By its very nature, acting has a certain falsity to it - even when, at its best, it strives for a larger honesty.

By its very nature, acting has a certain falsity to it - even when, at its best, it strives for a larger honesty.

But Kirk Lynn, playwright of "The Method Gun" and one of the six co-producing artistic directors of the Texas-based Rude Mechs, has no problem with that.

"When you look at what passes for 'realism,' the head spins. If I could find any occasion to act like Marlon Brando in my actual life, I would," Lynn said. "My feelings could get me arrested at least 14 hours a day. But on stage my feelings can be honestly represented in the craziest ways. I love it. I think life might need a little more of acting's falsity in it."

"The Method Gun," which marks the Rude Mechs' second visit to the Wexner Center, takes its name from a perilous acting exercise created by the legendary (fictional) acting teacher Stella Burden. She represents all the teachers who believe they possess the secret to acting well.

"We had fun collecting all the gurus' stories we could from all sorts of sources and sharing them with the story of Stella Burden," Lynn explained.

One of those stories holds that Burden handpicked her students based on the answer to a single question: "Truth or beauty?" For 20 years, Burden took on only those who responded "truth." Then she switched to those who answered "beauty." Within a year, Burden was dead.

If forced to choose, Lynn comes down on the side of truth. But his ideal, like that of the Rude Mechs, encompasses both truth and beauty. Call it art.