Theatre Exile Opens 2013-2014 Season with Philadelphia Premiere of COCK, 10/17-11/10
Theatre Exile opens their 2013/14 season with the Philadelphia premiere of Cock, the Laurence Olivier Award-winning play by British playwright Mike Bartlett. Directed by Exile's Producing Artistic Director Deborah Block and starring Wes Haskell with John Jarboe, Mary Tuomanen and Benjamin Lovell, Cock runs October 17 - November 10. The play unfolds on an intimate, bare bones stage that removes the boundaries between actors and audience at Studio X in South Philadelphia.
Described as a "feisty, hypnotic and oddly energizing exercise in emotional carnage" by The New York Times, Cock follows the messy aftermath of John's affair with W (Tuomanen) during a break from his boyfriend, M (Jarboe). In an attempt to work out his conflicting feelings, John arranges for M and W to meet over a dinner that unexpectedly includes M's father, F (Lovell). Caught between labels and the expectations they carry, John's struggle to shrug off a single definition of what he is and who he can be offers a stark insight on the chaos that can result from refusing to accept society's definitions.
"We were drawn to Cock because it fits into Exile's mission of exploring the human condition, which often isn't neat and pretty," says Producing Artistic Director Deborah Block. "Exile's plays are memorable because once we've asked these provocative questions, we don't pretend to know all of the answers. Our plays are a journey and the ending opens up new doors and new possibilities."
Cock runs October 17 - November 10, 2013 (press opening: Wednesday, October 23, 8 p.m.). Tickets are $20 - $40 and are available online at theatreexile.org or by calling the Theatre Exile Box Office at (215) 218-4022. Performances will take place at Studio X, 1340 S. 13th Street at Reed St. in South Philadelphia.
Theatre Exile will continue its 2013/14 season with True West by Sam Shepard, directed by Matt Pfeiffer (January 30 - February 23, 2014) and will close with the Philadelphia premiere of Annapurna by Sharr White, directed by Joe Canuso and starring Pearce Bunting and Catharine Slusar (April 17 - May 11, 2014).
About the Cast
Cock stars Wes Haskell as John. Wes's stage credits include the off-Broadway play #ReganCross (Law Cross) and Barcode the Musical(Nest) at FringeNYC as well as productions of Good Boys and True (Brandon), As You Like It (Orlando), Blood Brothers (Mickey), The Full Monty (Ethan) and Macbeth (Malcolm). Wes has been seen in HBO's The Normal Heart with Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer, NBC's Smash, and has received the National Distinguished Actor Award from the Kennedy Center ACTF in 2012.
John Jarboe, a University of Michigan graduate and now a Philadelphia-based theatre artist, plays John's boyfriend, M. Philadelphia stage credits include Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in Clark Park); Horatio in Hamlet and Amiens in As You Like It(Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre); Rudi Gernreich in The Temperamentals (Mauckingbird Theatre Company) and Sam Plowman in Vincent in Brixton (Walnut Street Theatre). John is a member of Applied Mechanics, with whom he has performed Jan in Portmanteau (Philly Fringe, Frontera Fest) and Lenny in Overseers, among others. He is also the artistic director of The Bearded Ladies, an experimental cabaret group that performs at the Wilma Theater. The Bearded Ladies' shows include Back in the Army Cabaret, No Regrets: A Piaf Affair, and Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret.
John's complications begin when he falls for W, played by Mary Tuomanen. Mary was the first woman to play Hamlet in Philadelphia since Charlotte Cushman 101 years ago. Other stage credits Andre Michaux in Paper Garden at the American Philosophical Society, Annie in Silverhill (Interact), the voice of Bea in Extremely Public Displays of Privacy (New Paradise Laboratories) and Sophie Gets the Horns (Riot Group). Mary is a graduate of the Lecoq School of Movement Theatre in Paris and founded a street theater company there called Les Corps Volants. She is a company member of Applied Mechanics and occasionally takes a turn with The Bearded Ladies Cabaret at the Wilma.