Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, in residence at the intimate AFI Theatre in The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, ends its world-premiere run of David Bucci's Andromeda Shack April 22. Previews began March 19 for an opening March 24.
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 ends its run 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.
(Roche had a bit of a scare, March 30, when he fell and cut his leg backstage at the end of act one. The second act was cancelled and attendees were given the opportunity to return or get refunds.) 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
and David Lefkowitz