Kiss

OCTOBER 10-NOVEMBER 6, 2016

  • By Guillermo Calderón
  • Directed by Yury Urnov
  • One hour and 30 minutes, with no intermission

A standing double-date quickly becomes a hilarious farce as four friends unburden their hearts and reveal their secret passions. But is anything really what it seems to be? An intense, furtive video chat with what might be an exiled author, living on the run while escaping persecution, disintegrates both their world and ours until nothing is familiar. Can we recover what’s been lost in translation?

This U.S. premiere by “Chile’s most acclaimed playwright-director of the last two decades” (LA Times) is a disquieting exploration of the limitations of art in grappling with the suffocating effects of an oppressive regime. Politically charged and emotionally urgent, it dares us to question whether we can truly understand other cultures…because just when we think we get Kiss, it transforms instead.

Featuring company members Tim Getman, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, and Shannon Dorsey. This special general admission performance will take place in Woolly Mammoth’s Smith/Melton Rehearsal Hall.


IN THE PRESS

What's Left for Guillermo Calderón?


Kiss contains strobe lighting and sudden loud noises.


"Easily one of the most urgent and gripping performances of the new theater season."

Washington Post

"A must-see milestone in the history of entertainment with a conscience."

DC Metro Theater Arts

"The surprise smash straight play of DC's fall theatre scene."

DC Theatre Scene

"A smartly acted little bomb of a show."

The Georgetowner

"A show that must be experienced, that must be seen, Kiss is revolutionary and life-changing."

Theatrebloom

"A fresh and gratifying enterprise, unlike anything else currently being performed in D.C."

Brightest Young Things

"Do not, I repeat do not, miss this show."

DC Metro Theater Arts

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Guillermo Calderón

GUILLERMO CALDERÓN (Playwright) is one of Chile’s foremost contemporary theatre artists. His plays—all of which have toured internationally—include Escuela (The Public’s Under the Radar Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Yale Rep’s No Boundries), Kiss (Woolly Mammoth, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus), Villa (Play Company), Neva (The Public, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group), Diciembre (The Public’s Under the Radar Festival). Festival stops have included The Buenos Aires International Theatre Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Chekhov Festival in Moscow, Iberoamerica Theatre Festival in Spain, TeatroStageFest, Vienna Theatre Festival, World Theatre Festival in Brussels, and RADAR L.A., accompanied by the 2011 TCG conference. His films include Neruda (Director’s Fortnight Selection 2016), The Club (2015 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film, 2015 Berlin Grand Jury Prize), and Violeta (she went to heaven) (Sundance 2012 World Cinema Jury Prize winner).

About the Director: Yury Urnov

YURY URNOV (Director) Born in Moscow, Russia, Yury graduated from the Russian Academy of Theater Art (GITIS) in 2000, and has directed over 40 productions in his home country, Europe, and Africa. He was one of the first to discover and direct plays by the generation of post-Soviet playwrights, who are now internationally recognized as the leaders of the New Russian Drama movement. Yury translated plays of Martin McDonagh, Sarah Ruhl, and Edward Albee into Russian, as well as a number of contemporary Russian plays into English. Since 2002, he has worked closely with the Center for International Theater Development (dir. Philip Arnoult) on a number of Russia–US cultural projects. In 2009-2011 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Towson University, MD. His recent directing credits in the US include Ubu Roi at Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco, award-winning Thr3e Zisters at Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, The Pillowman at Forum Theater in DC, Marie Antoinette and You for Me for You at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in DC, which Yury is a member of.

Meet the Cast

SHANNON DORSEY (Hadeel) A true D.C. native, Shannon made her Woolly debut earlier this year as Minnie in An Octoroon. DC credits include: All the Way (Arena Stage), the Helen Hayes Award-winning A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carmen (Kennedy Center/Synetic Theater); Unexplored Interior (Mosaic Theater Company); Two Trains Running (Round House Theatre); Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, In the Red or Brown Water, and Breath, Boom (Studio Theatre); Stick Fly (Everyman Theatre); and The Shipment (Forum Theatre). Regional credits include Safe House and The Trip to Bountiful (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); A Raisin in the Sun (Perseverance Theatre); The Great MacDaddy (Negro Ensemble Company/Korner Theatricals); The Power of the Trinity (NYC SummerStage); and The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller (New York’s West End Theatre). Shannon received her B.A. in Communications, Theater and African-American studies at Temple University. She thanks God for the continued abundance of love and support from her family and friends.


JOE MALLON (Youssif) is thrilled to be making his Woolly Mammoth debut! DC credits: Elephant and Piggie: Kennedy Center TYA and 1st National Tour; No Rules SKETCH!: No Rules Theatre; Fiddler on the Roof: Arena Stage; Romeo and Juliet: Folger Theatre; Beauty Queen of Leenane: Round House Theatre; Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coriolanus, Wallenstein: Shakespeare Theatre Company. Regional credits: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: New Candlelight Theatre; Working, Honk!: Theatre Horizon; Picnic, The Last Night of Ballyhoo: Montgomery Theater; Little Shop of Horrors: Devon Theater; The Fantasticks: Kimmel Center; Macbeth, Present Laughter, Comedy of Errors, Streetcar Named Desire: Theatre South Carolina. Television: Hack, House of Cards. Training: BFA from New York University; MFA from University of South Carolina.


TIM GETMAN (Ahmed) is happy to be once again playing at Woolly as a Company member. He has appeared previously in The Unmentionables, Gruesome Playground Injuries, DetroitAppropriate, Zombie: The American, and The Nether. Tim has been seen in most theaters in the Washington/Baltimore area most recently in Father Comes Home from the Wars at Round House and Hand to God at Studio Theatre. Television credits include: The District, VEEP, and The Men Who Built America. He holds a BA from Macalester College and Trinity College, Dublin.


GABRIELA FERNANDEZ-COFFEY (Bana) is thrilled to be back at Woolly where she has appeared in The Nether, Detroit, Gruesome Playground Injuries, and Stunning. Recent area credits include Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage; Uncle Vanya at Round House Theatre; Mockingbird at the Kennedy Center; and Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre. She is a proud Woolly Mammoth company member and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


LELIA TAHABURT (Woman) is an Egyptian-American actor and director based in Washington, DC and Shanghai, China. Recent acting credits include Viola in Twelfth Night (Shanghai Theatre Academy) and Madame Thenardier in a Chinese opera-inspired adaptation of Les Miserables (Shanghai school tour). Other favorite roles include Catherine Givings in The Vibrator Play (Colonial Players of Annapolis), Diaphanta in The Changeling (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), and Maureen in RENT (Dartmouth College). She has worked in a variety of capacities with local theatres including Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Source Festival, Compass Rose Theater, and the Georgetown Lab for Global Performance and Politics. Lelia is a graduate of Dartmouth College, studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Intercultural Theatre at the Shanghai Theatre Academy.


AHMAD KAMAL (Interpreter) is beyond thrilled to be making his Woolly Mammoth debut, alongside a fantastic company of actors and artists. Other credits include: I Call My Brothers, Blackberry Winter (Forum Theatre), Exit The King (4615 Theatre Company), The London Cuckolds (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), Miss Emma’s Matchmaking Agency for Literary Characters (Ad Hoc Players), Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare on the Lawn), You Can’t Take It With You, Elephant’s Graveyard, Troy Is Burning (UVa. Drama).