Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, in residence at the intimate AFI Theatre in The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, opens the world premiere staging of David Bucci's Andromeda Shack March 24, following previews that began March 19.
The new comedy was prompted by Woolly Mammoth artistic director Howard Shalwitz's question to playwright Bucci: "Why isn't anyone writing plays like Don DeLillo's The Day Room — existential, over-the-top comedies that capture the current cultural moment?"
In the play, directed by Lou Jacob, the retail chain, The Electro Shack, is under siege by a bomber, and a store clerk named Patsy (who is also an aspiring performance artist) couldn't care less. While juggling a ladder-climbing boss, Elinor, and crazy customers, Patsy tries to identify a bizarre object that has appeared in their store. The play "probes our technology-obsessed culture and its gadget-loving anarchists," according to production notes. Is the object a bomb or a gift from an admirer?
Andromeda Shack continues to April 22. The company includes Rhea Seehorn (as Patsy), Holly Twyford (as Elinor), Christopher Marlowe Roche in two roles and Mark Shanahan in three roles.
David Bucci is a dramatist, rock musician and audio recordist. His play, Lynwood Pharmacy, premiered at Woolly Mammoth in 1995. His upcoming play, The Velvet Rut, is a collaboration with Annex Theatre in Seattle. Designers are David Gordon (set), Brenda Plakans (costume), Lisa Ogonowski (lighting), Mark Anduss (sound) and Eileen Daly (properties).
After losing its lease on its former theatre on Church Street, Woolly Mammoth, a company devoted to new works by new writer with edgier voices, set up a three-play residence at the 196 seat AFI Theater at the Kennedy Center (In the Blood was the Woolly debut at AFI in January). Fuddy Meers plays there June 4-July 8.
Andromeda Shack tickets are $16-$29. For information, call (202) 467-4600 or visit the website at WoollyMammoth.net.
— By Kenneth Jones