The Challenges of Producing Cock

Almost every time Stephen hands me a script one of the first things he says to me is “It’s a really simple script.” Now he said this about Penelope, which involved building a swimming pool onstage at the Cultch, festooning it with snacks and then setting a barbecue on fire in it. So I’m always a bit skeptical.

Sean Devine, Kyle Jespersen, Alex Ferguson, and Patrick Keating in Penelope, 2013.

Sean Devine, Kyle Jespersen, Alex Ferguson, and Patrick Keating in Penelope, 2013.                                “A really simple script”

But Cock really is a simple show. There is no set, no props, and no fire effects. But it does come with its own challenge. Mainly, the title of the play.

It wasn’t until we got in to writing our first grant for the production that we realized how absurd it was going to be. Everything turns into a double entendre. “In the fall of 2015 Rumble will bring Mike Bartlett’s Cock to Vancouver.” doesn’t work, and neither do many of the adjectives we often use, “The exciting Cock“, “the gripping Cock”, “Cock is sure to be a stimulating evening of theatre.” The puns were funny, and then annoying, and then funny again. Over the last six months we have done a lot of editing.

We also have to be very careful with Googling. While a plain search of the play title leads to stories about past productions, clicking on the image search is a terrible idea. The same happens with variations on the search or with hashtags (we’re gong with #cocktheplay to keep it clean). And we are honestly not sure how many of our emails are ending up in spam folders along with ads for under the table pharmaceuticals.

On the home front, my toddler daughter has told me more than once that “Mama is doing Cock at work.” I have no idea what her babysitter thinks I do.

But we have had the joy of opening emails from our designer to find this Cock_video-01

and we now have a whole folder of pictures of roosters on our server.

stock-photo-colorful-rooster-isolated-on-white-background-243189904 stock-photo-crossbreed-rooster-crowing-pekin-and-wyandotte-against-white-background-121378822

And at this point in production, we’re just very excited to be producing such a fantastic play. The actors are doing brilliant work in rehearsal and we think people are going to love it. We’re even looking forward to hearing your puns.

We open next week. Are you coming to see our Cock?

Seeking New Director-at-Large

Rumble is currently seeking individuals with a passion for great theatre and a desire to contribute to sit on our volunteer Board of Directors. We are particularly interested in candidates with experience and or knowledge in education, governance, or the social profit sector.

Qualifications Include:

  • A commitment to the work of Rumble Theatre
  • Willingness to attend and participate in monthly Board meetings
  • Willingness to sit on either the Board Development or the Resource Development Committee
  • Attendance at our Annual General Meeting AGMapalooza
  • Attendance at special events including productions
  • Annual financial support of Rumble Theatre

Time commitment approximately 10 hours per month.

For more information or to apply please contact Becky Low Managing Producer by October 31st at


The Tremors Festival is Rumble Theatre’s biennial festival of emerging talent, featuring contemporary plays acted, directed, designed, stage managed and run by emerging artists under the mentorship of established artists from the professional theatre community. We invite submissions of new plays from playwrights from across Canada who selfidentify as emerging and who wish to have their scripts considered for production. We are interested in new Canadian work and new adaptations of established texts that:

  • Have a running time of 45-75 minutes;
  • Are ready to be produced (do not require further development);
  • Have not yet been published, but may have been previously produced;
  • Can accommodate a cast of three or more;
  • Have modest tech requirements;
  • Reflect the diversity of Canada allowing for casting that includes diversity of gender, ethnocultural background, and ability. We encourage work that takes risks, embraces diversity, and has guts. Playwrights will be compensated according to industry-standard performance royalty fees.

Please include a copy of the script, a current CV, and a short letter telling us about yourself and the play. Electronic submissions are encouraged. Rumble Theatre does not provide feedback on submitted work. No phone calls please.

Please send submissions to


Rumble Theatre
1422 William Street
Vancouver, BC
V5NL 2P7

Deadline for receipt is Nov. 15, 2015

For more information on Tremors and on Rumble Theatre, visit