Artistic director Howard Shalwitz announced the season, to open with the world premiere of Grote's Maria/Stuart, directed by Pam MacKinnon, Aug. 18-Sept. 14. "Just as Stuart approaches his big break as a comic book artist, a German-babbling shape-shifter appears to unlock his family's skeletons," according to Woolly Mammoth. "Three generations of fierce women surround Stuart and attempt to drive back the past, but these sisters and cousins seem destined to destroy each other. Eccentrically comic and eerily haunting, this Friedrich Schiller-inspired tale with a supernatural twist shows just how far a family will go to keep the past dead and buried."
Grote's most recent play, 1001, was nominated for the 2007 Kesselring Prize, a finalist for the 2006 Weissberger Award and included in Time Out New York's Top Ten list for 2007. His other plays include Box Americana (A Dream of Wal-Mart), Hamilton Township, The New Jersey Book of the Dead, Darwin's Challenge and This Storm Is What We Call Progress.
The season's special events include a one-week engagement of Rick Miller's MacHomer, the return of the Chicago-based Neo-Futurists' Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind in December and a new solo work by monologist Daisey during the 2008 Capital Fringe Festival in July.
The Woolly Mammoth main season will also include:
Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by John Vreeke, Nov. 3-30. "Can the apocalypse be the ultimate aphrodisiac? It certainly ups the ante when a marine biology grad student attempts a hook up with a journalism major in his subterranean lab. Their simple online connection quickly moves beyond casual sex — into the realms of ontogeny, phylogeny, evolution and extinction! In this provocative sci-fi fantasy, the future of humanity hangs in the balance as irreverent young playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb asks: do we control our own fate or is someone else pulling the levers?" Nachtrieb is a San Francisco-based playwright whose plays include Meaningless, Colorado, Multiplex, The Amorphous Blob and Hunter Gatherers.
Hell Meets Henry Halfway by Adriano Shaplin, directed by Dan Rothenberg, presented by Pig Iron Theatre Company of Philadelphia. Feb 2-March 1, 2009. "In the hands of Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theatre Company, unorthodox texts are guaranteed to explode into fearlessly physical performances. Their critically acclaimed adaptation of Witold Gombrowicz's gothic mystery, 'The Possessed,' emerges as an orgiastic celebration of nihilism. Hoping for an inheritance, bitter secretary Henry waits on a dying prince. Add a creepy alchemist, an oversexed fiancée and an egocentric tennis coach, and the results turn darkly existential…" Playwright Adriano Shaplin is a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Riot Group and has served as the company's resident playwright since 1997. He is the author of numerous plays for the company including Pugilist Specialist.
The world premiere of Antebellum by Robert O'Hara, directed by Chay Yew, March 30-April 26, 2009. "Part mystery, part M-G-M epic, Robert O'Hara's stylish new play bridges time, space, religion and race to track a love affair that defies history's harshest cruelties. It's 1939. Hitler has published 'Mein Kampf' and Great Britain and France have declared war on Germany. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, 'Gone With the Wind' premieres amid star-studded decadence. Against the backdrops of a Southern plantation, a German concentration camp, Hollywood movies and Berlin cabarets, two stories slowly merge into one sweeping romance — and fate decides which souls survive and which must be sacrificed." O'Hara directed the award-winning Off-Broadway hit In the Continuum, presented at Woolly Mammoth in 2006. His plays include Insurrection: Holding History, winner of the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play Debut, American Ma(u)l, Beowulf: A Funksical, Raw Pearl, based on the life and music of Pearl Bailey and Craft at The Flea.
The world premiere of Fever/Dream by Sheila Callaghan, directed by Howard Shalwitz, June 1-28, 2009. "In a dank basement of an American mega-corporation, a forgotten employee is literally chained to his desk, droning mindless answers to innocuous phone queries. Soon he is told he's the new CEO — or is it just a dream? A sudden elevator ride to the executive suite takes our hero on a kaleidoscopic power trip that reorders the corporate bureaucracy and unsettles the hearts of its employees. Shakespearean in scale, with the biggest cast ever assembled on Woolly's stage, this raucous and highly physical new comedy is filled with antic wordplay, absurd delusions and dizzying capitalist commentary — as it reinvents the great Spanish classic, Life is a Dream." Sheila Callaghan's plays have been produced nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, the 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the prestigious 2007 Whiting Award. Her plays include Scab, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something and That Pretty Pretty or The Rape Play. She is a member of the Obie-winning playwright's organization 13P.
Woolly Mammoth's special events in 2008-09 include the world premiere of If You See Something Say Something, created and performed by Mike Daisey, directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, July 15-20, 2008, as part of the 2008 Capital Fringe Festival.
In his new comic monologue, Daisey "takes aim at one of our era's best kept secrets: the history of the Department of Homeland Security. Weaving in the untold story of the father of the neutron bomb, Daisey illuminates a time when atomic fire rewrote history and ushered in an age of American supremacy. Combining eye-opening research and witty autobiography, he bores into the dark heart of America to discover the meaning of security and the price we are willing to pay for it."
Daisey's many monologues include Monopoly!, TRUTH, Invincible Summer, Tongues Will Wag, The Ugly American, I Miss the Cold War, Great Men of Genius, Wasting Your Breath and 21 Dog Years.
For more information visit www.woollymammoth.net.