Custom Made Theatre Co. presents 

1525690_10152873482734402_776851741072461091_nThe Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard

by Plautus adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin translated by Deena Berg

World Premiere!


World Premiere of director Evren Odcikin’s fast and furious mash-up of Plautus proves that Roman comedies never get old, they just get funnier! 
Watch our video trailer!


Tickets at:

Preview March 27 & 28, 8:00 pm; March 29 7m
Opens March 31, 8:00 pm
Runs April 2- April 26! Thurs-Sat 8:00 pm, Sun 7:00 pm

Tickets $20-$40

Getting to Gough Street Playhouse

Visit our directions page to plan a route via Google Maps.  Save the planet, take public transportation!


Last minute parking on-the-street is not recommended, but is possible with some planning.

On weekday evenings a good approach is to park at 7:00pm between Bush and Pine on Franklin Street, just when it stops being a tow-away zone. At that time there are plenty of spaces, and plenty of restaurants to grab some dinner pre-show!

There are also plenty of parking lots between Geary/Van Ness and the Theatre.

Tickets at:

The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard runs approximately 100 minutes, without an intermission

World Premiere of director Evren Odcikin’s fast and furious mash-up of Plautus proves that Roman comedies never get old, they just get funnier! 

If you’ve seen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, you already know that Plautus was a major influence for every possible style of comedy through the ages, as there’s still nothing more hysterical than the pompous and mighty taking it on chin.  The Braggart Soldier features the hijinks you’d expect and, in true Custom Made fashion, without a safety net!

Custom Made presents the World Premiere of Director Evren Odcikin’s update of Roman comic master Plautus (Miles Gloriosus, Bacchides, Menaechmi, Pseudolus), translated by Deena Berg, at the Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street, San Francisco.  March 27 – April 26

Dexter………………………………………………………….Alan Coyne
Major Topple d’Acropolis …………………………..Kai Morrison
Haplus……………………………………………………Matt Gunnison
Hospitalides …………………………………………….. Jef Valentine
Convivia……………………………………………….Eden Neuendorf*
Nautikles……………………………………………..Darek Burkowski
Climax……………………………………………… Catherine Luedtke*

Director/Scenic Design……………………………..Evren Odcikin
Stage Manager……………………………………………Grisel Torres
Costume Design……………………….Keiko Shimosato Carreiro
Lighting Design …………………………………. William Campbell
Sound Design …………………………………………………Liz Ryder*
Properties Design …………………………………………Cat Howser
Scenic Painter……………………………………… Nicola McCarthy
Technical Director………………………………………Stewart Lyle*
*member, Custom Made Theatre Co.

DAREK BURKOWSKI (Nautikles) –holds an MFA degree in Acting from the University of Connecticut and a BA in English from a questionable source. Born and raised in Poland, one day he decided to come over to the States and take jobs from American actors. And so… his recent Bay Area credits include: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (BACT), Delicate Particle Logic (Indra’s Net) and Labyrinth in Time (film.) Next, he will appear in a film Letter from Mommy and then hopefully take a few days off to buy some groceries and find someone to do his laundry. Apart from that, he loves donuts and motorcycles, and he’s an avid fan of reading books while eating chocolate. Or the other way round.

ALAN COYNE (Dexter) is making his Custom Made debut. Previous roles include Lady Macbeth, a praying mantis, a six-year-old girl, the Sun, and a space monster comprised primarily of processed cheese. He most recently played the Eskimo (and Joe Pitt) in Lafayette Town Hall Theatre’s production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, a role he will reprise at the same venue next February in Perestroika. He can also be seen in Douglas Morrisson Theatre’s production of The Skin of our Teeth this May, followed by The Desk Set at the EXIT Theater in July. He would like to thank his wife, Angela, for all her love, support, and right-handedness.

MATT GUNNISON (Haplus) appears with Custom Made Theatre for the third time in The Braggart Soldier, having performed in 2012’s The Merchant of Venice and 2011’s Candide of California. He has acted with a number of other companies in San Francisco’s independent theatre scene, including Killing My Lobster, Thunderbird Theatre Company, No Nude Men, Guerrilla Rep, San Francisco Theater Pub, and more. Matt is married to San Franciscobased playwright and director Claire Rice, and he holds a BFA in Theatre from Eastern New Mexico University. Many thanks to Evren and the cast and crew for all the laughs, and to Claire, because she’s neat.

