Get Vengeful at the Regional Premiere of Steve Yockey’s MERCURY at the Know

KTC_Mercury MontageRevenge is a dish best served bloody in
MERCURY
a very dark comedy by Steve Yockey
April 19 – May 11

If Hellraiser were a sitcom, it might be like this play.

Know Theatre is delighted to close our 21st MainStage season with a return to the world of playwright Steve Yockey, with the regional premiere of MERCURY.

Yockey, co-producer and writer on TV’s Supernatural and the brilliant brain behind past Know Theatre favorites including Pluto, The Fisherman’s Wife, and Heavier Than…, now brings us a pitch-black comic romp about what happens when people stop being nice and start getting vengeful.

From jilted lovers to nosy neighbors, marauding bears, and a missing dog named Mr. Bundles, MERCURY uncovers what’s bubbling underneath the surface of suburban niceties.

As the play unfolds, three storylines converge around the strangest curiosity shop in Portland. Because, when simmering grudges reach their boiling point, this shop’s proprietor has just the right items to help feuding parties bury the hatchet.

The Know team is thrilled to bring back some of our favorite comic talents and welcome two new faces to the Know MainStage for this twisted tale of vengeance.

OTRimprov’s impish Eileen Earnest returns to the Know as the busybody-with-a-heart-of-stone Olive. We’ve paired her up once more with Andrew Ian Adams and James Creque, who together dazzled and disoriented audiences in Steve Yockey’s 2016 Know hit The Fisherman’s Wife. Olive just wants to get closer to her new neighbor Nick (played by Creque), but his live-in boyfriend Brian (played by Adams) is just always… in the way.

Elizabeth Molloy makes her second MainStage appearance as Heather, opposite newcomer to the Know MainStage Robyn Novak as Pamela. When their already fraught friendship takes a darker turn, Heather decides she’s ready to take drastic measures to get life back to normal.

Tess Talbot returns after her memorable leading role in 2018’s Ada & the Engine as Alicia, who is happy to help Olive and Heather solve their vexing personal troubles using a little special something from her very special store.

But when her boyfriend “Sam” (played by Patrick Phillips in his Know MainStage debut) gets wind, there’s going to be Hell to pay.

Know Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Andrew J. Hungerford directs the manic chaos of this deeply funny, deeply dark comic adventure. He first encountered Yockey’s script in advance of its premiere in 2017 and it proved a perfect fit to close our 21st season where we’ve been exploring the idea of “Fear Itself” all year.

Says Hungerford,

“Steve writes the kind of plays that from the first lines make me say ‘I want to see THAT onstage!’ They’re so theatrical, so compelling, and such a delightful challenge to make a reality. I want to design them all. That’s not possible, but getting to design or direct one every few years is a pretty good consolation. And I can’t wait for audiences to see this.”

MERCURY is the fourth of Steve Yockey’s plays we’ve tackled on the MainStage since 2012 – and to celebrate, you have a chance to meet the playwright himself, thanks to the Dramatists’ Guild Foundation’s Traveling Masters Program!

The Traveling Masters is a nationwide education program providing master classes and events on the craft of writing. Participants interact with luminaries of the modern stage, allowing them to learn, ask questions, and develop their talents with input from experts. Previous Masters include eminent writers such as Annie Baker, Pearl Cleage, Melissa James Gibson, Terrence McNally, Dael Orlandersmith, Anne Washburn, and many other award-winning writers.

Yockey will be joining us on Saturday, April 20 for a student playwrights’ workshop at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for CCM students, a special invited playwrights’ workshop here at the Know, followed by the 8 PM performance and a post-show talkback open to the public.

If you enjoyed his exploration of death in 2012’s PLUTO, the over-the-top sex farce of 2016’s The Fisherman’s Wife, or the reimagining of the myth of the minotaur in 2017’s Heavier Than… , we know you’ll love getting to know Steve Yockey in this intimate post-show Q&A session.

In a world where people very rarely seem to get what they deserve, MERCURY is a satisfying romp where karma has a wicked sense of humor.

Mercury runs April 19 – May 11, only at Your Theatrical Playground, Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

Cast

  • Robin Novak – Pamela
  • Elizabeth Chinn Molloy – Heather
  • Tess Talbot – Alicia
  • Eileen Earnest – Olive
  • James Creque – Nick
  • Andrew Ian Adams  – Brian
  • Patrick E. Phillips* – “Sam”

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Production Team

  • Director –  Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Scenic & Lighting Designer – Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer – Noelle Johnston
  • Sound & Projections Designer – Douglas Borntrager
  • Prop Designer – Rebecca Armstrong

Calendar Listing

MERCURY by Steve Yockey

8:00 pm April 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27; May 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11
3:00 PM April 21, 28*; May 5

*A pre-show brunch is available on this date with purchase of $35 “Brunch + Show” tickets in advance.  Brunch provided by Water Tower Fine Wines.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati. 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202, in historic Over-the-Rhine.

Tickets:

  • $15 regular price tickets
  • $25 “Living Wage” tickets, supporting working artists in Cincinnati
  • $10 Rush tickets at the door 10 minutes prior to curtain (when available)

Tickets can be purchased by visiting knowtheatre.com or calling 513.300.5669 (KNOW).

Season Design sponsorship provided by Travis McElroy

Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible.

Know Theatre’s work is made possible, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.  

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Know Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Know Theatre is also supported by The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which provides a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving.

Know Theatre is a member of Theatre Communications Group and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.

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