Season 34: America's Tell-Tale Heart
“Dissemble no more! Admit the deed. Tear up the planks! Here! Here!
It is the beating of his hideous heart.”
–Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings
The truth is beating below our feet—a secret under the floorboards, bricked up in the walls of our houses, and cemented in the streets and sidewalks of our cities, inside the very enterprise of our democracy. Woolly Mammoth and some of America’s bravest playwrights tear up the planks, smash through the facade, and drill down into the core to expose the complex soul inside America’s sunny exterior.
By Lisa D’Amour
Directed by John Vreeke
September 9–October 6, 2013
A Pulitzer Prize Finalist and one of The New York Times top 10 plays of 2012, Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit is an explosive dark comedy that brilliantly captures our economic moment.
Recently laid off, Ben starts an e-business from his suburban home while his wife, Mary, keeps up with the Joneses. But when mysterious new neighbors Sharon and Kenny arrive, the façade of their upwardly mobile lives begins to crack. Soon they find themselves increasingly pulled towards their wild new friends—to incendiary effect.
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Liesl Tommy
November 4–December 1, 2013
In this searing and audacious comic drama, the estranged members of the Lafayette family return to Arkansas, and their crumbling old plantation home, to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. As they sort through a hoarded lifetime of mementos and junk, they discover a gruesome relic that sends the family spiraling into a dark history of repressed memories and family secrets.
African-American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins returns to his hometown of Washington, DC with a production that appropriates a classic trope—the great white family drama a la O’Neill or Tennessee Williams—to brilliantly subvert our assumptions, and challenge us to re-consider our own histories and souls.
WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT A PRESENTATION ABOUT THE HERERO OF NAMIBIA, FORMERLY KNOWN AS SOUTH WEST AFRICA, FROM THE GERMAN SUDWESTAFRIKA, BETWEEN THE YEARS 1884-1915
By Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Michael John Garcés
February 10–March 9, 2014
A rehearsal room descends from collaborative to absurd as a group of idealistic actors—three black and three white—come together to tell the little-known story of a centuries-old conflict in South West Africa. As the troupe try to recreate the extinction of the Herero tribe at the hands of their German colonizers, their own stories, subjectivities, and ingrained prejudices rise to the surface. Tensions mount as the actors discover the limits of their good intentions.
One of The New York Times top 10 plays of 2012, We Are Proud to Present… is innovative, fast-paced, funny, and a wholly unique take on race, empathy, and the devastating consequences of our best intentions.
Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service
Directed by John Collins
March 31–April 20, 2014
“How does one draw that 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 unique theatrical style to the Supreme Court, tackling the 1991 First Amendment case Barnes v. Glen Theatre, brought to the court by a group of go-go dancers petitioning for their right to perform completely naked.
Using verbatim oral arguments and playful physicality, Arguendo introduces us to the Justices—who try to get to the bottom of this First Amendment puzzle—and the poor attorneys on both sides who gamely try to keep up. Each performance will be followed by a post-show conversation with noted First Amendment experts, providing even deeper insights into the workings of the venerable third pillar of our Democratic system.
Arguendo was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company,
and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Arguendo was work shopped at
The Public’s 2013 Under the Radar Festival and will be developed in part at ArtsEmerson: The
World on Stage, Boston Mass, New York Theatre Workshop, and at Abrons Art Center.
By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by Robert O’ Hara
June 2–29, 2014
“Freedom From Fear!”
Francine, the ambitious speechwriter for a rich housewife’s vanity campaign for public office, has stumbled upon pure gold: a perfectly patriotic slogan. So what if it’s totally meaningless? And so what if her doctor husband disapproves? With it Francine can turn the campaign around and make her unpredictable, gaffe-prone candidate electrifyingly powerful—and finally, just maybe, get herself out of Nebraska.
Written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, author of Boom, this high-energy farce exposes just how vacuous and absurd our political language has become. If you worship at the altar of Colbert, if you religiously watch The Daily Show, you won’t want to miss The Totalitarians.
RETURNING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON…
JUST THE TWO OF EACH OF US
Created and performed by The Pajama Men
AKA Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez
Music by Kevin Hume
December 10, 2013–January 5, 2014
Comedy duo The Pajama Men took DC by storm this past Holiday season. In addition to performing to sold-out houses every night, the remarkable Mark and Shenoah spent their days in the Woolly rehearsal hall, creating and developing their newest piece, Just the Two of Each of Us. The show blends their trademark wit, characters, improv, and fast-paced physical comedy with plenty of new surprises. It is our great pleasure to welcome them back.
*All dates and titles subject to change.
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