Penguin Rep Theatre presents Lee Blessing’s “Cobb” June 30 – July 23;
Director Joe Brancato reprises his celebrated staging
STONY POINT, NY – JUNE 18, 2017 – Penguin Rep Theatre, the award-winning professional Equity theatre under the leadership of founding artistic director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, follows up its sold-out 40th season-opener, Trayf, with Cobb, a powerful play by Lee Blessing about the legendary baseball player, beginning Friday, June 30.
Cobb explores the complicated legacy of the first player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. “Cobb reveled in being called ‘the most hated man in the game,’” says Brancato who will direct. “He was a philanthropist and a racist who played poker with presidents and died a multimillionaire, largely forgotten.”
Brancato previously staged Cobb at Penguin Rep in 1995 and then reprised his celebrated staging for the Melting Pot Theater in New York City in 2000. Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey moved the production to the Lucille Lortel Theatre, where it garnered the Drama Desk for Best Ensemble in 2001, and then in 2002, with the late Garry Marshall, to Los Angeles.
Variety wrote that Brancato’s staging “makes for that rare evening at the theater that leaves you wanting more.”
The limited engagement of Cobb runs through Sunday, July 23 at Penguin Rep Theatre in historic Stony Point (Rockland County), New York.Official opening is Sunday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Stephen Bradbury, Todd Lawson, Andy Striph, and Damian Thompson are featured in the cast.
The production has scenic design by Christopher Thompson, costume design by Christopher Metzger, lighting design by Christina Watanabe, sound design by William Neal, with casting by Stephanie Klapper.
Performance days and times are: Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. There is also a special weekday matinee on Friday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m.
Penguin’s intimate, 108-seat theatre, which is located at 7 Crickettown Road, is converted from an 1880’s hay barn, and offers air-conditioning, wheelchair accessible entrance, rest rooms and seating, and plenty of free parking.
Tickets to Cobb are priced at $44 (including facility fee and service charge). There is an early ordering discount of $35 for tickets purchased prior to July 2. Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).
On Sunday, July 2, the audience is invited to join the cast and crew for cake and coffee after the performance.
On Friday, July 7, there will be a discussion among the actors and audience following the show.
Before the 4:00 p.m. show on Saturday, July 8, there will be a complimentary tasting.
Penguin’s 2017 season also includes Syncopation, Allan Knee’s romantic comedy set on the lower East Side in 1911 about a 38-year-old Jewish butcher and a young Italian garment worker who take dance lessons and dream of a better life. (August 11 – September 3), and the world premiere of Frederick Stroppel’s Fall River, a new take on Lizzie Borden from the author of Small World (October 13 – November 5).
To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep’s website at www.penguinrep.org or call 845-786-2873.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
STEPHEN BRADBURY (Mr. Cobb) just returned from doing The Christians at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Florida, and spent the fall in Cleveland with All The Way, the Tony Award-winning play about Lyndon Johnson. Last year he was Off Broadway in A Class Act, a play about lawyers, and also played Judge Colin McNamara on Law and Order SVU.
TODD LAWSON (Ty) appeared on Broadway in Summer and Smoke and Off Broadway in Gravedigger’s Lullaby, Edwin, Abundance, One Arm, and Levittown. He has also starred across the country at such regional theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville,Merrimack Rep, Baltimore Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, and Vermont Stage.
ANDY STRIPH (Peach) was recently seen on stage in Afghanistan Zimbabwe America Kuwait (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), The Folk Singer (Theatre for the New City), and The Nature of Things (Ensemble Studio Theatre); and on television in Bull (CBS), The Tap (USA), Gotham (FOX), The Good Wife (CBS), and I Love You But I Lied (Lifetime).
DAMIAN THOMPSON (Oscar Charleston) starred Off Broadway in The Anthem, Around the World in 80 Days, Fly, By The Dawn’s Early Light, and Mad Woman of Chaillot, and at such regional theatres as Center Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Northern Stage, Arkansas Rep, and Colorado Shakespeare.
