Hilariously uncensored verbal sparring, imaginative leaps through the past and future, emotional twists that tug at your insides, politically incorrect provocations that crash through taboo barriers. These are the ingredients for Woolly’s 2015-2016 season.
The plays—our most wildly theatrical and daring collection to date—grapple with interlocking themes of beauty, desire, and power. Where do our images of feminine beauty come from and who controls them? Who are the artisans who create beautiful things, and who owns their creations? Will the technology of the future let us freely pursue our darkest sexual desires? Will we ever be allowed to cross barriers of color and crawl inside the skin of the Other?
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By Sheila Callaghan
Directed by Kip Fagan
September 7—October 4, 2015
What’s on the menu for Meredith, Tori, and Sandy: the three women in Guy’s
life? Healthy lifestyles, upward mobility, meaningful sex? Or self-loathing and
distorted priorities? Award-winning playwright Sheila Callaghan, writer of the
2009 Woolly hit Fever/Dream, serves up a world premiere on a bed of bawdy
language in a gender-bending comedy vinaigrette, inviting everyone—men
and women, mothers and sons—to savor this complex recipe of desire and
Featuring a delectable cast including Company Member Kimberly Gilbert,
Women Laughing Alone with Salad dishes out our image-obsessed
culture with abrasive imagery, biting social critique, and devastating
World Premiere and part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival.
By James Long & Marcus Youssef
Directed by Chris Abraham
October 26—November 22, 2015
Is Kanye West a winner or a loser? What about the Berlin Wall?
Or goat cheese? Old friends Marcus and Jamie spare nothing and no
one in a seemingly harmless drinking game that separates the
champions from the chumps. But what begins as a playful exercise
slowly reveals itself as a dangerous unpacking of privilege, status
symbols, and class divisions.
Winners and Losers, a “frisky theatrical symposium” (Time Out NY)
from Canadian theatre artists James Long and Marcus Youssef, blurs
the line between real life and fiction, the personal and the political,
admiration and resentment. Nothing is as wildly fun or as ruthlessly
biting as friendly competition.
James Long and Marcus Youssef
By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by John Vreeke
February 1—February 28, 2016
India, 1648: two imperial guards watch as the sun rises over the
newly-completed Taj Mahal, an awe-inspiring monument to the emperor’s
dead queen. But awe gives way to terror when the guards are given a new
assignment: to perform a bloody task whose grisly aftermath will force
them to question the very ideas of beauty, responsibility, and friendship.
Guards at the Taj—from playwright Rajiv Joseph and director John
Vreeke, the team that brought us Gruesome Playground Injuries—is a
tragicomic fable as hilarious as it is horrifying. Beauty has a price. Are we
willing to pay it?
By Jennifer Haley
Directed by Shana Cooper
April 4—May 1, 2016
In 2050, when Earth is a gray wasteland, how will humanity escape?
Enter the Nether: an immersive wonderland offering users beauty, order,
and the ability to satisfy their desires—no matter how disturbing—away
from “real world” scrutiny. In a series of gripping interviews, a young
detective launches her investigation into the dark heart of this new realm
in which depraved dreams have become reality.
Featuring Ed Gero in his Woolly debut, Company Members Gabriela
Fernandez-Coffey and Tim Getman, and cutting edge multimedia design
from Company Member Jared Mezzocchi, Olivier Award nominee
The Nether is “a haunting and highly original” (Telegraph) modern crime
drama that hacks into urgent questions of desire, technology, and morality.
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Nataki Garrett
May 30—June 26, 2016
A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the
part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy
her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free,
because everybody else is acting crazy.
An Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie-winning riff on a 19th century
melodrama that helped shape the debate around the abolition of slavery, is
an incendiary adaptation that the New York Post called “entertainingly
demented.” Part period satire, part meta-theatrical middle finger, it’s a
provocative challenge to America’s lasting legacy of slavery and the racial
pigeonholing of 1859—and today.
And a special holiday return of…
The Chicago-based Neo-Futurists return to Woolly for the 5th time with their
never-the-same-twice mini-play extravaganza inspired by Dada, surrealism,
and the spontaneity of late-night sketch comedy. The Neo-Futurists are
masters of merging the hilarious and the harrowing. Audiences choose the
order of the plays, so every performance is a unique experience. 30 plays?
60 minutes? Challenge accepted!
Warning from the artists: on any given night you can expect to see, hear,
feel, and sometimes even smell things that may be interpreted as brazen,
wet, hilarious, foulmouthed, partially nude, abrasive, sticky, hot, cold,
triggering, sad, and so many other things. We promise.