The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘Cock’: a ‘stimulating’ play

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By Kathleen Bennett

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Actor Justin Locklear starring as John in ‘Cock.’ (Courtesy of Second Thought Theatre)


With a title like ‘Cock,’ one hopes that the play will satisfy its audiences, or at the very least be stimulating. Luckily, with this production of the award-winning drama by Mike Bartlett, theatregoers get that and more.

This past Friday, Second Thought Theatre opened up its 2014 season with a thought-provoking production that questions love, sexuality and the labels that come with them.

The production begins with the actors entering the room and tracing shapes projected from above onto the stage. It soon became obvious that these shaped demarked different spaces in which scenes from the play occurred.

The play is uniquely written, organized not in chronological order, but rather by the main character, John’s, played by Justin Locklear, relationships with his two love interests, M, Blake Hackler, and W. Danielle Pickard, until both stories come together in a climactic dinner shared by all.

Act I begins with John’s relationship with M, and follows them through their story from living together to their break-up and on through John’s confession to M that he has had another relationship… and with a woman no less! Then we see John in his relationship with W, from their first meeting to their first sexual experience together and on to John’s invitation to a dinner with M and W so he can decide between his two lovers.

In Act II, chaos insures as John is forced to choose between his two loves at a dinner party, at which they are joined by M’s Father F, played by Robert Ousely.

Watching this show was a master class in acting. With each new scene, a new level of both relationships was revealed and it became easier and easier to understand John’s struggle to choose between M and F. While each scene was beautifully crafted, the one part of the story that was missing was John’s remorse in the situation. He showed no sorrow for the pain he caused both of his lovers, but rather the emphasis was placed on his internal struggle.

Keeping in theme with the rest of the performance, the costumes were simple and effective. All of the characters were dressed in black and white with red accents, except John who was dressed in gray.

The play was masterfully directed by Alex Organ, a graduate of the renowned MFA program at Yale University School of Drama and an Associate Artist with Second Thought Theatre. His vision was simple and effective. With minimal set, soft lighting and hardly any music, the emphasis was placed on the actors and the scenes.

This play was entertaining, engaging and enlightening, and what should be expected from every theatrical performance.

‘Cock’ will run until its closing date of Feb. 22.

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