About Woolly | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
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Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention

About Woolly

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company was founded in Washington, DC in 1980. Now in our 34th season, Woolly is “…the hottest theatre company in town” (The Washington Post, May 2008), “known for its productions of innovative new plays” (The New York Times, November 2007). We’ve garnered this reputation by holding fast to our unique mission:

. . . to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC.

Woolly serves an essential ‘Research and Development’ role within the American theatre and plays premiered here have gone on to productions at more than 200 theatres in 39 states and 12 countries. Recent premieres include David Adjmi’s Stunning (2008), which was produced by Lincoln Center Theatre in June 2009; meanwhile, Danai Gurira’sEclipsed (2009) moved on to productions at the Center Theater Group and Yale Repertory Theatre later fall 2009. This track record has established Woolly as a national leader in the development of new plays and longstanding acknowledgement as “Washington’s most daring theatre company” (The New York Times, 1991).

We make extra efforts to connect audiences to our boundary-breaking work and to give back to the DC community that has given so much to us. Ticket accessibility programs including “Pay-What-You-Can” performances and $15 “Stampede Seats” attract one of the youngest and most diverse theatre audiences in DC to Woolly. And we engage this audience by offering extensive dramaturgy on each production, programming panels and post-show discussions featuring experts from the academic and policy worlds, and providing audiences with direct access to our artists.

Woolly is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with an annual operating budget of more than $4 million. To read our FY12 audit, click here. Our full-time staff of 23 is led by Founding Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann and overseen by a 21-member Board of Directors.

A new era of artistic and financial growth for Woolly dawned in 2005 with the opening of our first-ever permanent home—a $9 million, 265-seat, courtyard-style theatre. This dynamic, architecture-award winning space allows us to continue to pursue our long-range vision to become “the epicenter of challenging new theatre in America.”

Find out more in Woolly Mammoth: A Brief Intellectual History by Howard Shalwitz.

Dead Man Cell Phone 2007

Polly Noonan and Rick Foucheux in the world premiere of Dead Man's Cell Phone (2007)

Woolly's award-winning theatre, designed by McInturff Architects

Woolly's award-winning theatre, designed by McInturff Architects