Know Theatre is thrilled to announce the regional premiere of COCK by Mike Bartlett as our next mainstage production. This will be only the second American production following its premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London. COCK opens April 12, 2013 and runs through May 11, 2013. Brian Robertson, who currently teaches in the Theatre and Dance Department at Northern Kentucky University, will direct this production. Some of his past directing credits include Camelot at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center and A Flowering Tree at Cincinnati Opera. COCK features performances from Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Kevin Thornton, Danielle Knox, and George Alexander.
In this tense comedy about sexual identity, COCK explores one man’s choices about which path of love to pursue. When John takes a break from his longtime boyfriend, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with a woman. Trapped between two lovers, John feels the physical and emotional tug of both, and neither party wants to lose the battle for his heart. John has a choice to make as he navigates his sexuality, selfhood, and the intersection of the two.
Without scenery or props, COCK allows the audience to focus on the relationships between the characters and opens a dialogue about what we’re physically attracted to and why. This feisty and energizing piece is an exercise in emotional carnage with quick-paced dialogue that suggests to-the-death battle of the characters. Each character, with the exception of John, knows what he or she wants and is willing to fight to get it.
“I had the chance to check out this production while visiting New York for the American Theatre Wing award ceremony, and I loved it,” says Eric Vosmeier, Producing Artistic Director. “It’s a kind of pansexual love story that’s told very simply without all of the trappings of a traditional production. A very simple set, no props, minimal lighting and sound all conspire to allow the actors and Mr. Bartlett’s text to truly take center stage and to shine.”
“This is one of the first victories of Know Theatre’s new scheduling model. Rights for this production have only just become available and because we’ve created a schedule that can bend and flex, we’ve been able to schedule a production almost immediately. We’re thrilled to be one of (if not the) first post-New York production of this work.”
COCK made its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London in November 2009. In May 2012, COCK made its US premiere at The Duke, New York.
All tickets are $15 in advance and $18 on the week of the show, beginning Mondays at noon. Tickets can be purchased by visiting knowtheatre.com or calling 513.300.5669. Flex-passes are valid for this event. This production features bleacher style seating.
If you are unable to print the title of the play, we suggest “Cockfight Play.”
- Director – Brian Robertson
- Scenic & Lighting Design – Andrew Hungerford
- Costume Design – Noelle Wedig
- Sound Design – Doug Borntrager
8pm: April 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11 3pm: April 28 & May 4
Mike Bartlett (Playwright) – Mike Bartlett is currently Associate Playwright at Paines Plough. In 2011, he was writer-in-residence at The National Theatre, and in 2007 he was Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court Theatre. His play Love, Love, Love won Best New Play in the 2011 Theatre Awards UK, and his play COCK won an Olivier Award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre; he won the Writer’s Guild Tinniswood and Imison prizes for Not Talking and the Old Vic New Voices Awards for Artefacts. Theatre credits include: Love, Love, Love, 13 (National Theatre), Decade (co-writer), Earthquakes in London, COCK, Contractions, Artefacts, and My Child.. Radio credits include: “The Core,” “Heart,” “Liam,” “The Steps,” “Love Contract,” “Not Talking,” and “The Family Man,” all on BBC. Screen credits include “Earthquakes in London” and “Hometown.” Directing credits include Honest by DC Moore. He is currently under commission from Headlong Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre, and The Royal Court Theatre.
Brian Robertson (Director) – Brian currently teaches in the Theatre and Dance Department at Northern Kentucky University and is the co-founder of Cincinnati’s Performance Gallery. Over the past 25 years, Brian has had an extensive career in film, television, theatre, and opera. From 1998-2002, he was the principal stage director for Cincinnati Opera’s education department, production credits include: La cenerentola, Operacadabra, an original production, which he co-created, and Hans Krasa’s Brundibar. He has been a guest director at Miami University (Oxford), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, New Edgecliff Theatre, and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. He worked at the Des Moines Metro Opera, Bayview Music Festival, and Sarasota Opera. Most recently he directed Camelot at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center and Lucia di Lammermoor for Sarasota Opera. He was also the stage director for a new production of A Flowering Tree at Cincinnati Opera and wrote and directed new adaptations of la boheme and The Magic Flute for the Cincinnati Opera education department.
Darnell Pierre Benjamin is cocked and ready to shoot in another production with Know Theatre. Since 2009, Darnell has had the pleasure of working with Know Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (Third Season Resident Company Member), Pones. Inc, Madcap Puppets, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra–all in Cincinnati; and most recently, he wrapped a short film with Brand New Gay Productions, which will premiere this Summer. His past favorites at Know are Belize in Angels in America, Dameon in Sideways Stories at Wayside High, and Oedipus in The Eyes of Oedipus.
Kevin Thornton is a New Faces winner at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and recently performed at Gotham Comedy Club in New York. When he’s not doing stand-up he is a full-time fringe performer, and has appeared in nearly every US fringe. He’s also an author, musician and podcast radio host. He talked about the many facets of his career as a guest lecturer at Berkeley last year, and has been invited to speak again in 2013. Kevin has been seen in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival in Strange Dreamz (2012), I Love You (We’re F*#cked (2011), Sex, Dreams, & Self Control(2009).
Danielle Knox is excited to be making her Know Theatre debut. She has had a varied career in musical theater and opera. Danielle has performed leading roles with the Tri-Cities Opera, Ohio light Opera, Atlanta Lyric Theater, Chamber Opera of Chicago, Light Opera Works, and the Castleton Festival. Her regional music theater credits include Maria (West Story), Marian Paroo (The Music Man), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice), Amalia (She loves Me), Laurie (Oklahoma!) and Sarah (Guys and Dolls). Recently, Danielle appeared locally with The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center as Guenevere in their production of Camelot. Danielle received her Bachelors Degree in Music from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters Degree from Binghamton University.
Know Theatre of Cincinnati is supported, 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 supported by the National Theatre Company Grant from The American Theatre Wing, dedicated to supporting the most promising emerging theatre companies from around the country. Know Theatre of Cincinnati also receives support from The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation.
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