Under the direction of Woolly's co-founder and artistic director Howard Shalwitz, this fourth production of Woolly Mammoth's 25th season began May 10 and continues to June 12.
The grand opening weekend includes the official opening night performance on May 15.
"Big Death & Little Death is a new play I've wanted to do for a couple of years but I've been saving for the new theatre," Shalwitz said in production notes. "It's incredibly funny, unexpectedly tender and quite relevant to our current American situation. What's surprising about Mickey's play is that the subject matter is drenched in death — including death metal music, car crashes, battle scene images, etc. – but because the story is told through the eyes of young people with their longing for love and sex and acceptance, it has this charming and very redemptive quality."
Hollywood writer Mickey Birnbaum's play "gleefully detonates the generational zeitgeist," according to notes. "Amidst the spiritual vastness of suburbia, in the shadow of the Gulf War, two confused teenagers ponder their choices in life – whether to go to college, sleep with the guidance counselor or destroy the universe! Mom exerts her questionable psychic powers from the grave while deranged war-vet Dad promotes death as a family value, photographing a gruesome array of car accident scenes. The dead spring to life and the living imitate the dead in this visionary dark comedy about the end of the world as we know it."
Birnbaum's plays include Seeing the Elephant, The Sand Between Her Toes and a new play, Bleed Rail. His screenwriting credits include "The Tie That Binds" (1995) and "Used Guys," which was recently optioned by DreamWorks for Ben Stiller to star. The Big Death & Little Death cast features Woolly acting company member Michael Willis with Woolly veterans Maia DeSanti, Kimberly Gilbert and Paul Morella and newcomers Scott McCormick, Marni Penning, Mark Sullivan and Andrew Wassenich.
The design team includes Elena Zlotescu (set and costume), Colin Bills (lighting), Neil McFadden (sound) and Linda Evans (properties).
Performances play Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM (no 2 PM show May 15). For tickets, call (202) 393-3939 or visit www.woollymammoth.net.