After the customary late summer lull, I’m back on the theater beat. Last week’s Washington City Paper featured my reviews of two plays that first appeared in 2015, now making their regional premieres Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ stunner Gloria, at Woolly Mammoth, and Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, at Round House.
FURTHER READING: My 2013 City Paper profile of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is here.
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Tagged Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Bess Wohl, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kip Fagan, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Megan Graves, Round House Theatre, Ryan Rilette, Washington City Paper, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
My review of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company remount of An Octoroon, the best show I saw in 2016, is here. I should’ve credited Gwydion Suilebhan (a Woolly staffer, though I’ve known him longer than he’s been on payroll there) for the observation in paragraph four about police body cameras; I couldn’t swear I would’ve thought of that if he hadn’t mentioned it to me when we were chatting after the show. He’s a playwright and a very smart guy, so if you’re going to pilfer ideas, he’s a good victim.
I also reviewed To Tell My Story: A Hamlet Fanfic, the latest literary comedy from Washington Post humor columnist Alexandra Petri.
FURTHER READING: My 2013 profile of An Octoroon playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Drew Cortese and Quentin Maré in Studio’s “The Motherfucker with the Hat,” a 2013 highlight. (Teddy Wolff)
We’re wrapping up a highly rewarding and admirably trend-resistant year on DC’s stages, as I aver in this week’s Washington City Paper.
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Tagged Aaron Posner, Anacostia Playhouse, Bradley Koed, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Drew Cortese, If/Then, Mike Daisey, Nathan Louis Jackson, Quentin, Serge Seiden, Studio Theatre, STUPID FUCKING BIRD, THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT, The Studio Theatre, The Washington CIty Paper, The Year in Theatre, Washington City Paper, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Darrow Montgomery/Washington City Paper)
My profile of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, whose play Appropriate opens at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company tomorrow night, is in today’s Washington City Paper. He says he’s rewritten it since I saw its premiere at the Humana Festival of New American Plays last April, so I’m curious to see what’s changed.
Read all about it.
Larry Bull & Jordan Baker in the Humana Festival production of “Appropriate.” Woolly Mammoth’s production of the play will open in November.
When it was founded in 1976, The Humana Festival of New American Plays was unique: It was a centralized showcase of new work from playwrights around the country. Decades later, new play development is no longer consolidated in a single spot, but the festival continues to a enjoy a reputation as a major platform for plays their authors hope will ripple out to stages of every size in the years to come.
I’d never been to Humana, so I was excited by an invitation to Louisville to cover the festival’s closing “industry weekend” with 11 other journalists from around the country, including my pal Michael Phillips, as part of a “pop-up newsroom” called Engine 31. This year’s six-play lineup was the first curated by Obie Award-winning British director Les Waters, who has earned a reputation as a midwife for important new plays by directing premieres from heavy hitters like Sarah Ruhl, Caryl Churchill, and Anne Washburn. The slate Waters programmed featured six new plays. Of the four that I saw, three were sufficiently intriguing to make me want to revisit them. Continue reading