Cohesion Theatre Company officially began producing work on their own in the Fall of 2014.

Below you will find a look back at the production history of the company.


The Inaugural Season - 2014/15


Coriolanus

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Alice Stanley

Nov. 20 – Dec. 7, 2014

413 South Conkling Street, Baltimore

William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus provides an intimate and timeless look at the intricacies of family life and the dynamics of politics in the city. The title character, a renowned war hero, is constantly at odds with the common people, leading to riots in the midst of Rome’s democratic revolution. Directed by Alice Stanley, Cohesion’s brooding production will incorporate traditional Roman design with more modern images of revolution, and leave the audience questioning our long-held ideals of democracy and equality.


Thirteen Dead Husbands

By Tom Horan

Directed by Brad Norris

March 12 – 29, 2015

Performances held at The Church on The Square - 1025 S. Potomac Avenue, Baltimore

A Baltimore premiere production, Thirteen Dead Husbands tells the fanciful story of Dee-Dee, “the most beautiful woman in the world”, and the men who come from far and wide to woo and wed her, only to end up dead under mysterious circumstances. As friends Marcel and Jean Pierre compete for her hand, they ask if one of them should marry her, will they live to enjoy it? Told with charming humor and a surreal and fantastic design, Husbands champions the simplicity of love, and the joy of possibility.


The Baltimore Theatre Syllabus

Four Readings in Response to the Baltimore Uprising and the Death of Freddie Grey

Sundays May 3, and 17, 2015

We at Cohesion have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and love for our city, and we are contributing to the conversation through theatre. The Baltimore Theatre Syllabus is a collection of works we've assembled that we feel speaks directly to the issues and struggles we are currently facing as Charm City. We hope you'll join us Sundays May 3rd and 17th for the reading of these plays as well as a discussion about race, class, social and economic justice, and police conduct. All the readings are FREE, and no reservation is needed..

THE READINGS: 

Appropriate by Brandon Jacob-Jenkins

The Mojo and The Sayso by Aisha Rahman

A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Force Continuum by Kia Corthron


The Pillow Book

by Anna Moench

directed by Jonas David Grey

June 25 – July 12, 2015

Performances held at The Church on The Square - 1025 S. Potomac Avenue, Baltimore

Cohesion Theatre Company & The Strand Theatre Company proudly present a Baltimore premiere production. Deb and John are married. Deb and John are strangers. Deb saves John's life on a mountain. John blinds Deb on the Serengeti. John works at an office. John works at a different office. Deb is a doctor, or an exterminator. The Pillow Book is a journey through the real, the imagined, the absurd, and the parallel. Told with a cast of three, The Pillow Book examines the life in and around one couple’s past, present, and the possibilities that could have been.


ParityFest Baltimore 2015

July 1 - August 9, 2015

Cohesion Theatre Company owes a huge thank you to all the companies, venues, and artists that participated in and supported ParityFest Baltimore 2015, a city-wide readings festival aimed at increasing parity in the arts! We are so very pleased to have been able to orchestrate this mammoth undertaking, and to have it be such a collaborative effort with so many pitching in to increase awareness of these amazing female playwrights. We saw 38 plays produced in various stages of reading over the course of six very full weeks. Each of these plays were new and under-produced works written by female playwrights generated from The Kilroys 2014 and 2015 Lists. Cohesion also pulled together some amazing people to participate in several panel discussions regarding parity in theater and the arts, as well as playwriting, women in science, and applied feminism. It was a whirlwind six weeks, but it was so very worth it. 


Season 2 - 2015/16


A Little Bit Not Normal

By Lillie Franks

Directed by Alice Stanley

November 19 – December 6, 2015

A world premiere production kicking off both Cohesion’s main stage season and the Trans* Voices Workshop Series! Devon has completed her transition and is enjoying her mostly normal life with her partner, Nancy – even if it does include the occasional talking cat or visit from God. But when her estranged father Patrick decides to pay a visit and tries to call her his son, Devon has to deal with identity, misgendering, history, and family politics all around her own dinner table. Cohesion is working directly with playwright, Lillie Franks to develop this full and unique production.


Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

Adapted and Directed by Phil Vannoorbeeck

Workshop Performances: January 8 - 10, 2016

Shakespeare’s Trans* Comedy in the 21st Century.


A Special Project In Partnership with Baltimore Shakespeare Factory:

The Complete Deaths of William Shakespeare

Created by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory & Cohesion Theatre Company

January 15-17, 2016

Celebrating the 400th Anniversary Year of Shakespeare’s death, Cohesion and BSF present a devised work of stage combat, bard appreciation, and silliness encompassing every death of every character written into all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays (and maybe a few that aren’t).


Hamlet

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Alice Stanley

March 4 – 20, 2016

Caught between the death of a Father, the betrayal of a Mother, and the lust of an Uncle-become-King, Shakespeare’s famously brooding protagonist seeks revenge above all else in the most influential play of the English language. A calculating schemer, or a raving lunatic, Hamlet’s emotional soliloquies and tragic story have captivated and intrigued audiences for hundreds of years. The turmoil in Denmark will be palpable in Stanley’s production as they draw the audience into the emotional life of the often distant and intellectual protagonist. As Hamlet’s grip on the world spirals out of control, and those closest find themselves manipulated and betrayed, the production elements will spiral right along with Hamlet.


Aphorisms on Gender

by Alice Stanley

Directed by Caitlin Carbone

Workshop Performances: April 1-3, 2016

If everything around you is only ones and zeroes, what does it mean to be non-binary?


Force Continuum

By Kia Corthron

Directed by Rosiland Cauthen

April 22 – May 8, 2016

Told through three generations of African-American police officers, Force Continuum follows Dece, who is disillusioned and confused in a contemporary world of drug violence and brutality, and whose present-day struggles go beyond the routine paradox of being both black and a cop when he and his white partner become indicted in the death of a black female civilian. Force Continuum is a jagged, precarious journey that speaks to the heart of the current unrest in Baltimore and America. 


Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric

Directed by Brad Norris

June 2 – 19, 2016

A Baltimore premiere production. This modern fantasy tale takes us to the gritty and parallel world of London Below with the unwitting Richard Mayhew, who falls between the cracks in reality to end up caught in a dangerous adventure in a place familiar, foreign, and deadly. Befriending and protecting a powerful child, bargaining and bickering with the Marquis de Carabas, and hunting the great Beast of London, Richard’s journey becomes one to save both his world Above, and the newly discovered world Below. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman; author of American GodsCoraline, and Sandman.


Season 3 - 2016/17


The Political Cabaret

A Collaboration of Cohesion Theatre Company, Spotlighters Theatre, and the Baltimore Improv Group

September 9, 10, 16, 17, 2017

Join us for four zany nights of improv, sketch comedy, and musical satire that will challenge the current state of affairs in American politics. Grab a drink and settle in as we exercise our freedom of speech in a raucous roast of the individuals in our political arena and ponder the future of our great nation. The creative talent from the Baltimore Improv Group and Cohesion Theatre Company are sure you leave your sides in stitches as this special collaboration offers the audience a unique opportunity to face up to the absurdities of American Political Life: Laughter!


The Complete Deaths of William Shakespeare: THE REMOUNT!

Presented by Cohesion Theatre Company and Baltimore Shakespeare Factory

October 28 - 31, 2017

Back for one more death filled Halloween weekend! Join us as we slice, stab, smother, smack, shoot, grieve, poison, rend, and bludgeon our way through every death that Shakespeare staged. All the hits and all the deep cuts! Some serious, some comic, some comically serious, and some seriously comic.

The original cast of this sold out, hilarious and action packed night returns to celebrate Halloween weekend with you, including a special Halloween Night performance! If you come in costume, you'll get a buy one / get one drink ticket that can be used before or after the show. Once everyone is dead and gone, they'll be a special post show costume party with open bar, music, and jaming with the undead cast of the show! 

KEEP CALM, AND KILL EVERYONE!


Schoolgirl Figure

By Wendy MacLeod

Directed by Jonas Grey

November 17 - December 4, 2016

Welcome to a high school where the in-crowd is the thin-crowd. The death of the uber-anorexic Monique, queen of the Carpenters, kicks off a scramble for the crown, and the school's hottest hottie, The Bradley. Renee, with the help of her bulimic best friend Patty, is determined to claim the crown by out-foxing her rival Jeanine and taking her body back to its pre-puberty contours. The Washington Post said, "playwright Wendy MacLeod's bitter black comedy is...sick. It's perverse. It's irreverent. And it's hilarious." Let the diet wars begin! 


