American Mark Pinkosh (performer), British Godfrey Hamilton (writer) and Jonathan Best (Artistic Director) are Starving Artists Theatre Company.
The Company’s recent work includes a new play, Days of Light, performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, after premiering at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre. In 2010, the company’s 1995 hit Road Movie was given a brand new production and a national tour that included Sheffield Crucible Studio, Manchester Library Theatre and The Drum, Plymouth.
Starving Artists was founded by Mark in 1983, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Godfrey became a partner in 1988 and began developing an Anglo-American work model for the Company. More recently, following several years of work with Jonathan Best in Manchester, Starving Artists have invited him to become Artistic Director.
In 1990 Starving Artists began reciprocal touring in the UK, commissioning UK theatre artists along with their American counterparts and forming the Starving Artists model of Anglo-American collaboration, co-commissioning and co-production.
International work includesThe Mirror and the Mask, commissioned from Welsh storyteller Daniel Morden, who has been a frequent collaborator with Starving Artists, Death and Dancing, commissioned from British writer and performer Claire Dowie, Bite the Moon, produced by Starving Artists and both written and performed by Seattle-based actress Maria Glanz, and a number of plays by the US writer Burgess Clark. Starving Artists has, in turn, received numerous commissions in the UK including from BBC Radio 4, Central London Arts, the Bush Theatre and Paisley Arts Centre.
Initially, Starving Artists was the only company in the State of Hawaii presenting “alternative” performance. In 1992, Mark & Godfrey were formally honoured by the City & County of Honolulu for their work challenging racism and homophobia. In 1993, Mark and Godfrey relocated to California to facilitate touring work and began creating plays and stories centred on California’s citizens and landscape, seen through British and European eyes.
‘Gaining an ever-stronger reputation on both sides of the Atlantic’ (Evening Standard), Mark’s performance in Road Movie won the inaugural Stage Award at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival, where the play itself won a Fringe First. Mark’s 1996 appearance in the play at Manchester Library Theatre won the MEN Award for best actor.
Always returning to themes of love and loss, commitment and loneliness, the plays nonetheless are flavored with humour, sometimes defiantly so as the characters break from the shadows of their lives in their bids for emotional freedom. While the 2000 production Don’t Forget Me was concerned with the deceits and sometimes hilarious duplicities of life in the Hollywood film industry, in 2005 A Dangerous Age looked unflinchingly at the reality of modern warfare in the post-9/11 era, seen through the eyes of two men in love.
Starving Artists’ other work includes Earthquake Weather, directed by John Tiffany, Viper’s Opium (Fringe First winner) directed by Lorenzo Mele, Sleeping with You (Independent Theatre Award nominee) directed by David Prescott, Kissing Marianne, Take Me with You (both commissioned by Central London Arts/Drill Hall Arts Centre) and Eat Me (commissioned by QUN, directed by Jonathan Best at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2009 and nominated for the Manchester Evening News award for Best Studio Production). For BBC Radio 4, Godfrey has written Pacific Dreams, directed by Cathryn Horn and for Theatre Centre he created Jake & Cake (2010, directed by Natalie Wilson) while Mark’s film & TV work includes Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0, House of Lies and Man on the Moon.
Take Me with You (2007) has been filmed by UK director Charles Sharman-Cox, again featuring Mark, and has gone on to win a number of awards at international film festivals. In 2010 British director Richard Carroll filmed Godfrey’s The Ghosts of Los Angeles, starring Denis O’Hare, Mark Pinkosh and legendary Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn.
The play Road Movie has now been seen around the world from Toronto to Dublin to Miami and foreign-language productions have been presented in Paris, Rome, Munich and Geneva. It has recently toured Australia. At the Library Theatre, Manchester, in 2010, Jonathan Best directed Mark in a new production 15 years after the play first debuted.
Godfrey’s most recent playscript was Days of Light, which Jonathan directed at the Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester, and which featured Kate Layden and Mark in a drama exploring commitment and loss, set in the Hawaiian Islands.
Mark & Godfrey are also rather proud to say that they have been professional and life partners for 24+ years.