Rude Mechs

They've never been so happy

Need more proof that Austin's own Rude Mechanicals are on the national radar for making new theatre? Try this: The collective has just received a prestigious little grant of $20,000 to support its next homegrown production. What makes it noteworthy – on top of that five-figure dollar amount – is that it's from the National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Program, a new initiative launched by the federal agency in partnership with the Washington, D.C., theatre Arena Stage. It's intended to form, according to NEA Chair Dana Gioia, "a small but superb national network to develop new works from across the country." From 120 applicants, only five companies were chosen for NPDP's inaugural round of Distinguished New Play Development Projects.

The project that earned the Rudes this distinction is titled I've Never Been So Happy. As usual at this stage of development, the company is somewhat vague on what the show will be – maybe it's about the American folktale and "the frontier of parenthood" or maybe a sort of Western carnival with maybe a documentary film about the Rude Mechs' parents and maybe a margarita and/or salsa competition and maybe a dachshund race and maybe ... well, you get the idea. About all that's set at present is that it's a musical with a score by Peter Stopschinski and book and lyrics by Kirk Lynn and that it's being workshopped in parts: scenes two, four, and seven (the father-daughter story) in December; scenes one, three, and six (the mother-son story) in April. The whole show, including a climactic scene nine, is scheduled to premiere in September 2009. Then in the fall of 2010, it will be presented at Arena Stage, along with the other four projects chosen for the first round of the NEA Distinguished New Play Development Project.

Lynn won another sweet slice of recognition from the NEA program: His play The Wrestling Patient, a collaboration with Obie Award-winning Austin director Katie Pearl and Boston actress Anne Gottlieb, was one of nine finalists for NEA Outstanding New American Plays. Alas, grants were awarded only to two of the nine, but the honor stands, Kirk! The Wrestling Patient, produced by SpeakEasy Stage Company, premieres next March in Boston.

For more information, visit npdp.arenastage.org.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Rude Mechs
Grageriart: <i>Design 4 Everyone</i> at Crashbox
Grageriart: Design 4 Everyone at Crashbox
Math rock is hard, let's go shopping with some robots

Wayne Alan Brenner, Aug. 2, 2019

Rude Mechanicals' <i>Not Every Mountain</i>
Rude Mechanicals' Not Every Mountain
This Rude Mechs performance piece shows us a mountain's lifetime in an hour and makes clear that nothing lasts forever

Trey Gutierrez, April 26, 2019

More Kirk Lynn
Gift Guide 2015: Fiction by Austin Authors
Rules for Werewolves
This tale of runaways prowling suburbia in a pack recalls the eerie unreality of The Twilight Zone

Robert Faires, Dec. 11, 2015

Kirk Lynn
Kirk Lynn
For he's a jolly good fellow

Robert Faires, Dec. 9, 2011

More by Robert Faires
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in <i>Tales of a Blerd Ballerina</i>
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in Tales of a Blerd Ballerina
The actress looks back at what it was to be young, geeky, and Black

April 9, 2021

Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
For the seventh year, Golden Hornet referees this composition competition while you decide the winner

March 26, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rude Mechs, Kirk Lynn, I've Never Been So Happy, National Endowment for the Arts, Peter Stopschinski, Katie Pearl

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle