Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention
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Woolly is thrilled to reunite with Roger, an award-winning artist known for his roles in Spike Lee classics such as Do The Right Thing and his work in television series such as HBO’s “Oz.”

Rodney King is a rhythm-driven mix of improvised movement and theatre, spoken word poetry, and as Roger himself describes, a “post-mortem interview with the man himself.” Nestled between excerpts from Willie D’s “F**k Rodney King” and King’s memorable May 1, 1992 “Can we all get along?” speech, the piece is an exploration of the legacy of an icon of American history. Rodney King captures the story of a flawed, good-hearted everyman, unraveling the myth of “the first reality TV star,” and by extension, revealing America’s endlessly complicated relationship with its racial past and present.

Rodney King runs for approximately 65 minutes. There is no intermission.

All tickets for Rodney King are $35 and can be purchased here.



The Washington Post

“This is not a performance, it’s a prayer.”
POWERFUL…a nearly psychedelic production that embraces brazen dissonance,
looped time, audio pastiche, and periods of free association to brilliant effect.”
Brightest Young Things

“An important work and an ingenious conceptualized allegory
on humanity and race relations in America.”
DC Metro Theatre Arts

Broadway World

“A thoughtful, provocative piece”
MD Theatre Guide

A STROKE OF GENIUS… a humbling and humanizing collective experience…
Must be seen and heard while you and we have the chance.”
DC Metro Theatre Arts

“Alternately compassionate, quizzical, and condemnatory”

“The story of a remarkable thing that happened to a totally unremarkable man,
and Roger Guenveur Smith…gives it full voice.”
“Rhythmic and interspersed with internal rhyme.”
DC Theatre Scene



Roger Guenveur Smith has created some of the most provocative solo works of the past two decades, including his landmark A Huey P. Newton Story which electrified Woolly audiences in 1996. The timeliness of his new piece about Rodney King is almost shocking in relation to the Trayvon Martin verdict and other recent cases that have continued to make black men and boys feel uniquely vulnerable in our society. Roger’s performance this summer will extend an important conversation about race that has flowed through our current season (including Appropriate and We Are Proud to Present….). His complex perspective on Rodney King’s life explores a range of emotional responses and restores simple human dignity to a man who accidentally became a national symbol of racial persecution.

-Howard Shalwitz,
Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company



Show art by Carolyn Sewell.