Woolly Mammoth to Close Season with THE TOTALITARIANS, 6/2-29
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's The Totalitarians, a high-energy political comedy. The play explores the vacuous double-speak we invent for political gain and how this language insinuates itself into our everyday lives, relationships, and culture. Nachtrieb's work was last seen at Woolly with Season 29's Boom (2008), which went on to become the most widely produced new play in the country. Woolly Company Member and Andrew W. Mellon Playwright in Residence Robert O'Hara-the playwright and director of Season 31's Bootycandy (2011) and the playwright of Season 29's Helen Hayes Award winning Antebellum (2009)-will direct.
The Totalitarians follows Francine, the ambitious speechwriter for a rich housewife's vanity campaign for public office, who has stumbled upon pure gold: a perfectly patriotic slogan. Even though it is totally meaningless and her doctor husband disapproves, Francine quickly realizes that with this slogan, she can turn the campaign around and make her unpredictable, gaffe-prone candidate electrifyingly powerful-and finally, just maybe, get herself out of Nebraska.
"The Totalitarians marks the return to Woolly Mammoth of one of our favorite playwrights, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, author of the acclaimed international hit, Boom," says Woolly Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. "The freight-train plot focuses on one of Washington's favorite topics-the fabrication of political rhetoric. But, the play's deeper subject is the connection between the secret lies told in the bedroom and the public lies told on the stump."
Director Robert O'Hara will lead a cast which includes Woolly Company Members Emily Townley* (Detroit, A Bright New Boise) and Dawn Ursula* (We Are Proud to Present..., recipient of the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play for her role in The Convert) and noted actors Nick Loumos* and Sean Meehan* (Civilization (all you can eat), Bootycandy).
On the evening of Tuesday, July 24, Woolly will host a special benefit performance: WHITE HOUSE GHOSTS: An Evening with Presidential Speechwriters from Bush Sr. to Obama. Patrons attending this special benefit evening will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with former presidential speechwriters: Mary Kate Cary for President George H.W. Bush; Noam Neusner for President George W. Bush; Jeff Shesol for President Clinton; and Adam Frankel for President Obama. Veteran reporter Robert Schlesinger-author of White House Ghosts: Presidents and their Speechwriters-will moderate a panel discussion following a performance of The Totalitarians. The evening will culminate with a reception for patrons to meet-and-greet these distinguished guests. Tickets for this special benefit performance begin at $75, and will be on sale at woollymammoth.net beginning Monday, April 28.
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb (Playwright) is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include Boom (TCG's most produced play 2009-10), BOB (2011 Humana Festival for New American Plays at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award), T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Prize), Colorado, and Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets. His work has been seen off-Broadway and across the country including at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, San Diego Rep, and in the Bay Area at A.C.T., Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Currently he's working on Fall Springs: A Musical Disaster. Peter holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Peter is a member of New Dramatists and is the Andrew W. Mellon Playwright in Residence at the Z Space Studio in San Francisco. Visit www.peternachtrieb.com to learn more.
Robert O'Hara (Director) recently released his film writing and directing debut, The Inheritance. He is the recipient of the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira, the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum, and an OBIE Award for his direction of the World Premiere of the critically acclaimed In The Continuum at Primary Stages. He wrote and directed the World Premiere of Insurrection: Holding History at the New York Shakespeare Festival, which received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play and was subsequently published by both TCG and Dramatist Play Service. He directed the World Premiere of Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), a co-production at McCarter Theater/ New York Shakespeare Festival. Recent stage directing credits include Tough Titty at Magic Theater, Eclipsed at CTG/Kirk Douglas Theater, A Life In The Theater at Alliance Theater, and Brother Size at City Theater. Recent productions of his plays include Etiquette of Vigilance during the 2010 Steppenwolf First Look Festival, Good Breeding at ACT/Zeum, and Bootycandy (also under his direction) at Woolly. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU/TISCH School of the Arts. Visit www.robertohara.com to learn more.
Woolly Company Member and Helen Hayes Award winner Misha Kachman (We Are Proud to Present..., Stupid Fucking Bird, The Convert) will design the set and fellow Woolly Company Member and three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Colin K. Bills (We Are Proud to Present..., Appropriate, Detroit, Stupid Fucking Bird) will light The Totalitarians. Costume designer Frank Labovitz, Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, Video Designer Jared Mezzocchi, Dramaturg Kirsten Bowen (Woolly's Literary Manager), and Production Stage Manager William Cruttenden III* will complete the creative team.
*Member, Actor's Equity Association
The Totalitarians runs June 2, 2014 to June 29, 2014, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm, (Saturday, June 7 at 8pm only), and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm (Sunday, June 8 at 7pm only). Monday, June 2 and Tuesday, June 3 will be Pay What You Can performances and will begin at 8pm.