Realism & Jump, two plays in repertoire at Theatre Row's Kirk Theatre

The Jean Cocteau Repertory has rebranded itself The Exchange and will present Anthony Neilson's Realism and Lisa McGee's Jump in repertoire at Theatre Row's Kirk Theatre from 15 Apr - 20 May 2007.

Realism guides audiences on a trip through one man's imaginative mind on an average day. Cabarets of crazy fantasies, poignant memories and childhood dreams shape a tragicomedy that leaps from the banal to the surreal and back again.

Jump tells the story of seven people whose unrelated lives suddenly collide at the strike of midnight - to everyone's detriment. This cast of desperate, colorful characters includes novice hit men, would-be suicide-cases and glitzy gals geared up for a night they probably won't remember.

Both plays will be directed by the companies new artistic director Ari Edelson, and will feature Bree Elrod, Jordan Gelber, Ali Marsh, Stephen Plunkett, Kathryn Rossetter, Herbert Rubens, Tim Spears, Daniel Talbott, Sarah Grace Wilson and Meredith Zinner.

Both productions has set design by Antje Ellerman, with costumes by Oana Botez-Ban, lighting by Ben Stanton and sound by Bart Fasbender.

The troubled Jean Cocteau Repertory company had to quit the Bouwerie Lane Theatre after the rent on the property doubled, this however has only been one of their difficulties. The Company's 2006 production of Genet's The Maids was postponed after it prompted complaints from the playwright's estate which disapproved of the planned alterations to the script, this in turn led to the collapse of Cocteau's planned merger with New Orleans based EgoPo Productions.

With a shrinking subscriber base Cocteau missed payroll payments, causing ensemble members to quit, creating yet further problems for the company.

It was these difficutlies which led Peter Finn, the Conteau's board chairperson, to push plans for a radical overhaul which led to the birth of the new company, The Exchange. All that remains of the old Jean Cocteau Repertory company is the nonprofit corporation, half of the board and a small core of subscribers.