CATHERINE (CAT) LUEDTKE (Climax) is so happy to return to Custom Made as a company member for The Braggart Soldier. Her last performance here was in Top Girls (Nominated ‘Best Actress in a Featured Role’-Theatre Bay Area Awards, 2014). Recent credits include: Pygmalion-California Shakespeare Theater, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Blood Wedding-The Breadbox Theatre Co., My Beautiful Laundrette-NCTC and Rabbit Hole-Artists Repertory Co. of San Francisco. Upcoming shows include: Hay Fever- Stanford Repertory Theater this Summer and a devised performance at the Futura Contemporary Art Museum in Prague this Fall. She studied acting at Studio A.C.T. and Shakespeare at RADA. Cat was a finalist for The TBA ATLAS Actor Titan Award, 2013, and received an SF Theater Pub Stuey award for ‘Best Performance by an Actress 2014’. Thanks, as always, to my smashing husband George, to Evren Odcikin for believing that I could play this naughty minx, and to all of you for supporting Bay Area Theater!

KAI MORRISON (The Major) isn’t being typecast at all. Seriously, he’s not this horrible. You may have heard otherwise, but it was all faked for this production. He is thrilled (THRILLED, I tell you!) to return to Custom Made for this show, mostly for the excuse to change up his facial hair. Other favorite roles include Bobby in Company, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, and The Operations Manager at Sift Science, which is actually a regular company and not a play at all. Hi, Mom!

EDEN NEUENDORF (Convivia) is originally from the United States and will keep a close eye on the Polish actor. Originally from Iowa, she earned her BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Northern Iowa because what else is there to do in Iowa? A company member of the Custom Made Theatre, she’s been recently seen in Why Torture is Wrong… as Felicity (the only sane character whose rightwinged father thinks her husband is a terrorist) and in The Pain and the Itch where she played a lovely Eastern European girl with a thick, drunken accent and (let’s say) slightly unorthodox political views… She hopes you enjoy this wacky Roman romp, contribute equally to the show by laughing as hard as you possibly can, and that you have accidentally brought some earplugs with you. You’ll see why.

JEF VALENTINE (Hospitalides) This is Valentine’s first appearance at Custom Made Theatre. Companies he’s performed with include Thrillpeddlers, Shotgun Players, Cutting Ball, Ray of Light, Broadway by the Bay, San Jose Stage, Theatre Rhinoceros, Climate, Artful Circle, Foul Play, Velocity Circus and Oregon Cabaret Theatre. His selfproduced show “Pan-O-Rama” explores his fascination with all things Peter Pan and received a Theatre Bay Area Award nomination for best solo performance. He can often be found entertaining at special events with his impersonations and interactive comic characters. By day he is the inventory manager for the American Conservatory Theatre costume department. He holds the Guinness World Record for long distance tap dancing (9.6 miles) and still has the blisters to prove it. Big thanks to Evren and to this cast of crazies!

EVREN ODCIKIN (Director) is the Director of Marketing and New Plays at Golden Thread Productions, where he has directed the West Coast premieres of Yussef El Guindi’s Language Rooms, which moved to the LATC after a SF run (critic’s pick for LA Times), and Mona Mansour’s Urge For Going. Other credits include Christopher Chen’s Mutt for Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus (world premiere); Frances YaChu Cowhig’s 410[GONE] (world premiere; featured in American Theatre Magazine) and Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Invasion! (West Coast premiere) for Crowded Fire; The Oldest Profession and Machinal (three BATCC nominations, including best director and production) for Brava; and RHINO for Boxcar (“Most Inventive Staging of 2010” from SF Weekly, “Best Play of 2010” from SF Bay Times). He’s developed work at South Coast Rep, the Lark (NYC), NNPN Showcase, ACT, Magic Theatre, Aurora, and BAPF. Evren was awarded the 2013 TITAN Award by TBA and selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by TCG for their AmEx Leadership Bootcamp.

WILLIAM CAMPBELL (Lighting Designer) is a graduate student currently finishing his M.F.A. in technical theater at SF State. He is excited to be invited back for his second show with The Custom Made Theatre Co. Some of his lighting design credits include The Crucible with The Custom Made Theatre Co., James and the Giant Peach with Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Hitcher with 99 Stock Productions, and ‘Tis Pity she’s a Whore with The Breadbox. Favorite designs at SF State have included References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Othello, and Engaged.

KEIKO SHIMOSATO CARREIRO (Costume Designer) is a long time Collective member with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, where she is an actor, director, designer and teacher. Over the past 3 decades, she has had the pleasure of designing costumes for many companies around the Bay Area, including, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire, and San Francisco Shakespeare Company. Keiko has worked in partnership with Evren before designing costumes for 410 Gone at Crowded Fire. It was so much fun that she’s back to work with him again on The Braggart Soldier. Keiko is very happy to be at Custom Made for the first time.

CAT HOWSER (Props Designer) has worked on four previous shows with Custom Made Theatre: Book of Liz 2014, Slaughterhouse-Five, Late: A Cowboy Song, and How the World Began. Cat is a Bay Area Stage Manager who grew up in nearby San Jose. Previously, she was a stage management fellow with the American Conservatory Theatre here in San Francisco. Cat worked on many shows at A.C.T., including A Christmas Carol and The Orphan of Zhao. She graduated from California State East Bay with a degree in Theatre.

