The Rude Mechanicals to perform "Pericles"By Katherine Metcalf | 06/26/2015 4:07pm
Actors from The Rude Mechanicals rehearse a fight scene between Pericles and Antiochus for their upcoming performance of "Pericles." CW | Hanna Curlette
The company’s production of “Pericles” begins Wednesday, and continues with one performance each evening through Saturday.
The Rude Mechanicals theatre company has been putting on outdoor productions since 2003, and is composed of current undergraduate and graduate students at the University, as well as some faculty and staff. Local actors are also featured in some casts.
Mark Hughes Cobb, the director of “Pericles,” said the play is not only entertaining but also reveals themes that are relatable to the audience.
“‘Pericles’ is about a young prince that is looking for a wife, but runs into many disasters,” Cobb said. “[Pericles] shows how a good man can fail, but how the world is still a good place.”
The bold romance features a prince who wants to marry the king’s daughter, but runs into adversity when he encounters a major secret. Adventures ensue as Pericles travels the seas over the next several years, which provides the audience with drama, pirates, murders, scandals and more.
Although the the play has a complex plot, it also has comedy that the audience will enjoy, Cobb said.
“[‘Pericles’] has a little bit of everything,” he said. “It goes from one extreme to the other.”
Jordan DeWitt, a senior majoring in theatre, plays Pericles. “It is fun to play [Pericles] because he is a courageous action hero,” DeWitt said.
Within the dramedic nature of the play is the recurring symbolism of family.
“The play is about wish fulfillment,” Cobb said. “Pericles also learns that family is the most important [value].”
DeWitt said the audience will be surprised when they see the show because it is not like the typical Shakespearean play. This may be contributed to the fact that it is one of Shakespeare’s last plays, to which the Bard only contributed the last half. Studies indicate that George Wilkins wrote the first half of the play.
“It is a very surprising Shakespearean experience because there are pirates, hookers and assassins,” DeWitt said.
Cobb said he wants the audience to feel good when they come and see his shows.
“The outdoor theatre gives people freedom to relax themselves,” he said. “It’s a different experience.”
While outside, people are able to have picnics, catch fireflies and enjoy the moon shining while they watch an entertaining show.
“It is a pleasant experience for people to come out and enjoy theatre out in the sunset,” DeWitt said.
The Rude Mechanicals Company has had successful performances for the past 13 years, largely due in part to the casts’s great chemistry on and off the stage. The company also has people who really make the music, lighting and the wardrobe special for the show.
“The costumes are really beautiful, plus the audience will love the live music,” Cobb said.
The company’s main goal is to give people a great theatre experience in a comfortable environment.
"[Rude Mechanicals] likes to give its plays very straightforward, simple feelings for the audience,” Cobb said.
Each show begins at the Park at 8 p.m. with live music playing beforehand at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the show is free. The performance will be relocated to the Allen Bales Theatre in the event of rain.