Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces its next production in Season 35: Cherokee, by Obie Award-winning playwright Lisa D’Amour

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(Washington, DC) Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces its next production in Season 35: Cherokee, by Obie Award-winning playwright Lisa D’Amour. Enlarging on the themes explored in D’Amour’s 2013 Woolly hit Detroit, Cherokee follows a fresh cast of characters pushed to the brink as their escape from the trappings of civilization opens the path to a new life. Woolly Company Member John Vreeke, who also directed Detroit, will direct the new production. Cherokee will run from Monday, February 9 to Sunday, March 8, 2015.


Two couples—one black, one white—flee their suburban pressures and try to connect with nature by going camping in Cherokee, North Carolina. But their vacation is upended when one member of the group mysteriously vanishes and the others are visited by a Native American local…who unearths buried desires that might change their lives forever. Cherokee is about a disparate group of Americans grappling with vital questions: What does it mean to lead an authentic life? What are we willing to give up to have our lives transformed?


“Playwright Lisa D’Amour and director John Vreeke proved to be a potent combination in last season’s Detroit,” says Woolly Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. “If that earlier play—in which two couples struggled to maintain a suburban foothold—was a diagnosis of the American problem, then Cherokee, where the characters leave ‘civilization’ and start over, is an exploration of a possible solution. But none of the answers comes easily in this mysterious work, where nature has the upper hand and even our identity as human individuals is questioned.”


Cherokee’s extraordinary cast includes Woolly Company Member Jennifer Mendenhall* and Woolly veterans Paul Morella* and Thomas W. Jones II*, as well as notable actors Erica Chamblee* and Jason Grasl*.


More information about Cherokee and Woolly’s 35th Anniversary Season can be found at woollymammoth.net.




Lisa D’Amour (Playwright) is an interdisciplinary artist and one half of the OBIE-Award winning performance duo PearlDamour. Her plays have been produced by theaters across the country, including Playwrights’ Horizons, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, Clubbed Thumb, (all in NYC), Children’s Theater Company (Minneapolis), The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia) and Woolly Mammoth Theater (Washington D.C.), Steppenwolf Theater (Chicago) and the Royal National Theater (London).  Lisa’s play Detroit was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. PearlDamour is known for creating interdisciplinary, often site-specific works which range from the intimate to large scale. Recent work includes How to Build a Forest, an 8-hour performance installation created with visual artist Shawn Hall (The Kitchen, New York, 2011, currently touring) and MILTON, a performance created from visits and interviews in 5 U.S. cities named Milton. Lisa is the recipient of the 2008 Alpert Award for the Arts in theater, the 2011 Steinberg Playwright Award and is a recipient of the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.


John Vreeke (Director/Woolly Company Member) has directed for Woolly for the past fifteen years.  His assignments include, but are not limited to, Lisa D Amours Detroit, Kris Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety, which received nine Helen Hayes nominations, Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul, Sam Hunter’s A Bright New Boise, and Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries. He is a six-time Helen Hayes Nominee for Best Director. John also directs for Theater J, most recently Tony Kushner’s epic play The Intelligent Homosexuals Guide to Socialism and Capitalism with a Key to the Scriptures, and the Round House Theater, most recently Nicki Silver’s The Lyons and will direct Annie Baker’s version of Uncle Vanya this spring. He is a regular director at Metro Stage with award winning shows such as Stoppard’s Heroes, and He directed Stephen Adley Gurigi’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot twice for Forum Theater. Directing credits at other DC area theaters include:  Washington Shakespeare Company, Everyman Theatre, Olney Theatre Center,. Source Festival, Charter Theatre, Theater Alliance, Kennedy Center TYA, Imagination Stage, and the Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony. He started his professional work as a director decades ago with Nina Vance at the Alley Theatre.  He worked with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Attic Theatre in LA, Salt Lake Acting Company, and First Stage in Milwaukee. He was the Associate Producer and Casting Associate for the CBS TV Series: Northern Exposure.


The production’s visionary creative team features Woolly Company Member and light designer Colin K. Bills and two Woolly veterans: set designer Daniel Ettinger (Civilization) and fight choreographer Joe Isenberg (Marie Antoinette). The creative team also features costume designer Kelsey Hunt, sound designer Palmer Herfferan, dramaturg Kirsten Bowen (Woolly’s Literary Manager), and Production Stage Manager Kate Kilbane*.


*Member, Actor’s Equity Association



Cherokee runs February 9, 2015 to March 8, 2015, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm (Saturday, February 14 at 8pm only), and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm (Sunday, February 15 at 7pm only). Monday, February 9 and Tuesday, February 10 will be Pay What You Can performances, which will begin at 8pm.



February 9, 2015: Pay What You Can performance at 8pm

February 10, 2015: Pay What You Can performance at 8pm

February 11, 2015: Preview performance at 8pm

February 12, 2015: Preview performance at 8pm

February 13, 2015: Opening and Press Night performance at 8pm

February 14, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 15, 2015: Performance at 7pm

February 18, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 19, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 20, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 21, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm

February 22, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm

February 25, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 26, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 27, 2015: Performance at 8pm

February 28, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm

March 1, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm

March 4, 2015: Performance at 8pm

March 5, 2015: Performance at 8pm

March 6, 2015: Performance at 8pm

March 7, 2015: Performances at 3pm and 8pm

March 8, 2015: Performances at 2pm and 7pm





Tickets to Cherokee start at $35 and can be purchased online at woollymammoth.net, by phone at (202) 393-3939, via email at [email protected], 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.




Twitter: @WoollyMammothTC #WoollyCherokee



Now in its 35th Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as “one of the most influential outposts for the best new American plays” (The Washington Post), and “known for its productions of innovative new plays” (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new works, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America.


Woolly Mammoth’s Season 35 is one in which we skewer our leaders and walk the widening divide between the haves and the have-nots. The cast of characters include queens and presidents, boomers and hustlers, the living and the living dead. All of the works explore societies and individuals under attack from outside and inside forces, breaking down, breaking out, and groping toward new solutions The season includes Lisa D’Amour’s Cherokee (February 9–March 8, 2014), Chad Beckim’s Lights Rise On Grace (March 30–April 26, 2014), and Robert O’Hara’s Zombie: The American (May 25–June 1, 2014).




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