The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents Charles L. Mee’s hit play, Big Love, as the first mainstage presentation of its 50th Anniversary season. The production will mark director Ian Belton’s first production on the Kennedy mainstage—as well as the world premiere of a musical adaptation of the play developed by Belton and composer Brendan Connelly. Big Love runs September 27–October 6.
The play tells the story of three Greek sisters who have been promised in an arranged marriage to their American cousins. (Actually, the three sisters are representative of 50 sisters who have been promised to 50 husbands—Belton’s sly nod to Kennedy Theatre’s 50th anniversary season.)
The sisters represent three archetypal images of women—Olympia, a “girly girl” who enjoys looking pretty and feeling desired; Thyona, an angry “man-hater” who has no time for love; and Lydia, angry at the position she has been placed in but still believes in the possibility of partnership and love. Together these women must decide how to respond when their bodies and futures are promised to men against their will.
UH Mānoa Assistant Professor Belton heightens the play’s antic energy with a new musical adaptation. To help with this, he will be working with Brendan Connelly, a sound designer and composer who has worked at various New York venues. For Big Love, Connelly will be designing the play’s soundscape, composing a score and setting some of the characters’ lines to music.