LIZ RYDER (Sound Designer) earned her Master’s Degree in Composition/ Music Technology from Bangor University, UK, and is resident composer at Custom Made Theatre. She’s winner of a BATCC award for sound design/ music for Eurydice (2013-14 season), TBA award nominee for sound design for The Crucible (2014), and BATCC nominee for Slaughterhouse (2014). Other CMTC credits include: How the World Began, Late: A Cowboy Song, Three Tall Women, SlaughterhouseFive, The Crucible, The Pain and the Itch, and The Play about the Baby, amongst others. For MTC: Rapunzel, and Around the World in 80 Days; for Masquers: Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and NCTC: Harbor. Liz is half Greek, and delighted to be working on The Braggart Soldier. Yassas!

OREN STEVENS (Assistant Director) is Bay Area native. In his time at Yale he directed several productions including Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Kushner’s The Illusion, and an original devised adaptation of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. He served on the executive board of the Yale Dramatic Association, for which he produced their mainstage production of Arcadia (dir. Tamara Fisch). The Dramat also produced his original work Phantomwise on the stage of the Yale Repertory Theater. His New York productions include a production of Phantomwise and his original work The Assessment, both with the New York International Fringe Festival, and a collaboratively devised adaptation of Madame Bovary. He is the Associate Artistic Director and Production Manager for The Breadbox, which produced his adaptation of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and for which he will be directing Medea this fall.

GRISEL TORRES (Stage Manager) is a freelance theatre artist, native to the Bay Area. Grisel studied Technical Theatre and Light Design at SFSU. This is her first time working with Custom Made Theatre and is grateful for the opportunity to work with such passionate people. She has previously worked for Fool’s Fury, PUSH Dance Company, and The Breadbox. Her many hats include stage manager, lighting designer, techie, props designer, musician, glitter fairy and maker of things. She is also a partner of Heart of Bay and Amor Art Farm, two collectives that are making art for social change. To see more of her work check out her website

STEWART LYLE (Technical Director) is the technical director for CMTC, where he has designed Three Tall Women, The  Crucible  and The Pain and the Itch. He has directed, designed, and built highly successful productions of  RENT, The Fantasticks, Moonlight and Magnolias, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Man of La Mancha, and Art for Altarena Playhouse in Alameda along with Children of Eden at Contra Costa Civic Theatre in El Cerrito. As Resident Technical Director for Altarena, Technical Director for the Woodminster Summer Musicals in Oakland, and Build Manager for Contra Costa Civic Theatre, he’s designed and/or built sets for more than 30 shows the last three years Foundations Grants for the Arts (San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund) A member of Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional stage actors, he has performed in over 100 productions throughout California with companies that include TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage, Willows Theatre Company, Pacific Repertory Theatre, The Mountain Play, Cabrillo Stage, Foothill Musical Theatre, and Alameda Civic Light Opera.

BRIAN KATZ (Artistic Director) is the founder of Custom Made Theatre. For Custom Made he has directed over 25 productions including the SF Bay Area Critic’s Circle Best Overall Play of 2012: Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby. Other projects include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day (nominee, Best Director, SFBATCC), Next to Normal (nominee, Best Overall Production), Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, The Devil and Billy Markham, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Red Light Winter among many others. Brian has a B.A. in theatre literature and criticism from Clark University and interned in dramaturgy at the Goodman Theatre. Recently, he returned to Clark to direct the Visual and Performing Art’s production of Cabaret. Next up, he will open Custom Made’s 17th season with Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth, so please subscribe!

LEAH S. ABRAMS (Executive Director) is the co-founder and executive director of Custom Made.  For the company, she has directed multiple Beckett workshops, Catherine Trieschmann’s How the World Began, Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple,  Mark Eisman’s Dodo for President, and Lee Blessing’s  Two Rooms.  She co-directed  Putting It Together and  The Water Engine.  Acting credits include  The Heidi Chronicles, A Delicate Balance, A New Brain, and Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell.  She is a graduate of Clark University


“4-stars! Director Evren Odcikin displays a rare expertise in making the tried and true look new. Luedtke plays the prostitute Climax in a manner outrageously funny as her name. All in all, you’ll have a ball. Hasten to the Gough Street Playhouse, and laugh till your sides split.”
-Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm

“Its well done, great comic timing and shenanigans. Come see what audiences have been laughing at for over 2200 years.”
Vmedia Arts 

“A fast-paced and inexorably physical 100 minute no intermission farce. Dexter, played by Alan Coyne, could pass as a clown for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. He tumbles, turns and bounces all over the stage. Kai Morrison …,plays the perfect idiot. Jef Valentine is…hilarious.”
Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway

Check out our productions photos!  Note: these are web-ready, low resolution.  For print-read, high resolution please visit our press page!

Check out our productions photos!  Note: these are web-ready, low resolution.  For print-read, high resolution please visit our press page!


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