Pluck's first incarnation was a queer theatre/dance hybrid company in Philadelphia formed by Director/Designer Niall Rea and performers Karl Schappell, Robin Patchefsky and Jon Stark for a production at the Bank Theatre on Broad Street in Philadelphia in 1998 of a devised show We dealing with homophobia, violence, racism and misogyny. The name Pluck was chosen to honour the memory of Christopher Hawks who had lived with Rea and Schappell, but who died from AIDS shortly before the company was formed. Hawks would have undoubtedly been a core company member, and his catchphrase of "oh pluck!" when someone did or said something special or out of the ordinary or brave seemed to embody the ethos of our attitude to performance. Schappell and Rea relocated to Europe and took the company with them; sporadic shows in Amsterdam and London occurred until 2003.
When Rea returned to Belfast in 2004 they began to work together on Automatic Bastard using a space access grant form the Lyric Theatre to develop it for the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival in 2005/6; garnering a 4 star review from The Irish Times. The company, now called TheatreofplucK, was awarded a small grants award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2008, making it the first publicly funded queer theatre company in Ireland. Since then TheatreofplucK have regularly produced queer themed work in Belfast and toured to London and back to Philadelphia. TheatreofplucK were one of the first artists to be part of the Hatch artist in residence programme at Belfast's new flagship arts venue the MAC in 2012/13. The MAC continues to support the company's work, staging three world premiere productions and facilitating our LGBT+ cultural interventions.