Special Report! Cohesion Theatre Company Launch



Hey, y’all.  I’m bringing you a special report on the launch of a new addition to the Baltimore small theater scene:  Cohesion Theatre Company.  There’s been some buzz about Cohesion for a few months now, and I like buzz (buzz and booze, that is), so I turned out for their kick-off party on Saturday.  Here’s something I’ll say:  these people really seem to have their shit together.  Brad Norris and Alicia Stanley, the directors of this spring’s excellent Edward II at Spotlighters, have gone from putting up a show to putting up a whole goddamned company in, like, fifteen minutes (actually more like two and half months, but still).  They’ve got non-profit status under the umbrella of Fractured Atlas, they’ve got a season that makes sense, they have a space for their first show, they have a plan, man.  What’s adorable, too, is that, when you ask them about their tremendous amount of hustle, both Norris and Stanley kind of shrug and are like: “Well, yeah, that’s what we do.”  Their season (smartly) consists of only three shows right now:  Coriolanus by William Shakespeare starts it off, going up in late November.  After that they’re doing something cool and Gorey-esque called Thirteen Dead Husbands by Tom Horran in March.  The season ends with The Pillow Talk by Anna Moench (directed, I might add, by the ridiculously talented Jonas Grey, who played the titular character in Edward II).  Every step Cohesion is taking appears to be really well thought out, intelligent, and mondo exciting:  I keep hearing phrases like “7,000 square feet in an old Hispanic church in Highlandtown” that make me perk up my snout.  Oh, and OH!  As if they weren’t already ambitious enough, WAIT.  There’s something REALLY BIG coming out of Cohesion’s hat come next summer, if they can pull it off.  They’re planning on coordinating a city-wide theater festival with EVERY COMPANY IN BALTIMORE to perform reading of plays written by female playwrights.  They say the goal is “to bring attention to new, under-produced works and encourage gender parity in the arts.”  Well, shit.  Buzz indeed.  I walked my raised eyebrows over to Elena Kostakis, looking ravishing with a drink in her hand, to ask what she thought (Kostakis is the Managing Director of The Strand, a company that has a mission dedicated to the celebration of women’s voices).  She was all smiles and said she was super excited about the venture.  In fact, The Strand has already signed on for it, so it doesn’t look like they’re at all territorial and, in fact, are going to play together very well with Cohesion.  Nicely done!

BOTTOM LINE:  According to Brad Norris, the unofficial tagline of Cohesion is “setting unrealistic goals and then meeting them”.  That seems legit as they’ve pulled off a startling amount of work so far.  Time will tell if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, but their vibe is super cool and their eyes are super serious.  I’m rooting for them like a truffle pig.  Go, Cohesion, go!

(More intel here:  www.cohesiontheatre.org)

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