LEE BLESSING (Author): A Walk In The Woods (Broadway and London's West End), Going to St. Ives (Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Best Play, Obie for ensemble performance); Thief River (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Cobb (Drama Desk award, best ensemble); Chesapeake, Eleemosynary, Down The Road, and The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. Other awards: The American Theater Critics Circle Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, The Great American Play Award, The Humanitas Award, and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award. Nominated for Tony and Olivier awards, as well as for the Pulitzer Prize.
JOE BRANCATO (Artistic Director/Director) was cited by The New York Times as “one of America’s most insightful directors.” His Off Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Michael McKeever’s Daniel’s Husband, which transferred from Penguin to Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theatre; Erasmus Fenn’s Drop Dead Perfect at Theatre at St. Clements; The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Off Bway Alliance & Audelco Award nominee), which he also staged at dozens of theatres across the country and in Canada; Tom Dudzick’s Miracle on South Division Street; Fall to Earth and Freed (Audelco Award nominee); Tryst (Outer Critics nomination for Best Play) at the Promenade and at Irish Rep; Cobb (Drama Desk winner) produced by Kevin Spacey and Melting Pot in NYC and LA; From Door To Door at the Westside Theatre; One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages; Two and a Half Jews; My Italy Story; Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Matter of Minutes; at Naked Angels, Escape from Happiness (starring Marsha Mason), The Big Swing (starring Madeline Kahn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Marisa Tomei) and Dr. Valentine’s Waltz (starring John Turturro, Laura Linney, Jane Alexander); Hold the Wedding, produced by Joseph Papp.
ABOUT PENGUIN REP THEATRE
Joe Brancato was a high school English and drama teacher in 1977 when he peered into an abandoned 1880’s hay barn in Stony Point, New York, and visualized his future: a theatre of his own.
40 years later, Penguin Rep – the theatre Brancato started with Francine Newman-McCarthy and runs with executive director Andrew M. Horn -- has grown from a summer theatre to become one of the Hudson Valley’s most influential nonprofit cultural institutions, reaching tens of thousands of theatergoers each year at its home, in New York City and beyond – with its work moving to Off Broadway and to stages across the country and around the world.
And this May when the Bronx-born Brancato began his fifth decade at Penguin, a not-for-profit professional Equity theatre, he is among the longest-serving founding artistic directors in the U.S. today!
Since its founding in 1977, Penguin has presented more than 150 productions – over 100 directed by Brancato himself -- for more than 400,000 people from the lower Hudson Valley and beyond. And Mr. Brancato has brought together accomplished professional actors – David Canary, Michael Cullen, Tim De Kay, Gregg Edelman, Michael Esper, Barbara Feldon, Tovah Feldshuh, Beth Fowler, Deborah Hedwall, Celeste Holm,, Richard Kline, Andrew McCarthy, Lizbeth Mackay, Michele Pawk,and Karen Ziemba, among others – to star in new and noteworthy plays by such playwrights as Lee Blessing, Ronald Harwood, Allan Knee, Arthur Laurents, Warren Leight, Jon Marans, William Mastrosimone, Lainie Robertson, James Sherman and Elizabeth Swados.
As The Journal News wrote in 1982: “Somebody forgot to tell artistic director Joe Brancato that he’s crazy to use a little barn plunked down in the Rockland County suburbs to experiment with unusual and challenging plays… I hope everybody keeps forgetting to tell him. The region is more the richer for it.”
“Guided by the skilled hand of Penguin’s artistic director, Joe Brancato, the splendid performers get first-rate support, as always at Penguin, by an excellent design team” (The New York Times).
“Penguin Rep is a place where theatergoers can experience magic time after time” (Lohud.com).
As it celebrates its fortieth season, Penguin Rep Theatre, dubbed “the gutsiest little theatre” by The New York Times, continues to present a cultural experience that is unique in the region: professional productions of new plays at affordable prices.
Penguin Rep Theatre’s 2017 season is sponsored by Active International and Orange and Rockland Utilities. The season is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Penguin Rep also gratefully acknowledges the support of the County of Rockland, the Town of Stony Point, The Shubert Foundation, Cory and Bob Donnalley Charitable Foundation and generous donations from Joseph Grosso, Barry and Helene Lewis, Chase Mishkin and Morton Wolkowitz.