Powerball Winner Roy Cockrum Is Behind BAM's Glory of the World

News   Powerball Winner Roy Cockrum Is Behind BAM's Glory of the World
 
The theatre world's newest millionaire patron, Powerball jackpot winner Roy Cockrum, is helping finance the Brooklyn Academy of Music's upcoming production of The Glory of the World, an examination of renowned Kentucky-based mystic and Catholic monk Thomas Merton, by frequent collaborators Charles Mee and Les Waters.
The cast of <i>Glory of the World</i>
The cast of Glory of the World Photo by Bill Brymer

As previously reported, Cockrum was the largest winner in Tennessee history when he walked away with a lump-sum of $115 million last year and donated an undisclosed amount to Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Cockrum's commercial production company, Knight Blanc, is also behind BAM's staging of The Glory of the World, which reunites playwright Mee and director Waters, artistic director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville – where the work debuted as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

"I think society is in trouble when culture is ignored," Cockrum told the Chicago Tribune last year. "People can be duped by the first political wind that blows their way. They can be persuaded to vote against their own self-interest. Culture is what enriches us all. We are all in trouble when the arts are not [funded]."

The Glory of the World sees 17 men in party hats gather to celebrate Merton. "As the night devolves, each facet of Merton’s contested image—silent monk, poet, spiritual anarchist, social activist—inspires more speeches, slow dances, makeouts, fist fights, and silent reflections, amassing a layered portrait of what it means to be a human being, full of contradictions and brimming with life," state BAM production notes. Performances will run Jan. 16-Feb. 6. An official opening night is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Playwright Mee returns to BAM for the fourth time, bringing to light the artist's special relationship with the historic venue. Read Mee's moving essay about his personal history with BAM here The 17-member cast of The Glory of the World is made up of Eric Berryman, Ryan Bourque, Andrew Garman, Aaron Lynn, Bruce McKenzie, Barney O’Hanlon, Conrad Schott, David Ryan Smith, Cameron Benoit, Josh Bonzie, John Ford-Dunker, José Leon, Joe Lino, Max Monnig, Collin Morris, Brian Muldoon, Blake Russell and Lorenzo Villanueva.

The creative team includes fight director Ryan Bourque and movement director Barney O’Hanlon with scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costume design Connie Furr Soloman, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Christian Frederickson, media design by Philip Allgeier and dramaturgy by Amy Wegener. The executive consultant is Jessica R. Jenen

Performances take place at the BAM Harvey Theater, located at 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn. Visit BAM.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

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