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Henry The Fifth

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Alice Stanley & Jane Jongeward

March 9 - 26, 2017

Prince Hal no more, Henry the Fifth has inherited the crown upon the death of his Father, and must overcome the bluster of his youth to lead his people. But his brashness soon brings him into conflict with the Lords of France, and he must now command a war weary nation from the front lines. Inspiring in its speeches and epic scope, Cohesion brings the courts of England and France to rest in 1882 Appalachia in an effort to strip away the nobility and create an intimate examination of brutality and glory that leads us to ask; What contradictions and consonances do we see in the human and specific costs of violence when shifting the scale of the struggle? 

Stanley and Jongeward have transported the action from its historical location of 1400s England and France to 1882 Appalachia and more specifically to Tug Valley on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia during the height of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud. Employing traditional Bluegrass music and ballads along with three-quarter rounded stage and period accurate violence, Cohesion offers an immersive experience that highlights the human cost in the midst of the conflict of nations and kings. 


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Cohesion Theatre Company's Season 3 Playwrights Fellowship Presents:

Porn: A Love Story

by Jen Diamond

directed by Caitlin Carbone

Public Workshop Showings: April 7 - 9, 2017

Alice is all about new beginnings: new relationship, new artwork, new job… as a content moderator for websites. The internet is a strange and frightening place. Alice’s job is to watch everything.


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Cohesion Theatre Company's Season 3 Playwrights Fellowship Presents:

Here Be Dragons

By Utkarsh Rajawat

Directed by Terrance Fleming

Public Workshop Showing May 5-7, 2017

In 1906 a very prestigious and well funded Explorers Club makes first contact with an Alien being, whom they promptly imprison in their basement to study. But the Alien has one mission: to find a man and give him a gift. And it can wait as long as it has to.


Men on Boats

By Jaclyn Backhaus

Directed by Katie Keddell

June 1 – 18, 2017

Men on Boats presents the story of ten explorers who were sent on the United States government’s first official expedition into the American West to map the rapids of the Green and Colorado Rivers – what we now call the Grand Canyon. The play explores the 1869 journey into America’s rapids through John Wesley Powell’s journals and notes. While Powell’s journals inform the tale, the play – through gender and race fluid casting – offers reflection on the role of identity in shaping exploration narratives and historical memory. A touching and funny show, Men on Boats asks us to investigate what constitutes American identity, by placing the archetypal explorers on the bodies of those who don’t often get to voice history, and have often been short changed by it.


Season 4 - 2017/18


Sally McCoy

By Alice Stanley

Directed by Brad Norris

Sept. 14 – Oct. 1, 2017

After a successful workshop as part of the Strand Theater’s Women on Top Festival, Cohesion has picked up Stanley’s work for full production. “It is a perfect fit for our season’s theme, E Pluribus Unum”, says Cohesion Co-Founder, Brad Norris. “We are proud to begin our season long exploration into American identity, difference, and unity with such a distinctly American story.” Set in August of 1882, in the midst of the first gruesomely violent event of the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud, and with her three eldest sons captured by the Hatfield clan, Sally McCoy defies her womanly place in the home and crosses miles of Appalachian wilderness in the dark of night in order to save her children from certain death at the vengeful hands of the Hatfields. After traveling miles alone in the dark of night to the home of the Hatfield patriarch, “Devil” Anse Hatfield, Sally refuses to let anything stand in her way until she’s seen the “Devil” face to face.


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MR. BURNS: A Post Electric Play

By Anne Washburn

Directed by Lance Bankerd

Nov. 30 - Dec. 17, 2017

“We travel in three acts from a few days from now, to seven years into the post electric world, and finally the year 2099 when our culture has informed a ritual opera experience based on The Simpsons episode, 'Cape Feare',” director Lance Bankerd explains. The “Fallout Shelter” at United Evangelical Church, which has served as the home for Cohesion productions since 2016, will be transformed into Earth in the very near future. Then 7 years after that. Then 75 years after that, as the play moves through it’s three acts. Audiences will be challenged to change their perspective -- literally -- as the performance moves through time and space within the theater itself. Over the course of the play’s three acts and three-quarters of a century time span, casual storytelling evolves into theater, theater evolves into ritual, and one Simpsons episode evolves into a myth and legend for a post-apocalyptic world.

