“Charles Mee is one of the most imaginative playwrights of our time.”
— Karen Weinstein, Culture Vulture
“Many theaters have played by Mr. Mee’s rules, making him one of the country’s most prominent experimental dramatists.”
— Mark Blankenship, New York Times
“Charles Mee is one of America’s greatest living playwrights.”
— Steve Luber, OffOffOnline.com
"Charles Mee, arguably the greatest living American playwright….”
— Molly Welsh, BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH.
“Who’s the world’s greatest playwright?….I’ll toss in Charles Mee.”
— Borstalboy, Broadway World
“Inventive, joyous, downright entertaining, subversive, exceedingly clever, thrillingly unpredictable, insanely discursive, provocative, poetic, highly theatrical, political….”
— Savas Patsalidis, president of the Hellenic Association of Theatre and Performing Arts Critics
“Charles Mee is one of America's most theatrical writers, creating stage images that are rich and simple simultaneously. His imagination allows the weird and non sequitur to mix with the everyday and the natural. His flair for including the right amount of pop culture with the deepest of thoughts makes a Mee play a feast for the mind and, when the subject is love, a feast for the heart.”
— Robi Polgar, Austin Chronicle
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Featured Full Reviews
'Big Love' cements itself as a lasting memory at Brandeis Theatre.
October 28, 2016 | READ NOW
New York Post
A wedding goes horribly, bloodily astray in ‘Big Love,’ an adaptation of a Greek tragedy
February 23, 2015 | READ NOW
In the headlock of Big Love: Strawdog Theatre and Charles Mee's play make a terrific couple
April 24, 2013 | READ NOW
Theater review: 'Big Love' offers big fun in a zany, slightly surreal modern setting
June 19, 2010 | READ NOW
UT energetically takes on Charles Mee's update of an ancient Greek drama and makes it very here, now
February 22, 2008 | READ NOW
Academic Criticism + Informational Reviews
Click on the titles of the following selections to access the full text.
*Please Note: These documents require full downloading onto your computer to view complete highlights and annotation. All other documents, annotated copies can be viewed directly online by clicking the link.
Love Among the Ruins by Scott T. Cummings
Profiles playwright Charles L. Mee of the United States. Contributions to the theater industry; Influences and inspirations; Information on his plays `Big Love,' directed by Les Waters and `Summertime,' directed by Kenn Watt; Views on writing. INSET: TALKING TO MEE: 'STARTLED BY THE SUDDENNESS OF LIFE'.
Remaking American Theater: Charles Mee, Anne Bogart, and the Siti Company
This text, an outstanding addition to an impressive series edited by Don Wilmeth, offers a vital contribution to the study of two of the most significant theatre artists working today. It is the first full-length text linking Mee and Bogart in style, content, approach to craft, and influence on modern theatre practice. Applying the framework of "remaking" to Mee's playwriting and Bogart's approach to directing and audiences, Cummings draws his lines of argument so convincingly and develops the connections between these two artists in such a compelling fashion that one wonders why they haven't been the subject of a joint study before. Big Love feature.
*Rewriting the Greeks: Mee and Big Love Specifics (15 pages)
Taken from: The Translations, Adaptations, Distant Relatives and Productions of Aeschylus’ Tragedies in the United States of America from 1900 to 2009. (Full text 393 pages)
The purpose of this study is to examine the practices of rewriting Aeschylus’ tragedies for American audiences and the manner in which these rewrites are “read” by stage directors who adapt them in their academic and non-academic theatre productions in the United States. In order to analyze the translation and performance practices of Aeschylus’ plays, this study will examine all English language translations, adaptations, and distant relatives of Aeschylus’ works for the twenty and twenty-first centuries and analyze key moments that connect and illuminate those works.
*Charles Mee's Intertextual and Intercultural Inscriptions: The Suppliants Vs Big Love
by Dr Savas Patsalidis of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece from Codifying the National Self
This essay offers a well-rounded and researched presentation of Charles Mee, his life, style of writing, and ways of interlacing culture within everything he creates. The essay is included as a chapter within "Codifying the National Self": a collection of essays selected in order to exemplify different aspects and theories of theater studies: the playwright, the play, the audience, and the actor are all examined as part of the theatrical experience that serves to formulate American national identity.
Supplices, The Satyr Play: Charles Mee's Big Love by Rush Rehm
In "Big Love," Charles L. Mee converts Aeschylus' "Danaides" into a contemporary satyr play, the paratragic genre for which Aeschylus was famous in antiquity. Rehm delves into the ways in which Big Love is the "Satyr play" version of Aeschylus's earliest surviving drama. Highlighting the idea that the primal compulsions that affect human beings.
*The Rape of the Author: How Charles Mee (re)defines Authorship and its Manifestation in his Play Big Love by Jorge J. Rodriguez
This English Senior Essay offers an introduction to the work of contemporary American playwright Charles Mee and his (re)making project. It examines his play Big Love, paying particular attention to the characters’ suggestion that rape is not necessarily a sexual violation, but the act of taking anything by force. The essay argues that Mee’s figurative rape of other author’s texts is necessary to free writing from copyright restrictions and to ultimately establish a free textual exchange among writers. Given that this rape analogy is not Mee’s own, the essay ultimately suggests that the playwright literalizes a long-standing literary theory to suggest that textual appropriation is a manifestation of writing, rather than an assault on its conventions.
Big Love: Relationality, Ethics, and The Art of Letting Go by Fintan Walsh
This article considers the performance of non-violent relationality. Focusing on a production of Big Love, it explores how performance might enlighten an ethic of non-violent being with others, and non-violent being in the world. While many theoretical models of identity emphasize the unavoidable aggressivity of intersubjective relations, this article focuses on scenes in which the subject is let go from
violence and retribution.