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See ‘Cock,’ support the community


RHCR Theatre presents: Dreamwell Theatre’s Cock

Artisan’s Sanctuary — Friday and Saturday, June 10–11 at 7 p.m.

L-R: Per Wiger, Jessica Wilson, Bryant Duffy, Rip Russel in Dreamwell Theatre's production of 'Cock' -- photo by
L-R: Per Wiger, Jessica Wilson, Bryant Duffy, Rip Russell in Dreamwell Theatre’s production of ‘Cock’ — photo by Elisabeth Ross

This April, Dreamwell Theatre in Iowa City presented the final show of its 2015-16 season, a well-received production of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 Cock. The play is, essentially, a traditional drawing room comedy about the sort of people who weren’t traditionally invited into the drawing room. When I saw it, towards the end of its run at Dreamwell’s current home space of Public Space One, it was played with a poignancy that reflected these strong actors’ commitment and connection to their characters’ truths.

The play centers around one man’s desperate efforts to choose between the long-time boyfriend who keeps him grounded — sometimes in the sense of steady, sometimes in the sense of hobbled — and the girlfriend who swept him off his feet while they were separated. This production of it is being revived for four shows this June, starting Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, at the Artisan’s Sanctuary in Cedar Rapids (45 16th Ave SW). 25 percent of the proceeds from these shows will benefit Cedar Rapids Pridefest.

“We actually had the idea to do additional performances during the original run of Cock when we realized we were receiving a lot of interest from members of the public who weren’t able to attend on any of the original dates,” says director Matt Brewbaker. “Since the actors were equally interested in continuing the run and exploration of the play and their roles, it became more a question of where and when than ‘if’.”

The actors passion for the show is clear; they have been engaged with the play since its run closed. Brewbaker notes that, even while he was out of town and unable to run brush-up rehearsals, “They have been continuing to go over the script and keep the material fresh.” As for public reception, “Cock and all of the actors won awards for the company’s 2015-2016 season” at Dreamwell’s annual awards ceremony, “Night of Stars,” Brewbaker said, adding that “There really is both deep affection and pride in what we’ve accomplished with Mike Bartlett’s amazing play.”

In addition to the shows in Cedar Rapids, Cock will play for two additional dates at Public Space One in Iowa City (120 N. Dubuque St.) on June 23 at 7:30 p.m. and June 25 and 2 p.m. A portion of those proceeds will benefit Iowa City Pride. Tickets for the Artisan’s Sanctuary performance are $18; tickets for the show at PS1 are $10–13.


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