Robert Joy and Brighid Fleming in "The Nether" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Woolly Mammoth 2015-16 Season Will Premiere Sheila Callaghan’s Tumblr-Inspired Play

New plays by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Jennifer Haley and Rajiv Joseph, plus a return of the Neo-Futurists, are also on tap for the D.C. theatre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has announced its 2015–16 season, its 35th, which will feature a strong slate of new works, including a world premiere by Sheila Callaghan.

“We are delighted to welcome many of our favorite artists along with exceptional Woolly newcomers for this exciting new season,” said Woolly Mammoth artistic director Howard Shalwitz in a statement. “Hilariously uncensored verbal sparring, imaginative leaps through the past and future, emotional twists that tug at your insides, politically incorrect provocations that crash through taboo barriers—these are just a few elements of…our most wildly theatrical and daring collection of plays to date.”

The season will open with Callaghan’s Women Laughing Alone with Salad (Sept. 7–Oct. 4), directed by Kip Fagan. The play—inspired by the odd, often sad tumblr of the same name—is about three women connected via their relationship to one man. The cast will feature company member Kimberly Gilbert. Woolly previously produced the world premiere of Callaghan’s Fever/Dream in 2009. The production will be part of the citywide Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, a D.C.-area festival honoring female playwrights, with more than 50 theatres participating.

Next, Canadian duo Marcus Youssef and James Long will bring their two-man show Winners and Losers to D.C. (Oct. 26–Nov. 27), directed by Chris Abraham. What begins as a harmless drinking game slowly turns into an unpacking of privilege, status symbols and class divisions. Winners and Losers had its world premiere at Gateway Theatre in Canada in 2012 and has been touring since (including to Soho Rep).

For the holidays, the Chicago Neo-Futurists will return to Woolly for the fifth time for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (Dec. 7, 2015–Jan. 3, 2016), an evening of mini-plays in which the order is dictated by the audience.

Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj has not yet had its world premiere (it opens in May at New York City’s Atlantic Theater Company), but it already has a second production slotted. The play, about two Taj Mahal sentries in 1648 who are given a bloody task that test the bonds of their friendship, will play at Woolly Feb. 1–28, 2016.

The Nether by Jennifer Haley will play next (April 1–May 1, 2016), directed by Shana Cooper. The procedural play—a hit in London that is also currently running at MCC Theater in New York—is set in the near future and follows a female detective charged with investigating a virtual world built for pedophiles. The production will feature D.C. actor Ed Gero in his Woolly debut, with company members Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey and Tim Getman. Company member Jared Mezzocchi will be in charge of multimedia design.

The season will close with another show currently running in New York (at Theatre for a New Audience), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins‘s sly, searing deconstruction of Dion Boucicautl’s slavery-era melodrama, An Octoroon (May 30–June 26, 2016). It will be directed by Nataki Garrett.

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