History

Cock and Bull was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director, Chris Garcia Peak, with the original production, The Legend of Ginger Bred; A Story of Sex, Salvation & Baked Goods at Gorilla Tango Theatre.  A post-modern multi-media retelling of the story The Ginger Bread Man featuring a live rock band.   In 2009, Cock and Bull produced two more original plays, Axe Lizzie & The Possession of Alice at Prop Theatre in Rogers Park.  Both influenced from Theatre De Grand Guignol (The French Theatre of Horror) and explored female sexuality through the lens of 19th-century melodramas.   In 2011, Cock and Bull produced Titanic by Christopher Durang at The Atheneum Theatre in West Lakeview, which featured themes of gender identity, and sexual fear. In 2013, Cock and Bull received an In-The-Works residency from DCASE for our original production, Voolf.   Voolf is a modern interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev’s composition Peter and The Wolf. In 2014, we received funding from the Driehaus Foundation to support a production of Voolf at Berger Park Mansion. 

Since 2011, Cock and Bull have curated Sessions, featuring performance and digital artists from Chicago. Sessions is an event to showcase artistic mediums and experimental artists. The last Sessions was held at the Defibrillator Gallery in Wicker Park in 2014 featuring performance artists Mikey McParlane, Caitlin Baucom,visual artist Kathryn Garcia, digital artist Klaus Pinter. In 2012, we began a three-year development process of our first collaboratively written and devised piece, Voyage.  In 2014, Cock and Bull received a professional development grant from The Driehaus Foundation to hold a workshop with Obie Award-wining director Rachel Chavkin, the Artistic Director of the New York theatre ensemble, The TEAM. Chavkin introduced us to new methodologies in creating devised work, which we employed to create Voyage.  In March of 2015, we received an In-The-Works residency from DCASE. We held a two-week long workshop of Voyage at the Chicago Cultural Center, culminating in a public showing. Voyage – a psychosexual theatrical odyssey exploring psychology and sexuality in two time periods was produced in the summer of 2015 at the Chopin Theatre in Wicker Park.

In 2016 Cock and Bull worked with Los Angeles playwright Megan Breen to create a contemporary site-specific adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic play Ghosts entitled Lecherous Honey. Lecherous Honey premiered at the Berger Park Mansion in 2016.

photo by Lesley Jackson

photo by Lesley Jackson

Mission

Cock and Bull creates imaginative theatrical experiences investigating identity, psychology, and sexuality. Based in Chicago, we are a theatre collective committed to creating original plays and reinvestigating canonical works. Our productions are unique theatre events, utilizing a variety of multimedia elements, highly stylized design, and innovative puppetry. We aim to continuously deconstruct cultural assumptions surrounding identity, and we challenge our audiences to do the same.    

A “Cock and Bull story” is a fabricated tale meant to deceive or amuse.