Mission: Under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann, Woolly Mammoth has come to be acknowledged as Washington''s most daring theatre company, as a regional and national leader in the development of new plays, and as one of the best known and most influential small theatres in America. The Company has garnered such a reputation by holding fast to its mission: "to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the citizens of Washington, DC."
Programs: Mainstage Programming: Woolly Mammoth has strived to be a theatre of undisputed national prominence in the field of new play development. The 2008-09 season contains five main stage production and a three show special event series. These eight productions consist of four world premieres, a comedy on fate, a work based on The Possessed by Witold Gombrowicz, the consistent hit "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," and a hilarious adaptation of MacBeth, featuring the voices of The Simpsons. Education and Outreach: Woolly Mammoth has committed itself to building an education and outreach effort capable of impacting the lives of under-served individuals throughout the District of Columbia. The ART OF PLAYMAKING uses playwriting and related theatre arts to foster important life lessons and skills and to create community among like-minded young people. During the course of the semester, ART OF PLAYMAKING teachers engage their students in writing, acting, play analysis and improvisational theatre games. Each student will be required to write an original work by semester's end. The best of these completed plays--as judged by a panel of theatre professionals and teachers--will undergo a two-week developmental and rewriting process prior to professionally staged readings at Woolly Mammoth, in our popular annual ART OF PLAYMAKING Festival. Subsidized Tickets: Four special economic accessibility programs make theatre available to hundreds of individuals each season. These include: Pay-What-You-Can preview performances (two per production); Seats to Service, providing free tickets to non-profit organizations city-wide; the Under 25 program, which provides $15 tickets to all performances for individuals under the age of 25; and Stampede Seats, which provide 10 $15 tickets two hours before most performances.
I've been a season subscriber and financial supporter of Woolly Mammoth Theater Company for years. Woolly's tagline is "defy convention," and they do that with every production and initiative they undertake. From arts education to innovative plays to supporting the work of new and emerging artists to making it possible to make a living as an artist in Washington, DC, Woolly is vital to the local arts community. I look forward to every interaction I have with the development and artistic staff and can't wait to see what they're going to come up with in the future.
Woolly Mammoth brings cutting edge theatre to the DC area scene, as well as fostering creative new playwrights. This dual commitment contributes to thriving seasons of plays and of enthusiastic audience followers across a broad spectrum.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company certainly lives up to its reputation as Washington's most daring theatre company. As a resident of DC for over 5 years now with many connections to some of our area's best theaters, I have never seen a show at Woolly that hasn't made me think, feel, and walk away inspired. But it's more than just their artistic choices that makes this company daring. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company dares to engage its community on the issues that affect us all. In a recent collaboration with the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact, Woolly presented a special reading and town hall discussion of "8, " a play about Proposition 8 in California. I have never felt more included in and impacted by a theatrical community than at this event. Woolly Mammoth is a model for non-profit theatres around the country.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and its artistic director, Howard Shalwitz, reawakened my belief in the transformative power of theater. As a native Washingtonian, for years, I evinced a somewhat jaundiced view of local theater arts in my hometown. I was proud of those few stages that had achieved national recognition but I did not understand how effectively a theater company could unite with a community and grow, how it could strengthen itself and still question itself in a way that was both provocative and entertaining. My decades of faithful attendance have cemented that view. I LOVE going to see a Woolly Mammoth production. I never know if I will be charmed or put off, but I always know that I will be challenged to discover more profound meanings in the theater-going experience.
We love Woolly Mammoth productions and it has been our theater company of choice since moving to the area in 1987. We are constantly surprised and impressed by the quality of performance and stagecraft. It all comes together seamlessly for really interesting theater. Many of the productions that worked out their kinks HERE go on to great success elsewhere.