Shawn Sides has been a performer, director and producer in Austin, TX and occasionally New York for 20 years. She’s a founder and a Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs in Austin, TX where she has co-conceived, co-adapted, and directed a new work every year, give or take, since 1996, including Off-Broadway and touring productions of Lipstick Traces, Get Your War On, Stop Hitting Yourself, rudes’ Creative Capital supported project The Method Gun, and their ”re-enactment” of The Performance Group’s Dionysus in 69. Current projects include Rudes’ adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov Field Guide, and From the Pig Pile: Requisite Gesture(s) of Narrow Approach by Sibyl Kempson. Shawn is an Alpert/Hedgebrook Prize recipient and was inducted with her fellow Rudes into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2010. She recieved a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2015.
The Method Gun
Rude Mechs has created a mercurial slate of original theatrical productions that represent a genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs, and dizzying spectacle since 1995.More
Madge DarlingtonArtist Bio
Lana LesleyArtist Bio
Kirk LynnArtist Bio
Shawn SidesArtist Bio
The Method Gun, an original performance created by Rude Mechs of Austin, Texas, explores the life, ethos and techniques of actor-training guru, Stella Burden, as recounted through the eyes of her students. Burden’s training technique, The Approach, fused Western-acting methods and more dangerous methods in an effort to infuse even the smallest of roles with sex, death, and violence. In this project, Rude Mechs promise: guns, pendulums, “Streetcar,” and physical danger. The Method Gun “is nothing short of the best work this theater collective has done in its thirteen years as it has carved out its well-respected reputation on the international indie theater scene,” Jeanne Claire van Ryzin wrote in Austin-American Statesman.
Since 1995, Rude Mechs has created a mercurial slate of original theatrical productions that represent a genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs, and dizzying spectacle. What these works hold in common are 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; present nationally recognized artists; and run Grrl Action, a year-round arts mentoring program for teenage girls. As we create new works for adventurous theatre-goers, we seek to demystify the art-making process, and we work hard to foster real communication with and responsiveness to our patrons by holding workshops, talkbacks, and open rehearsals along the way. We remain adamant that we will not make work we ourselves could not afford to go see and continue to offer sliding scale and pay-what-you–can nights to keep our work accessible to all, regardless of economic status. The current staff of Rude Mechs includes Made Darlington, Thomas Graves, Lana Lesley and Shawn Sides.
Madge Darlington is a Founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs. In the collaborative spirit of the Rudes, Madge has worked on almost every show the Rudes have made. Most recently she was a key artist on the Rudes’ Now Now Oh Now and The Method Gun. With Sides, she co-directed Dionysus in 69 and B Beaver Animation.
Lana Lesley is a Founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director for Rude Mechs. Lana has co-created, produced, and/or performed in over thirty original Rude Mechs productions, including, most recently, Stop Hitting Yourself and I’ve Never Been So Happy (co-director).
Kirk Lynn is a Founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs. He is head of the Playwriting and Directing Program at the University of Texas at Austin. His new play, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra opens in April 2014 at Playwrights Horizons.