FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2018
Media Contact: Kari Steinbach
Pop-Up, Lights-On: New Twin Cities theatre company launches with movable, low-tech production of Mike Bartlett’s Bull
Hypnic Jerk Theatre is making its debut in the Twin Cities theatre community with a production of Mike Bartlett’s Bull. The production will be performed for one weekend in St. Paul (Element Boxing Gym) and one weekend in Minneapolis (A-Mill Artist Lofts) between May 26th and June 3rd. The play is a vicious comedy, presenting a metaphorical bullfight of office politics to determine which of three employees will be downsized. Artistic director, Kari Steinbach directs the play that explores themes of bullying within the workplace and the idea of cruelty as entertainment.
The theatre’s name “Hypnic Jerk” refers to the involuntary twitch that occurs when a person is beginning to fall asleep, often causing them to awaken suddenly for a moment, and the aim is to jolt audiences into discussion, awareness, and action. Steinbach says of their first production, “Bull provides a perfect example of the ways that acceptance of cruelty has seeped into our world—into the workplace, politics, and even our entertainment. Much of reality television has a Darwinian facet to it—where backstabbing and devious alliances are a part of the survival-of-the-fittest ritual.”
One of the venues for the moving production is within a boxing ring. The location not only provides a setting similar to the title’s suggested bullfight stadium, but the stark lighting and arena seating bring the audience into the experience—witnessing not only the story unfolding before them, but also the reactions of their peers who are in view just beyond the ring. Audiences will witness the play, not from the safety of a darkened theatre house, but as a spectator at a sporting event.
Bull performs May 26, 27, and 28 (Memorial Day) at 8:00 p.m. at Element Boxing Gym in St. Paul (655 Fairview Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN, 55104) and May 31, June 1 & 2 at 8:00 p.m. and June 3 at 2:00 p.m. at the A-Mill Artist Lofts in Minneapolis (315 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414). The play features Lauren Diesch, David Wasserman, and Ben Shaw as the three sparring employees and Rod Kleiss as their boss. There is ample free lot parking available at the St. Paul location, and metered street parking is available at the Minneapolis venue. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://www.hypnicjerktheatre.com/tickets/