The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc

KU Theatre
Director's Program Notes
The late historian Howard Zinn described the American family as a “haven” constituted by “love, trust, and intimacy.” The Big Meal is a relationship play in the richest sense of the word, with a married couple, Sam and Nicole, at the center of a domestic drama rife with the staples of family life: parenthood, siblings, marriage, in-laws, and death. Inspired by Thornton Wilder’s The Long Christmas Dinner, Dan LeFranc’s play traces the celebrations and sorrows of four generations of an American family to include seminal events such as marriage, childbirth, and the loss of loved ones. It is a not-so-gentle reminder that we are who we are because of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and grandparents.

Our actor-driven production consists of an ensemble of nine undertaking multiple characters, five of which are double and/or triple cast. With a simple stage consisting of a 16 x 20 foot platform sparely set with 3 tables and 6 chairs, our troupe will deploy the theatre’s most distinctive resource, the power to suspend disbelief, as we assume a range of lives that extends from childhood to dotage within circumstances that are as familiar as they are poignant. It is in this context that—to borrow from Shakespeare—we humbly ask that you “Let us upon your imaginary forces work.”

Cast & Design Team
  • Set and Lighting Design:
  • Mark Reaney
  • Costume Design:
  • Pamela Rodriguez-Montero
Cast: Brian Laurence Buntin, Kendra J. Hacker, Jaclyn Amber Nischbach, Jacquelyn O’Connor, Eric Palmquist, Lindsey Roesti, Abby Sharp, Kevin Siess, Thomas Tong
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