Woolly Mammoth to Feature Marie Antoinette, Zombie: The American and More in 35th Season
By Carey Purcell
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's 35th anniversary season will include David Adjmi's new play Marie Antoinette, a festival of new work from Moscow, Lisa D'Amour's play Cherokee and a puppet show about death.
The season, which is devoted to revolution, is themed around the quote "Let them eat cake," famously spoken by Marie Antoinette.
"The apocryphal quip... sparks a deliciously decadent Season 35, but also one in which we skewer our leaders and walk the widening divide between the haves and the have-nots," press notes state. "The cast of characters include queens and presidents, boomers and hustlers, the living and the living dead, and all of the works explore societies and individuals under attack from outside and inside forces, breaking down, breaking out, and groping toward new solutions."
"This landmark season is a culmination of our thinking over the last few years about what it means to make theatre," artistic director Howard Shalwitz said in a statement. "With the expansion of our Company of Artists to include directors, designers, and playwrights, we have been using new processes for production development that harness meaningful and early collaborations among all the artists involved in a production. With our focus on Connectivity, we are asking more probing questions about the relevance of our work in our community. And with scripts like Bootycandy, Mr. Burns, and Stupid Fucking Bird, we have continued to seek out writers who are re-inventing the traditional idea of a play. These three threads have been the biggest influences on my thinking about the direction of Woolly. They have seamlessly combined in Season 35 for our boldest season to date, one which will engage and challenge our audience in new ways."
The season-at-a-glance follows:
"Let them eat cake."
"On the surface, Marie Antoinette is the famous story of the rise and fall (mostly fall) of the iconic and controversial Queen of France. But was Marie just a shallow, rich party girl, or a tragic figure constructed by a culture of luxury and celebrity?"
"Let them eat... caviar."
"Over 75 Russian artists will descend on Woolly Mammoth to present four new works from distinct companies representing the cutting edge of Moscow's theatre scene. The pieces will include works by famous international directors — Dmitry Krymov and Kirill Serebrennikov — and young upstarts — Svetlana Zemlyakova and Yury Muravitsky — who are galvanizing audiences in astonishing new ways."
"Let them eat... worms."
"Famous Puppet Death Scenes is a collection of twenty-two scenes of famous puppet deaths, spanning an array of theatrical styles and genres. Narrated by puppet Nathan Tweak, this unusual holiday show is in equal parts, hilarious and macabre, and uniquely reminds us of our own mortality."
"Let them eat... s'mores."
"Two couples from Houston go camping in Cherokee, North Carolina to get away from it all. But their lives are upended when Mike mysteriously disappears and is seemingly replaced by Josh, a young American Indian from the area."
"Lights Rise on Grace is a hot-blooded stage event that has been exposed to its theatrical bones: an examination of race, sexuality, and family as unconventional as the relationships it depicts. Three actors bring to life the interwoven stories of a triangle of outsiders whose search for love takes them to place — and people — they didn't expect."
A "Free the Beast!" Commission and World Premiere
"It's 2063, and as Thom Valentine — the first openly gay President of the United States — finishes a long reelection campaign, he is faced with an imminent Civil War, the threat of an African invasion, an adulterous First Gentleman, and Zombies in the basement of the White House. Amidst this chaos, Valentine must decide which institutions he cares most about saving, and at what cost."
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