Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention

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.

You can purchase tickets to any
of our Season 34 shows here!

You can also purchase a Six-Pack here!


By Lisa D’Amour 
Directed by John Vreeke
September 9–October 6, 2013

Presented with special support from the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Foundation and Sheryl and Rick Donaldson

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.

Purchase tickets here.



By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins 
Directed by Liesl Tommy
November 4–December 1, 2013


In this searing comic drama, the estranged members of the Lafayette family return to their crumbling Arkansas 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 them spiraling into a dark history of repressed memories and family secrets.

A subversive and bitingly funny potboiler with more secrets than you can shake a stick at, Appropriate marks the professional homecoming of theatrical provocateur Branden Jacobs-Jenkins to Washington, DC.

Purchase tickets here.




Created and performed by The Pajama Men
AKA Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez
Music by Kevin Hume
December 10, 2013–January 5, 2014
Subscription Add-On

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.

Purchase tickets here.



By Jackie Sibblies Drury 
Directed by Michael John Garcés
February 10–March 9, 2014

Presented with special support from Joan and David Maxwell 

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.

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.

Purchase tickets here.



Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service
Directed by John Collins
April 1–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.

Purchase tickets here.



By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb 
Directed by Robert O’ Hara 
June 2–29, 2014
National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

“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.

Originally commissioned by the National New Play Network in partnership with Full Stage USA at New Dramatists, a program made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Purchase tickets here.




Created and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith
July 8–20, 2014

Woolly is thrilled to reunite with OBIE Award winning artist Roger Guenveur Smith after presenting his critically acclaimed A Huey P. Newton Story in 1996.

In Rodney King, Smith explores the legacy of another American icon, colliding history and improvised poetry to unravel the myth of “the first reality TV star.” From the initial glare of the national spotlight as the victim of police brutality, to the heroism thrust upon him that ignited the LA riots, to his lonely death at the bottom a swimming pool, Smith captures the story of a flawed, good-hearted everyman, and by extension reveals America’s endlessly complicated relationship with its racial past and present.

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


By Aaron Posner
Directed by Howard Shalwitz
July 28, 2014-August 17, 2014

It’s back! Woolly reunites the entire cast and creative team of Stupid Fucking Bird, following its runaway success in the summer of 2013.

In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, award-winning playwright Aaron Posner wages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be.

Winner of 2 Helen Hayes awards—Outstanding Resident Play and Outstanding New Play or Musical—Stupid Fucking Bird will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

Tickets for Stupid Fucking Bird can be purchased here.

*All dates and titles subject to change.

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Show art by Carolyn Sewell.