Dark & Stormy Productions Presents:


 The Hothouse
by Harold Pinter
Directed by Benjamin McGovern**


The Hothouse named a Top Production of 2014 by City Pages!


The Hothouse. Clockwise from L: Bill McCallum (Lush), John Catron (Lamb), Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs), Sara Marsh (Miss Cutts), and Robert Dorfman (Roote). Not pictured: Bruce Bohne (Tubb; Lobb). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp; design by Kevin Cannon.

"Nothing says Christmas like Harold Pinter and torture, especially when it comes wrapped up with a great cast, direction, and concept that saw the show played out in an echoing atrium."
- Ed Huyck, City Pages

The Hothouse. Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs), Robert Dorfman (Roote). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

The Critics Agree: The Hothouse is a hit!


"The play -- offered in a strong, challenging production by Dark & Stormy -- [is] an always dark, frequently very funny script. The excellent cast includes Robert Dorfman, whose mutterings and whisperings (and occasional screamings) create an effective and slightly terrifying portrait of a bureaucrat whose malevolence is so banal that he might not even recognize it himself. Mark Benninghofen is at once as smooth as 12-year-old scotch and as harsh as rotgut. Sara Marsh's Miss Cutts is manipulative sensuality personified. John Catron demonstrates the considerable downside of being a people-pleaser. Bill McCallum's performance is unctuous and creepy and tart, and Bruce Bohne completes the cast in a couple small roles that crackle with madness and perhaps a little mania."
- Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press


The Hothouse. Robert Dorfman (Roote). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"Dark & Stormy is developing a reputation for compelling holiday counterprogramming. This year, with a tautly proficient acting company, the result is a disturbingly funny tragicomedy that is surprisingly intimate. The spare, clinical production holds you in its disturbed, and disturbing, orbit."
- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
 
The Hothouse. Sara Marsh (Miss Cutts) and Robert Dorfman (Roote). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
 
"D&S excels at finding first rate performers. The Hothouse is no exception, starring (and I’m going to name the entire cast; they’re all marvelous): Bruce Bohne, Robert Dorfman, Bill McCallum, Sara Marsh, Mark Benninghofen and John Catron. These outstanding artists are deftly directed by Ben McGovern, who adroitly uses the large space. Bravo, all. How can I summarize a delight like The Hothouse? See this one." 
- John Olive, howwastheshow.com

The Hothouse. Bill McCallum (Lush), Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"The Hothouse is barbed, stylized, and bleak—a feast for the mind and cold for the heart. By the time [Robert] Dorfman is delivering a beleaguered holiday speech to the patients, he might as well be an out-of-touch God speaking about a Nativity miracle he barely understands—a functionary surrounded by demons masquerading as angels while the end of days approaches. I reviewed the show last week; if anything, it's grown more distinct in my memory...this is one of my favorite local takes on his work."
- Quinton Skinner, Minnesota Monthly
  
The Hothouse. John Catron (Lamb), Sara Marsh (Miss Cutts), Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

 "Dark & Stormy has given The Hothouse a mesmerizing staging at the Grain Belt Bottling House...Benjamin McGovern's direction is penetrating, passionate, and vulnerable...His actors electrify as they reveal the play's searing wit. Pinter’s deftly daggered wordsmithing, rendered by the superb cast, enhances the play’s suspicious nature. Moreover, there’s an inherent sense of surveillance in the production’s concept as audience members listen to the action they see on headsets. The Hothouse has been receiving acclaimed revivals, including this one. And this production is selling heavily. I take all this as a sign that this is a play ahead of its time whose time has finally come."
- John Townsend, Lavender Magazine

The Hothouse. Bill McCallum (Lush), Robert Dorfman (Roote), Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

 "Dark & Stormy Productions commands all 7,000 square feet [of the Bottling House] and makes it seem like the only logical place for Pinter’s merciless, grim and often very funny play about bad people doing bad things. Six actors play seven roles, and you can’t take your eyes off any of them. Ben McGovern directs, C Andrew Mayer does the sound, Mary Shabatura the lights, and once more, D&S gives us a night of theater we’ll be thinking about and talking about for a long time. Catch it while you can."
- Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

The Hothouse. Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs), Sara Marsh (Miss Cutts). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
 
"Harold Pinter's The Hothouse is a dark, brutal, and often very funny exercise in faceless oppression. Think Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy crossed with "The Office." The atrium at the Artspace Grain Belt Bottling House is a vast, echoing chamber that perfectly reflects the setting."
- Ed Huyck, City Pages

The Hothouse. Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs), Robert Dorfman (Roote), Bill McCallum (Lush). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
 
