Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention
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Woolly Mammoth would like to thank the following patrons for their generous support for Arguendo:

Swati Agrawal, Firmseek
Don & Nancy Bliss
Elizabeth & Paul L. Friedman
Wendy & Don Hagen
Nancy Hartsock,
The Hasenberg Hartsock Group
at Merrill Lynch Wealth

Linette S. Hwu
Erika & Jeremy Rissi
Adrienne & David Umansky

Arguendo is funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a participant in the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American Theatre.

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“How does one draw a line between Salome and the Kitty Kat Lounge?”
Justice Antonin Scalia

Elevator Repair Service—the innovative company that created Gatz—comes to Woolly with their newest show, Arguendo. This time, they bring their playful physicality and incisive wit to the Supreme Court and the 1991 First Amendment case Barnes vs. Glen Theatre, where a group of go-go dancers challenged a state ban on public nudity.

Using verbatim oral arguments and breathtaking projections by celebrated visual artist Ben Rubin, Arguendo introduces us to the Justices—who try to get to the bottom of this First Amendment puzzle—and the attorneys on both sides who gamely try to keep up.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Best Availability and Prices:
Best availability and prices are on Saturday and Sunday matinees and Sunday evenings.
For a better deal, consider a Six-Pack. That’s six tickets at $40 each to use in any combination over the rest of the season.

Not satisfied yet? With 10 or more you can get group tickets starting at just $37 and no fees!

Arguendo will run approximately 70 minutes without an intermission. After each performance, there will be a 5 minute break immediately followed by a post-show discussion. You can see the full list of post-show discussion panelists and moderators for each performance here.


Let’s Discuss!
You can add you voice to our online discussion by watching our “A Woolly Mammoth Series: Expression vs. Censorship” below (or here) and sharing your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook.




“The serious legal scholarship of Monty Python
meets the comedy stylings of the US Supreme Court
The Washington Post

COOL, obsessive genius”
The New York Times


The Village Voice

“Sensationally silly and thoroughly FUN
DC Metro Theatre Arts

Entertainment Weekly

MAGNIFICENT and extremely funny…
thought-provoking, eye-opening experience
DC Metro Theatre Arts

Broadway World DC

“These gifted comic actors…can wring a laugh from an inflection”
Washington City Paper

“Supremely talented and well-directed cast”
“A thrilling feeling of ‘how did they pull that off?’”
DC Theatre Scene

“Who knew that oral arguments before the Supreme Court could be so, well, funny?”
“Any courtroom drama is dramaturgical by definition.
But this one is heightened to great comedic effect,
with all the tics and mannerisms o
f an outsized opera.”

“Increasingly absurdist and madcap production”
“Delicious… there are few things more fun than
hearing the august justices say the word ‘pasties’”


STANDOUT performances”
MD Theatre Guide



“One of America’s most acclaimed ensembles, Elevator Repair Service has become an international sensation with an unlikely theatrical strategy—taking actual texts from famous novels and other sources, and turning them into riveting and intelligent theatre. Their word-for-word rendition of “The Great Gatsby” (called simply Gatz) toured the world to rave reviews, and now they’re focusing on a uniquely Washington topic, the Supreme Court. Playfully riffing on one of the most colorful cases of the 1990s—Barnes vs. Glen Theatre—Arguendo reveals the wit and wisdom of the noted Justices as they bring their high-brow erudition and left-field logic to bear on a decidedly low-brow conundrum: can nude dancers in Indiana perform totally in the nude, or must they wear pasties and g-strings? Woolly is proud to welcome Elevator Repair Service for their first extended stay in the nation’s capital.”

-Howard Shalwitz,
Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Arguendo was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage, and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Arguendo was workshopped at The Public’s 2013 Under the Radar Festival and was developed in part at The Bushwick Starr, New York Theatre Workshop, Abrons Art Center, the Vineyard Arts Project, and LaMaMa ETC.



Show art by Carolyn Sewell.