The Hothouse

By Harold Pinter

Directed by Benjamin McGovern+

Starring (in order of appearance): Mark Benninghofen* (Gibbs), Robert Dorfman* (Roote), Sara Marsh* (Miss Cutts), John Catron* (Lamb), Bill McCallum* (Lush), and Bruce Bohne* (Tubb/Lobb)

Produced in partnership with Artspace in the Grain Belt Bottling House Atrium

Creative Team: Katie Hawkinson* (Stage Manager), Mary Shabatura (Lighting Designer), Lisa Jones (Costume Designer), C Andrew Mayer (Sound Designer), Jeremy Ellarby (Production Assistant & Sound Operator), Aaron Toavs (Assistant Stage Manager), Shannon Stroh (Assistant Stage Manager), Mel Day (Assistant Director), Megan Sutter (Dramaturg), Michael James (Technical & Design Consultant), Heidi Bohnenkamp (Photo Essayist)

Photos: Heidi Bohnenkamp

"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 is unctuous and creepy, 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 is barbed, stylized, and bleak—a feast for the mind and cold for the heart. By the time 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...this is one of my favorite local takes on [Pinter's] work."

— Quinton Skinner, Minnesota Monthly 

"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."

 Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

"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. How can I summarize a delight like The Hothouse? Bravo, all."  — John Olive, How Was The Show?

"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." — Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

"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." — John Townsend, Lavender Magazine 

"Harold Pinter's The Hothouse is a dark, brutal, and often very funny exercise in faceless oppression. The atrium at the Artspace Grain Belt Bottling House is a vast, echoing chamber that perfectly reflects the setting." — Ed Huyck, City Pages

"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."

— Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon 

"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

Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp | MUA: Miki Sautbine | Design: Kevin Cannon

Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp | MUA: Miki Sautbine | Design: Kevin Cannon

*Member, Actors’ Equity Association

+Member, Stage Directors’ and Choreographers’ Society