The play by David Foley, beginning Feb. 13 at the Ohio Theatre in downtown Manhattan, is billed as "the absolutely untrue, completely misleading story of the demise of the woman who called herself, and not without reason, 'the most hated woman in America.' The Last Days of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, in Exile is a comic fantasy that imagines a different fate for the notorious atheist activist who, in real life, disappeared several years ago under a shroud of mystery and speculation. In this version, after having embezzled millions of dollars from her own organization, American Atheists, Madalyn has fled America and is holed up on a South Seas island with her son and her granddaughter. As she waits for the embezzled funds to come through, she is visited by ghosts from her past and feted by the island natives. Old scores are settled, romance blooms, and transformations are undergone as the play moves towards its exciting and unexpected finale."
Wash & Fold producer and founding member Jordan Schildcrout explained in production notes: "A story about Madalyn was an obvious choice not just because of the theatricality of her life, but because she is still relevant today. With the debate about removing 'under god' from the pledge and politicians on the left and right clamoring to demonstrate their 'faith' to the electorate, Madalyn is not just a character; she represents an ongoing debate in our society about church and state, belief and disbelief." Samuel Buggeln, Wash & Fold's other founding member, directs. He helmed the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere of Conor McPherson's Rum and Vodka, as well as Wash & Fold's first production, the Drama Desk Award-nominated Cressida Among the Greeks (also by David Foley).
The cast includes Julia Mclaughlin, Ben Wang, Katie Byxbe Pessin, Mark Santa Maria, Arlen Snyder Frank Ensenberger and Dared Wright. The design team includes Mark Huang (sound), Lucio Seixas (set) and Farley Whitfield (lights).
Performances continue to March 9 at the Ohio, 66 Wooster Street, 8 PM Thursdays-Saturdays, 3 PM Sundays. Tickets are $10-$15 and can be reserved by calling (212) 206-1515.
* On dark nights Wash & Fold will present Alone and Afraid in the Meaningless Void, a lighthearted evening of excerpts from plays ancient and modern, and The Godless Atheist Cabaret, a wild night of songs, performance, and original short plays commissioned from seven young playwrights, all centered around themes relevant to the mainstage production.