Washington, D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has unveiled its 40th anniversary season, the first under the new leadership of Artistic Director María Manuela Goyanes. The season will feature new works by playwrights Jackie Sibblies Drury, Aleshea Harris, Anne Washburn, Paola Lázaro, and Mike Lew, as well as a collaboration with The Second City.
Kicking off the season in the fall will be Fairview, Drury's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about racism, surveillance, and family. Ain't No Mo' director Stevie Walker-Webb will helm the production, featuring Woolly company members Shannon Dorsey and Kimberly Gilbert, as well as Laura Harris. Performances will run September 9–October 6.
“Fairview is a game-changing original work about race, challenging us as much as it entertains, and ultimately shattering the lenses with which we see each other," says Goyanes. "There is no better way to announce my ambitions than to produce a play as exciting and thorny as [this]."
Next up will be The Movement Theatre Company’s production of Harris' What to Send Up When It Goes Down, directed by Whitney White. Previously seen Off-Broadway, the critically acclaimed new work is a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration in response to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people as a result of racialized violence.
The D.C. production of What to Send Up will "move" throughout the city, beginning with venues operating at the intersection of Black social and cultural life in D.C., before landing at Woolly in the fall of 2019.
In the new year, Woolly teams up with New York City's Public Theater (where Goyanes previously worked) to present Washburn's critically acclaimed new play, Shipwreck: A History Play About 2017. Seen in London earlier this year, the play interweaves the stories of a group of well-meaning liberals in a farmhouse upstate, a son adopted from Kenya into an American family, and the 45th U.S. President.
Saheem Ali will direct the production, featuring Woolly Company member Jon Hudson Odom, as well as Tom Story, Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, and James Whalen. Performances will run February 10–March 8.
“Shipwreck is a radical play, not just because of Anne’s audacity to imagine James Comey’s meeting with President Trump, but also because of what she makes visible about this current moment in our nation’s history," reveals Goyanes.
Next spring, Woolly will present the world premiere of There’s Always the Hudson, featuring playwright Lázaro in the role of Lola. Through the stories of Lola and T, who meet in a support group of sexual abuse survivors, the new work takes an up-close look at confronting trauma, and the lengths that unexpected human bonds will carry us. Performances will run April 6-May 3.
Next up will be Lew's Teenage Dick, seen Off-Broadway in a production from Ma-Yi and The Public Theater. A modern, darkly comic re-telling of Shakespeare’s Richard III, the play re-imagines the tragedy in a high school, with a focus on the disabled experience. Gregg Mozgala and Shannon Devido will reprise their performances and Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel will once again direct. Performances set to run June 1–28.
Rounding out the season this December will be The Second City's She the People: The Resistance Continues, directed by Carly Heffernan and featuring an all-female team. Performances will run December 2–January 5, 2020.
Subscriptions to the 2019-2020 season can be purchased online at woollymammoth.net, by phone at (202) 393-3939, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at the Box Office. Single tickets will go on sale in the summer of 2019.