"Dark & Stormy's production of this bizarre and funny play is entertaining, engaging, and thought-provoking. And like all of their work, (this is just the 5th play they've done), it's brilliantly cast with some of the Twin Cities' top talent. [This time] Dark & Stormy put mics on the actors and headphones on the audience, with the sound right in your ears even though the actors may be whispering in a far corner of the space. This allows for subtlety in delivery that can be heard in full detail, while the echos in the larger space can still be heard through the headphones. It all makes for an innovative and fascinating theatrical experience."
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

The Hothouse. Sara Marsh (Miss Cutts), Robert Dorfman (Roote). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"Looking for a contrast to the warm fuzziness of the holiday season? The late Harold Pinter's dark comedy, The Hothouse, has been given a bang-up production by Dark & Stormy Productions. Presented at Grain Belt Bottling House, the production "lingers like a bad dream," according to the Pioneer Press' critic Dominic Papatola."  
- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

 
The Hothouse. Bruce Bohne (Lobb) and Mark Benninghofen (Gibbs). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.


The Hothouse is presented in the Artspace Grain Belt Bottling House atrium in an ambitious, innovative, and provocative staging that delivers a hilarious and haunting production. Dark & Stormy is thrilled to be partnering with Artspace, Audio Logic Systems, and Williams Sound to bring you The Hothouse!

The Hothouse. Bruce Bohne (Tubb). Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

The Hothouse is a brilliant dark comedy that uses lacerating wit, masterful wordplay, broad humor, and a touch of the absurd to provide an acute, searing, comic indictment of institutional bureaucracy. This clever and cutting satire exposes the underbelly of the hierarchical power structure at an ambiguous institution – which is at once functional and falling apart – on one fateful Christmas Day. 

Clockwise from Upper Left: Bill McCallum, John Catron, Mark Benninghofen, Sara Marsh, Robert Dorfman. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

Written in 1958 with a foresight and timelessness that evokes a mash-up of “Orange is the New Black,” "House of Cards," and today's headlines, The Hothouse deals in themes such as abuse, power, sexuality, and elitism that go to straight to the heart of the political and societal issues still plaguing in the world today.

Clockwise from Upper Left: Bill McCallum, John Catron, Mark Benninghofen, Sara Marsh, Robert Dorfman. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
 


Dark & Stormy Productions honored by critics in 2014!

 


The Drunken City named a top show of 2014 by both Graydon Royce and Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune!

"Here's what small theater let me enjoy this half year...Dark & Stormy Productions allowed established actors like Kris L. Nelson and Tracey Maloney play like a chamber ensemble in the tiny The Drunken City."


https://www.artful.ly/store/events/2728
Clockwise from L: Kris L. Nelson, Sara Marsh, Adelin Phelps, Tracey Maloney, Paul de Cordova in The Drunken City






"Yes, The Drunken City proves that Dark & Stormy Productions, under whose aegis Bill McCallum staged this winner, is a consistently spunky outfit. Maloney, Nelson, and Sara Marsh commanded the stage, as could be expected. But newcomer Adelin Phelps...almost stole this Adam Bock show."


https://www.artful.ly/store/events/2728
Clockwise from L: Adelin Phelps, Sara Marsh, Tracey Maloney, & Kris L. Nelson



Dark & Stormy Productions honored by critics in 2013!

 


 

Speed-the-Plow named a Top Ten Production of 2013 by the Star Tribune:


"Director Ben McGovern teamed with actors Sara Marsh, Bill McCallum and Kris L. Nelson to make David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" a savagely arresting treat in a found space." 
- Rohan Preston 



The Receptionist named a Top Ten Production of 2013 by City Pages:

 

 
"Sally Wingert led a talented four-actor cast through Adam Bock's dark-as-midnight workplace comedy. The experience was intensified by the found location — a recently vacated downtown office space — that seemed to be haunted by the true nature of the Northeast Office's work."
- Ed Huyck


 


"New theater company Dark & Stormy Productions is really hitting their stride; they've become one of those theater companies I rely on to never let me down. Their fourth production in just under two years continues their tradition of short, intense, real, small-cast, smartly written plays in unusual locations."
 - Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

  

 

Read Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston's feature on Dark & Stormy Productions!

 

"[Speed-the-Plow], which starred Guthrie regulars Kris Nelson and Bill McCallum alongside company founder Sara Marsh, gave a gripping, spittle-laced experience. The drama...was more evidence that small theaters are a big part of what makes the performing arts scene special."
- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

 

  Read the full article on the Twin Cities' small theaters here!





"Dark & Stormy is a newish company that's come screaming out of the gate with a series of terrifically cast shows, professionally produced and expertly marketed...I've seen three out of four shows...[and] I hope Dark & Stormy continues their level of professionalism and rock-star casting."
- Dominic Orlando, Minnesota Playlist




*Member, Actors' Equity Association
**Member, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society