Rude Mechs

Grrls' clubhouse

Rude Mechs

For more than nine years, the Rude Mechs have been giving young women the gift of self-expression through Grrl Action, a program that, through creative writing and performance, helps adolescent girls discover and develop their artistic voices in a safe space. This July, as the program marks its first decade, the Rudes will also be giving young women a physical space of their own in which to make those discoveries. Adjacent to the Off Center, the former warehouse where the theatre collective produces original homegrown works such as The Method Gun and Lipstick Traces, is another warehouse with 1,400 square feet of space that will be transformed into a venue that's part theatre, part research and development lab, part clubhouse. The Off Shoot, as it's being called, will be fitted with all the equipment the girls need to create their multidisciplinary projects throughout the calendar year.

Cap Metro, which you may not know is the landlord for the Rudes, expanded their lease to include the new property. Metal sign shop Hinge Design is creating a new sliding door with a Grrl Action logo all made of corrugated metal repurposed from the warehouse roof. Once you're inside, architectural designer Nicole Blair of Studio 512 takes over, fitting out the space for lockers and a dressing room for the girls, storage for costumes and props, a resource lab with video equipment and computers (Rice University is donating writing desks), and a library of donated books, magazines, and DVDs. The performance area will have a lighting grid, a PA system and mixer for sound, and a projector for video. Ramirez Homes Inc. will serve as contractor.

Funding for the project got a big boost in 2007 when Impact Austin awarded the Rudes $104,000 to expand Grrl Action from a summer workshop to a year-round program. Of that amount, $10,000 was dedicated to the creation of the Off Shoot. Other funders have since jumped on board (the Meadows Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Dollar General Corp.), and with a recent $40,000 gift from the Laos House – Center for Personal Learning, made in honor of its founder and director, Robert Bryant, and in memory of chef Charles "the Wiz" Smith, the amount raised for the Off Shoot renovation sits at $80,000.

That puts the Off Shoot on track for a grand opening this summer. Madge Darlington, a Rude Mechs co-producing artistic director and co-managing program director of Grrl Action, estimates that once the space is up and running, the program will be able to serve 30 to 40 girls a year. That's a lot of new voices being raised in the world, and we need every one. For more information, visit www.grrlaction.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 Grrl Action
Rude Mechanicals: Grrl Action impacts Austin
Rude Mechanicals: Grrl Action impacts Austin
The Rude Mechs' greatest achievement? Maybe scoring funding for Grrl Action from nonprofit heavyweight Impact Austin.

Barry Pineo, July 20, 2007

More by Robert Faires
Amy Gentry Is All the Rage in Her Third Novel, <i>Bad Habits</i>
Amy Gentry Is All the Rage in Her Third Novel, Bad Habits
The Austin author talks anger, solidarity, and grad school villainy

April 30, 2021

Austin Opera Races Back Into Live Performance With <i>Tosca</i> at Circuit of the Americas
Austin Opera Races Back Into Live Performance With Tosca at Circuit of the Americas
The company brings grand opera to the Grand Prix with an outdoor staging of Puccini's powerhouse

April 30, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rude Mechs, Grrl Action, Madge Darlington, Impact Austin, Laos House

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