Mr. Burns explores the roles of memory, storytelling, and pop culture in a dystopic future where the mass failure of nuclear power plants has left humanity in the dark. Stories the survivors tell by the fireside are no longer tales of survival and struggle, but memories of television programs from yesterday that serve as distraction from their desperate state. Over time we see those simple retellings form into the artistic expression and community building structure of a society climbing out of the rubble, with a certain cartoon family taking center stage. Author Anne Washburn explains in her introduction for the play that for years she had wondered, “What would happen to a pop culture narrative pushed past the fall of civilization.”


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A Script-in-Hand Reading for International Women's Day:

Lipstick: A Queer Farce

By Alice Stanley

Directed by Dani Turner

Sunday, January 21, 2018

As part of the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival Cohesion Theatre Company is proud to present a seated reading of Alice Stanley’s latest play, Lipstick: A Queer Farce, on Sunday, January 21 at 7 PM. 

Lipstick is a silly, sweet farce with a heart of gold and a drawer full of sex toys. Anna has invited Kelly over for dinner, but is it a date? Or just hanging out? How could Anna know?! Is Kelly even gay?! Kelly wears earrings AND boots! Just in case that wasn’t confusing enough, a cavalcade of visitors crashes their evening - an ex-girlfriend, a nebby bestie, a handyman, a mom, and a parade of potential suitors. Hijinks, of course, ensue, in this play-shaped love letter to the queer community.


Cohesion Theatre Company Presents Two Plays in Repertory: 

La Llorona By Cecelia Raker

The Orphan Sea By Caridad Svich

Directed by Susan Stroupe

March 22 - April 15, 2018

“The Cohesion Rep is both a challenge and a joy,” said director Susan Stroupe. “To stage two full-length plays with the same cast is a huge undertaking, but it also allows our ensemble and audience a rare gift of seeing two works of art in conversation with each other. In many ways, they are very connected: both re-imagine important and old mythologies from American culture, both confront the narrative of gender in those mythologies, and both paint a vivid view of the land around them.”

“Individually, they compliment each other wonderfully,” Stroupe adds. Though the plays differ in tone and style, both stories observe the way myths, legends, and histories impact us today, and how we, in turn shape them. “La Llorona, while set in culturally-unique New Mexico, is a powerful and relatable narrative of teenage girls grappling with identity and haunted by history. The Orphan Sea is an image-rich epic poem-play that traverses time, space, and gender, all in the frame of Penelope and Odysseus' epic long-distance relationship from The Odyssey.” Stroupe said. “A diverse, versatile ensemble of nine actors and an incredible team of designers have taken on this challenge, and I can’t wait for audiences to witness their amazing work.”

La Llorona
When widely diverse young women get thrown together on a school project about the local urban legend, La Llorona, they get much more than they bargained for after a horrifying, teary and murdering ghost enters their lives. La Llorona, with her irreverent, haunting advice and constantly changing stories, seems intent on steering them away from her fate, but is she just luring them to a watery, weeping demise? Funny, irreverent, and a little creepy Cecelia Raker’s La Llorona brings legends to life and looks at the real impact they have on the futures they shape.

The Orphan Sea
Caridad Svich’s The Orphan Sea is a reimagination of the story of Penelope and Odysseus from The Odyssey. A tale about love and migration, it presents us with what we lose when we are forced onto new shores, but also the strengths we bring with us, and the memories we can't put down. In an open and poetic format the play is the story of the many transformations that humans have undertaken as they moved from shore to shore. This is a tale told in poetry, movement, and song, and provides an immersive and thought provoking experience as it expands on the ideas of cultural narratives and their power through reflecting on geography, memory, and community.



Cohesion Theatre Company is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.  Contributions for the charitable purposes of Cohesion Theatre Company must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.