Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mike Bartlett’s hilarious and thought-provoking Olivier Award-winning play, "COCK," opens the season for Kinetic Theatre

Erika Strasburg and Thomas Constantine Moore in "COCK" Photo Credit: Kinetic Theatre Company

Kinetic Theatre Company will produce the Pittsburgh premiere of red hot young British playwright Mike Bartlett’s Olivier Award-winning play “Cock,” to open its expanded 2016 three-play season: Love (and Other Catastrophes!).

Bartlett’s provocatively titled play (often referred to as The Cockfight Play) will feature three alumni from Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School of Drama – Ethan Hova (2005), Erika Strasburg (2010), and Thomas Constantine Moore (2014) – along with Broadway veteran and Kinetic Theatre associate artist Sam Tsoutsouvas and plays May 13-29, 2016 at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Downtown.

Mike Bartlett won London’s 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for Cock, his hypnotic and uproariously funny play that is much more than its provocative title. John, the play’s central character, has been in a stable relationship with his boyfriend for many years but falls in love with a woman! Both are prepared to fight to keep him.

A dinner party with the two parties is arranged and battle royal ensues.  A comic and highly theatrical discussion of identity and sexuality, the play is performed without props or scenery, placing the focus solely on the actors and the drama of the situation.

Mike Bartlett won the London Critics Circle Award for his future history play King Charles III, which began at the Almeida Theatre before transferring to the West End. The Broadway production, which opened in October, 2015 has been nominated for six 2016 Tony Awards. His five-part television series Doctor Foster, broadcast in 2015, was named Best New Drama at the British National Television Awards. A second series is currently in production. In 2011, he was the writer-in-residence at the National Theatre and in 2007 he was Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court

Bartlett adapted Chariots of Fire for the Hampstead Theatre in 2012, transferring to the West End for a lengthy run. In 2011, his play Love, Love, Love won Best New Play at the Theatre Awards UK and Bull won an Olivier Award in 2015 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. He is currently under commission from Headlong Theatre, Liverpool Everyman, Hampstead Theatre, and the Royal Court Theatre.

Director Andrew Paul has helmed all four of Kinetic Theatre’s Pittsburgh premiere productions: Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, David Mamet’s Romance, Conor McPherson’s adaptation of Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, and Charles Marowitz’s Sherlock’s Last Case.

He recently directed sold-out, extended runs of Peepolykus’ The Hound of the Baskervilles at Nevada Conservatory Theatre and David Ives’ The School for Lies at San Diego’s North Coast Repertory Theatre (Craig Noel Award nominee - Outstanding Production of 2014 - as voted upon by the San Diego Theatre Critics), a ClassicsFest workshop and reading of Edward Ravenscroft’s Restoration comedy The London Cuckolds at Los Angeles’classic repertory company, Antaeus Theatre, and the Las Vegas premiere of George Brant’s award-winning play Grounded at Cockroach Theatre.

Paul previously co-founded the acclaimed Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre (PICT) and served as the company's producing artistic director from 1996 to 2013.  Under his leadership, PICT produced more than a hundred plays, festivals devoted to the plays of Samuel Beckett, John Millington Synge, Harold Pinter, and Anton Chekhov, and two successful international tours.

His many PICT productions as director include Chekhov’s Ivanov, The Seagull, and Uncle Vanya, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Julius Caesar, David Hare’s Via Dolorosa and Stuff Happens, Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, David Mamet's Race, Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden, Pinter's No Man's Land, Alan Bennett's The History Boys and Tom Stoppard's Rock'n'Roll.  

Paul's 2002 production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer starring Bingo O'Malley played to acclaim at thirteen venues in Ireland and Northern Ireland and he appeared as an actor in the 2003 PICT production of Shaw's Major Barbara which performed 14 sold-out performances at the Galway Arts Festival and transferred to Dublin for three weeks of performances at the Pavilion Theatre. 

In 2008, he directed and collaborated with Sir David Hare on the non-English language premiere of his play Stuff Happens at the Slaski Theatre in Katowice, Poland.  In 2010, Andrew was a featured speaker at the World Theatre Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In COCK, Thomas Constantine Moore plays the central role of John.  Moore is a 2014 BFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and has performed professionally with Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre in Tamara and The Master Builder. Ethan Hova is a 2005 CMU Drama graduate.  He just completed Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj for Washington D.C.’s Woolly 2Mammoth Theatre Company. He has performed in Pittsburgh with Quantum Theatre in Tamara, Richard II, and The Arabian Night.

Erika Strasburg won the 2015 Broadway World Award for Performance of the Year for her role in the Off-Broadway production of St. Joan of the Stockyards, directed by Peter Kleinert. She has appeared in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh CLO, City Theatre, Quantum, and is currently appearing in Barebones Productions performance of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

A Scene from COCK Credit: Kinetic Theatre Company

Sam Tsoutsouvas has performed leading roles on Broadway and at many of America’s finest regional theatres.  His recent Pittsburgh appearances include Ed Dixon’s L’Hotel and Caryl Churchill’s A Number at Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Frank Lloyd Wright in Worksong at City Theatre.
His many productions with director Paul include Edgar in Kinetic Theatre’s The Dance of Death, Robert in Blue/Orange (Phoenix/Kinetic Theatre), Max in Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll, Antony in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Hirst in Pinter’s No Man’s Land (all PICT).

The design team for COCK includes Scenic Designer Johnmichael Bohach, Costume Designer Julianne D’Errico, Lighting Designer Alex Stevens, Sound Designer Nicholas Erickson, and dialect coach Natalie Baker Shirer. 

Kinetic Theatre’s 2016 season also includes the hilarious new West End adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles by the British comedy troupe Peepolykus (July 21-August 7 at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre), and the American premiere of Three Days in the Country (November 18-December 4 at New Hazlett Theatre), a thrilling new adaptation by renowned playwright Patrick Marber of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country.

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater is located at 937 Liberty Avenue, Downtown. Subscriptions for the three play 2016 Kinetic Theatre season are vailable now for just $99.00 and can be purchased directly from the theatre by email at kinetictheatreinfo@gmail.com or by phone at 412-225-9145.
Single tickets for Cock are available through Showclix and can be purchased by phone at 1-888-718-4253, or by visiting Showclix online www.showclix.com/event/KineticTheatreCo or visiting Kinetic Theatre Company online at www.kinetictheatre.org.

The mission of Kinetic Theatre Co. is three-fold: to explore the issues facing our diverse and rapidly changing world through the language of theatre, to value text, both classic and contemporary, as our primary source of inspiration, and to honor, value, and respectfully compensate the artist.

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