Each year, PlayMakers hosts national ensembles for its summer residency program. Rude Mechanicals is the fourth participant of the residency program, which was funded by a $250,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded to PlayMakers in 2010.
Rude Mechanicals has spent a week in Chapel Hill developing their play “Now Now Oh Now” and will be here until June 7 tweaking their performance.
“It is a rare opportunity to get to focus this well for this long,” said Shawn Sides , the director and actor in the play.
Sides said she was at a Theatre Communications Group conference when Joseph Haj , producing artistic director for PlayMakers, asked her if they were interested in participating in the residency program.
Lana Lesley , an actor for the play, said they chose their play “Now Now Oh Now” because it has touring support behind it and because of the incentive to finish and present it.
Rude Mechanicals has only performed the play publicly twice, as workshop performances in Austin in 2012. In September, the group will officially debut their play and perform it for audiences at Duke University.
“By putting it up on its feet, there was a general consensus that we needed to work on the ending,” actor Thomas Graves said. “The ending wasn’t quite as satisfying as we wanted it to be. That was our main focus as we went into this residency.”
Graves said the initial inspiration for the play came from the 80s television show “Cagney and Lacey ,” and from the book, “A Thousand Plateaus.” He said in the end the audience-interactive play will combine elements of coding, puzzles and science.