Z Space Presents:

The Method Gun

Created and Performed by The Rude Mechs

November 11-14, 2015 on Z Space's Main Stage

Z Space is proud to present the Bay Area debut of Rude Mechs, the ground breaking performance group from Austin, TX. This is part of a two week residency for Rude Mechs, which also features a performance of their most recent piece Stop Hitting Yourself, at Cal Performances from 11/19 through 11/22.

The Method Gun explores the life and techniques of Stella Burden, actor-training guru of the 60s and 70s, whose sudden emigration to South America still haunts her most fervent followers. Ms. Burden’s 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. A play about the ecstasy and excesses of performing, the dangers of public intimacy and the incompatibility of truth on stage and sanity in real life.

Using found text from the journals and performance reports of Stella Burden’s company, The Method Gun re-enacts the final months of her company’s rehearsals for their nine-years-in-themaking production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Stella left the company under mysterious circumstances in 1972. Diaries and letters from actors in the company express a sense of desperation, inadequacy, and frustration inherent to the process of creating meaningful work for the stage and in everyday life. Set amid swinging pendulums and talking tigers, The Method Gun bounces between interior monologues, rehearsal sequences of “Streetcar,” and group interactions—all gleaned from historical documents - to express a longing for the return of inspiration and a more believable presentation of self in everyday life.    

Funded in part by:

About the Company

Rude Mechs (Austin, TX) – sounds like Rood Mex
Since 1995, 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 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 a year-round arts mentoring program for teenage girls.

Rude Mechs creates new works collaboratively. The work wouldn’t exist without the generative contribution of every artist in the room. Period.