The Rogers Revue

The Entertainment Capitol

World Premiere of Robert O’Hara’s Zombie The American Comes to Woolly Mammoth

4 min read

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces its climactic production of Season 35, the world premiere of Zombie: The American by Woolly’s playwright-in-residence Robert O’Hara, directed by Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. Zombie: The American will run from May 25 to June 21, 2015.

Zombie: The Americandescribed by the playwright as “a cross between Jacobean tragedy and Dr. Strangelove,” is a futuristic political satire set in the year 2063. Thom Valentine, the first openly gay President of the United States, faces a host of problems: an imminent civil war, the threat of an African invasion, an adulterous First Gentleman, and zombies in the basement of the White House! With his power, his marriage, and the nation’s well-being at stake, he must decide what he cares most about saving…and at what cost.

“What does Robert O’Hara dream about at night?” asks Shalwitz. “The answer must be something like Zombie: The American, a play of reckless daring that asks if the White House is our castle, what are we hiding in the dungeon?”

This is the third new play by Robert O’Hara to be launched at Woolly Mammoth. O’Hara’s Antebellum (2009) won the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, and his 2011 play Bootycandywent on to enjoy successful runs in Philadelphia and New York. O’Hara’s other recent work includesInsurrection: Holding History, which premiered at the New York Shakespeare Festival and received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play.

Zombie: The American is the first of Woolly’s FREE THE BEAST! commission projects to reach the Woolly stage. FREE THE BEAST!, a Woolly initiative founded in 2012, is supporting the production of 25 new plays over a ten-year period. This commission in particular was developed with Woolly, and the city of Washington, DC, in mind. Working closely with Associate Artistic Director Miriam Weisfeld, O’Hara created the play over a three year period marked by frequent trips to DC, a major creative retreat in Lake George, NY, and an event in Woolly’s Appetizers series featuring scene reading and zombie physicality workshops for a live audience. One of the first research activities sponsored by FREE THE BEAST!, a tour of the White House itself, proved to be a key inspiration for the play.

“On a sweltering July night in 2012, Robert O’Hara and I stood outside the West Wing of the White House,” says Weisfeld. “And with that peek inside the empty halls of the Presidency, Zombie: The American began.”

Howard Shalwitzwho garnered a Helen Hayes Award nomination for his 2013 direction of Stupid F**king Bird, returns to lead the creative team. The cast of Zombie: The American features Woolly Company Members Sarah Marshall* (Marie AntoinetteCivilization)Dawn Ursula* (Marie Antoinette, recipient of the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in The Convert), Jessica Frances Dukes* (Bootycandy) and Tim Getman* (DetroitAppropriate). It also includes Sean Meehan* (The Totalitarians) and Woolly newcomers James Seol*Thomas Keegan*, and Luigi Sottile*.

More information about Woolly’s 35th Anniversary Season and our recently announced 36th Season can be found at woollymammoth.net.

SCHEDULE

Zombie: The American runs May 25, 2015 to June 21, 2015, with performances WednesdayFridayat 8pmSaturday at 3pm and 8pm (Saturday, May 30 at 8pm only), and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm (Sunday, May 31 at 7pm only). Monday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 26 will be Pay What You Can performances, which will begin at 8pm.

PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

  • May 25, 2015: Pay What You Can performance at 8pm
  • May 26, 2015: Pay What You Can performance at 8pm
  • May 27, 2015: Preview performance at 8pm
  • May 28, 2015: Preview performance at 8pm
  • May 29, 2015: Opening and Press Night performance at 8pm
  • May 30, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • May 31: Performance at 7pm
  • June 3, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 4, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 5, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 6, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm
  • June 7, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm
  • June 10, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 11, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 12, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 13, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm
  • June 14, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm
  • June 17, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 18, 2015: Performance at 8pm
  • June 19, 2015: Performance at 8pm 
  • June 20, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm 
  • June 21, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm

TICKETS

Tickets to Zombie: The American start at $35 and can be purchased online at woollymammoth.net, by phone at (202) 393-3939, via email at tickets@woollymammoth.net, or in person at the Box Office, located at 641 D Street NW.

Patrons who are 30-years-old and younger may, at any time, purchase Section B tickets for $20 to any performance. There are also discounts available for first responder men and women and active US military personnel, spouses, and veterans. More information is available at woollymammoth.net.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Facebook.com/WoollyMammothTC

Twitter: @WoollyMammothTC #ZombieUSA