena Stage’s New Play Festival, Humana Festival 2010, Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle, WA), Under the Radar (New York, NY), Kiasma Festival (Espoo, Finland), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), and Galway Arts Festival (Ireland). Off-Broadway: Get Your War On (Rude Mechs), blah, blah, blah (Bayou Radio Productions). Other Theatre: Up In the Old Hotel (Refraction Arts Project), Nightswim (State Theatre Company). Film: Holy Hell, and My Name is Buttons. Mr. Bartholomee holds a BFA from New York University.

MADGE DARLINGTON (Production Manager / Technical Director) is a founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. In the collaborative spirit of the Rudes, Madge has worked on almost every show the Rudes have made in some form or fashion including directing, acting, production managing, technical directing, stage managing, and designing. Of note is her direction of the only known staged production of Shelly's Prometheus Unbound, and her work with Nadine Mozone on her one-woman show, Delta Rhapsody. Recently Madge co-directed with Shawn Sides the Rudes' re-enactments of The Performance Group's Dionysus in 69 and Mabou Mines’ The B. Beaver Animation. Madge manages and co-directs Rude Mechs’ arts mentoring program for teenage girls, Grrl Action.

GRAHAM REYNOLDS (Sound Designer / Composer) Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater to DJ Spooky to Ballet Austin. Reynolds music has been heard through-out the world on TV, on stage, in films, and on radio, from HBO to Showtime, Cannes Film Festival to the Kennedy Center, and BBC to NPR. He recently scored Bernie featuring Jack Black as well as the Hulu TV series Up To Speed, and his score to the Robert Downey, Jr. feature A Scanner Darkly was named Best Soundtrack of the Decade by Cinema Retro magazine. As bandleader and pianist he performs with Golden Arm Trio and as Co-Artistic Director of Golden Hornet Project, Reynolds has produced more than fifty concerts of world-premier alt-classical music by more than sixty composers.

BRIAN H SCOTT (Lighting Designer) As a Rude Mechs Company Member, Scott has designed The Method GunHow Late It Was, How LateLipstick TracesMatch-PlayCherrywood, Now Now Oh Now, and Get You War On. As a SITI Company member he designed American Document, a collaboration with the Martha Graham Company, FreshwaterWhoDoYouThinkYouAreRadio MacbethHotel CassioepiaDeath and the Ploughmanbobrauschenbergamerica (Henry Hewes Design Award 2004), War of the Worlds Radio Play and systems/layers. Other recent projects include, Titus Andronicus (The Court Theatre, Chicago), The Age of IronThe Tempest, HamletRichard II, and Richard III (Classic Stage Company, NYC), Songs from an Unmade Bed (NYTW), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Arena Stage).

LEILAH STEWART (Scenic Designer) is a freelance scenic designer and performance artist based in Austin, TX. Ms. Stewart has been designing with Rude Mechs as a company member since 2003. Her recent design projects include: Hula an independent feature film (Production Designer), The Imaginary Invalid (Scenic Design), and Rude Mechs’ I’ve Never Been So Happy (Scenic Design), City of Angels (St. Edwards University) and bobrauschenbergamerica (St. Edwards University), both of which were nominated for “Best Scenic Design” by the 2010 Austin Critics Table Awards. Ms. Stewart designed Dress Suits To Hire for The Split Britches Company (La Mama) and Pheonix Fabrik for Daniel Alexander Jones (Pillsbury House Theatre). Her recent performance installations received commissions from Austin Scriptworks and the Fuse Box Festival. Ms. Stewart earned an MFA in scenic design from the University of Texas at Austin.

Company Website:

Press Quotes

"Honest, brave and often hilarious exploration of the creative process...absurd and awe-inspiring."--Erin Keane, Louisville Courier-Journal 2010

"It’s both fascinating and terrifying, in a bizarre sort of way."--Lewis Lazare, Chicago Sun-Times 2010

"Rude Mechanicals cultivate a stunning virtuosity that... is essential viewing for anyone interested in theater."--Louisville Leo 2010

"The Rudes craft compelling theater... 'The Method Gun' packs more intensity and more poignancy... And the Rudes' tweaks have made it much more intimate and immediate... And the final scene... emerges as one of the most polished, gorgeous, breathtaking and riveting moments on an Austin stage. To this critic, 'The Method Gun' still ranks as one of the best productions to grace the Austin stage."--Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin-American Statesman 2009

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax