Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. to Present East Coast Premiere of APPROPRIATE, 11/4-12/1
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will present the East Coast premiere of Appropriate, an audacious comic drama written by native Washingtonian Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed). Jacobs-Jenkins' brazen reimagining of the classic Southern family drama will continue Woolly's season-long excavation of the secrets that lie beneath America's sunny exterior.
Appropriate tells the story of the estranged members of the Lafayette family, who return to their crumbling Arkansas plantation home to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. The unearthing of a shocking object sends the family spiraling into the dark history of their own repressed memories and careening into the tainted past of the American South. Jacobs-Jenkins brilliantly repurposes the usual tropes of classics such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and-more recently-August Osage County, to depict American familial dysfunction triggered by both our collective personal legacies as well as our national history.
"Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins grew up in Washington, DC where he was inspired by plays at Woolly Mammoth, and now he has emerged as one of New York's most infamous theatrical provocateurs," says Woolly Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. "His latest work,Appropriate, represents Branden's cheeky and wholly brilliant attempt to channel the great big white American dysfunctional family classics by venerable writers like O'Neill and Williams-but with a twist. Appropriate is a riveting potboiler with more secrets than you can shake a stick at. It is also a take-no-prisoners indictment that will leave you peering into your own soul and history."
Noted director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) will lead a cast including Woolly Company Member Tim Getman as well as Josh Adams, David Bishins, Cole Edelstein, Deborah Hazlett, Beth Hylton, and Caitlin McColl. This will be the first time that Jacob-Jenkins' work has been professionally produced in his hometown of Washington, DC.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright, dramaturg, and performer. His work has been seen at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, The Matrix Theatre, Theater Bielefeld (in Bielefeld, Germany), and The National Theatre in London. He is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theatre. Branden is a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab and Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and a member of the Ars Nova Playgroup. His honors include a Princess Grace Award (2010), the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship (2010), a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Paula Vogel Award for Playwriting (2011). Branden holds an MA in Performance Studies from NYU.
Lisel Tommy (Director) has directed world premieres including Party People by Universes (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The White Man - A Complex Declaration of Love by Joan Rang (DanskDansk Theatre, Denmark), Peggy Picket Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Luminato Festival/Canadian Stage Toronto), Eclipsed by Danai Gurira (Yale Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center), A History of Light by Eisa Davis (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), Angela's Mixtape by Eisa Davis (Synchronicity Performance Group, New Georges), A Stone's Throw by Lynn Nottage (Women's Project), Bus and Family Ties (Play Company for the Romania Kiss Me! Festival), and Misterioso 119 by Koffi Kwahule (Berkshire Theatre Festival, Act French Festival). Tommy's other credits include Hamlet (California Shakespeare Theater), A Raisin in the Sun and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Huntington Theatre Company), American Buffalo (Baltimore Centerstage), He is Here He Says I Say (Sundance East Africa, Manda Island, Kenya), The Piano Lesson (Yale Repertory Theatre), Ruined by Lynn Nottage (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company), Crimes of the Heart (McCarter Theatre Center), Book of Life (Sundance Institute East Africa, Manda, Kenya), Yankee Tavern and Stick Fly (Contemporary American Theater Festival), and A Christmas Carol (Trinity Repertory Company). Tommy serves as the Program Associate at Sundance Institute Theatre Program focusing on its activities in East Africa and was recently made an Artist Trustee with The Sundance Institute's Board of Trustees. She was awarded the inaugural Susan Stroman Directing Award from the Vineyard Theatre, the NEA/TCG Directors Grant, and the New York Theatre Workshop Casting/Directing Fellowship. Tommy has taught master classes in acting, directing, and new play development internationally, and guest directed at Juilliard, Trinity Rep/Brown University's MFA Directing Program, The Strasberg Institute, and Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She is a native of Cape Town, South Africa.