Penelope and Odysseus Seen Through New Eyes in Premiere, Current Nobody, in DC

News   Penelope and Odysseus Seen Through New Eyes in Premiere, Current Nobody, in DC
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company launches the world premiere of Current Nobody, in which rising playwright Melissa James Gibson reinvents The Trojan War's Penelope and Odysseus for the modern age, Oct. 29-Nov. 25.
Jesse Lenat, Casie Platt (front) and Christina Kirk
Jesse Lenat, Casie Platt (front) and Christina Kirk

Daniel Aukin directs Michael Willis, Jessica Dunton, Kathryn Falcone, Deb Gottesman, Christina Kirk, Jesse Lenat and Casie Platt in the Washington, DC, production. Opening night is Nov. 4.

Gibson is known for the Obie Award-winning play [sic] and Brooklyn Bridge and Suitcase.

The new play is inspired by Homer's "Odyssey." According to Woolly Mammoth, Gibson "flip-flops genders to create a dazzling tale about the ultimate working mom. When photo-journalist Pen (Christina Kirk) heads off to cover the war in Troy, stay-at-home dad Od (Jesse Lenat) struggles to maintain his fidelity and raise a child in his wife's absence. As Pen's journey extends from weeks to years, Od is forced into the public eye by a relentless trio of documentary filmmakers — while daughter Tel (Casie Platt) must grapple with the personal cost of her mother's epic ambition."

Woolly Mammoth artistic director Howard Shalwitz stated, "When I saw Melissa James Gibson's remarkable play, [sic], at Soho Rep in 2001, I thought: 'Here is a truly new and original language for the stage. We have to find a way to work with this playwright at Woolly Mammoth!' A few years later, when I read Current Nobody, I found the same fearless originality and verbal wit, but in a story of even greater expansiveness and vision. I'm thrilled to welcome both Melissa and her longtime collaborator, Daniel Aukin, to Woolly Mammoth for this ambitious world premiere…."

Shalwitz added, "As in Chuck Mee's Big Love, which we produced in 2002, the collision of ancient and modern elements in Current Nobody gives the play great intellectual vitality, humor and emotional resonance." For [sic], Gibson won the Obie for playwriting and the Kesselring Prize; the play is included in "The Best Plays of 2001-02." Current Nobody was a 2005 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist and was developed at the 2006 Sundance Theatre Lab.

The design team for Current Nobody includes Tony Cisek (set design), Helen Huang (costume design), Colin K. Bills (lighting design), Ryan Rumery (sound design), Jake Pinholster (projection design) and Jennifer Sheetz (properties).

Director Daniel Aukin recently concluded his run as the artistic director of Soho Rep, a position he began in 1999.

Woolly Mammoth is located at 641 D Street, NW (7th & D) in Washington, DC.

For more information call (202) 393-3939 or visit

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