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Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention

written and directed by
Robert O'Hara

Featuring Company Member Jessica Frances Dukes with Phillip James Brannon, Sean Meehan, Laiona Michelle, and Lance Coadie Williams.

May 30 – June 26, 2011



Appropriate for ages 16 and up.
This production contains nudity.
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (one 15 minute intermission)

Media Sponsor:hhr

OverviewAdditional InfoWho's whoSchedule and Prices

About the Show

Robert O’Hara took home a 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Antebellum, and he’s cooking up an even saucier dish for us now. This kaleidoscope of sassy lessons in sex education speaks the truth about growing up gay and African American. With outrageous humor and real heart, it tests how we talk about our bodies at home, in church, and on the corner.

What people are saying about

“a snazzy, saucy, bracingly in-your-face provocation…
The caliber of the cast is nothing short of impeccable.”

“Hilarious, tasteless and shocking…
exemplary cast with full-out energy and conviction.”
DC Theatre Scene

“The best performance of Woolly’s season.”
We Love DC

“O’Hara’s writing style is conversational and elegant, with an ear for nostalgic pop culture references, and a tendency toward abrupt, shocking twists.”

“Very funny…affecting, thoughtful,
and with a cast full of life and character.”

“Ridiculously funny comedy…
a wild ride and a fantastic production.”
Brightest Young Things

“Bootycandy manages to push the envelope of theatrical convention in a very self-referential and clever way.”
MD Theatre Guide

“Funny, smutty and, on the whole, enticingly subversive…performed by a well-nigh perfect cast.”
The Washington Post

“Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking,
it’s impressive work all around.”
Washington City Paper

"'Bootycandy’ just kept speaking to me, because it was
so good, and so funny, and so daring
in the things it was trying to deal with."
—Howard Shalwitz to The Washington Post

"We're big fans of artists who will challenge us and keep us honest. That's the most exciting thing
about working with Robert [O’Hara].”
—Miriam Weisfeld to

“From the fictional to the factual,
O'Hara is a man who knows how to hold an audience.”

MetroWeekly's feature on Robert O'Hara, "The Ringleader"

An Interview with Robert in American Theatre Magazine

Robert O'Hara interviewed on The Michael Eric Dyson Show


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Click here for information on group sales...




Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy is an outrageously funny exploration of language, sexuality, and identity. Throughout the run, Woolly Mammoth’s connectivity staff will be curating a wide range of activities designed to provoke, excite, and engage our audiences in public dialogue about some of the most private topics.



Over the course of the run of Bootycandy (May 30 – June 26), we will be hosting a number of post-show discussions in a variety of formats. Want to deepen your engagement with this provocative new play? Stick around after the show and join the conversation.

  • Wednesday, June 8 following the 8pm performance
    The “Anti-Talkback”: Do you have questions for the cast of Bootycandy? Well they have some questions for you…and they get to go first.
  • June 12 panel discussion: Uniting Against Hate following the 3pm performance
    Meet attorneys who helped create the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, together with grassroots activists at work in our community to fight bias-based crime and increase tolerance.
    Michael Lieberman is the Washington Counsel for the Anti-Defamation League and the Director of the League’s Civil Rights Policy Planning Center.
    Chris Farris co-founded GLOV (Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence) in 2009 after a friend of his was beaten unconscious on a Saturday night in Adams Morgan as numerous people watched.
    Ty Cobb serves as legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.
    Chaitra “Chai” Shenoy is the co-founder of Holla Back DC!, an online, community-based, volunteer-run organization whose aim is to educate and address public sexual harassment and assault.
    Jason A. Terry is a member of the organizing collective of the DC Trans Coalition, advocating for gender identity and expression-based rights and conducting human rights trainings for audiences ranging from LGBT youth to police officers.
  • Wednesday, June 15 following the 8pm performance
    An exploration of sexual consent and alternative sexuality with British “Lucky” Paul and Darian and Ahleah from TNG, Baltimore
  • Thursday, June 16 following the 8pm performance
    Production Dramaturg (and Woolly’s Director of Artistic Development) Miriam Weisfeld facilitates a conversation with cast members.
  • Sunday, June 19 and Sunday June 26 following the 3pm performances
    Small-group breakout discussions, led by members of the Claque – Woolly’s community of highly engaged audience members – and focused on race and comedy, political correctness, and the politics of comfort and discomfort.



Don’t Ask, Do Tell: Stories of Coming Out, Coming Clean, and Just Plain Coming

Monday, June 6 at 8pm
Tuesday, June 7 at 8pm
2 hours with a 15 minute intermission
Tickets: $25

A unique co-presentation of Woolly Mammoth and SpeakeasyDC, Don’t Ask, Do Tell features fresh and honest autobiographical performances from an eclectic collection of local storytellers, poets, and spoken-word artists. Through personal stories mixing the comic, the tragic, and the everyday, they wrestle with many of the same themes found in Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy: sexuality, language and labels, taboos, transgressions, inclusivity, exclusivity, and community. The roster of performers will include local master-poets Regie Cabico, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Chris Love.

Performances of Don’t Ask, Do Tell are Monday June 6 and Tuesday June 7 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 and seating is general admission.

You can see both Don’t Ask, Do Tell and Woolly Mammoth’s production of Bootycandy for only $55. Purchase the exclusive DADT/BC package over the phone (202-393-3939) or at the Woolly Box Office. Mention you want to purchase for both shows or refer to promotion code number 1199.


Take Yourself Out: LGBT Singles’ Night at Bootycandy

June 10, 17, and 24 starting at 6:30pm

Want to see some awesome theatre, and maybe get a date out of it as well? Take Yourself Out to Woolly’s LGBTQI-inclusive alternative to boring Singles nights, and you can get your theatre fix (and a couple of phone numbers while you’re at it) without breaking the bank. Use special discount code 1224 to buy a single ticket to Bootycandy for just $35, then come early and stay late for a pre- and post-show Happy Hour, featuring drink specials, party games, and a photo booth (with costumes!). Give our Box Office a call at 202-393-3939 or stop the Theatre at 641 D Street, NW, and don’t forget to mention code 1224.


Young, Sexy & Safe with Bootycandy

Saturday, June 18 at 3pm

Are you taking care of your bootycandy? Join us (and bring your friends and family members) for a special Saturday matinee performance of Bootycandy geared towards young adults, peer educators, and members of the sexual health community. Following the 3pm show on June 18, audience members can choose to participate in one of three 45-minute workshops, led by local professionals, using Robert O’Hara’s explosive new play as a catalyst for explorations of sexual health, sexual identity and relationships, and creative self-expression.

$15 tickets available for patrons 30 and under – just use promotion code 1239 and remember to bring your ID on the day of the show. (Cannot be redeemed online.)

Young, Sexy & Safe is sponsored by Sasha Bruce Youthwork. Additional community collaborators include Children’s National Medical Center, Metro TeenAIDS, and the Young Women’s Project.



Live (and Leave) Your Label

When you arrive at Woolly to pick up your tickets for Bootycandy, you’ll come to a table with an assortment of labels for you to choose from, each bearing a single signifier (e.g. Gay, Straight, Old, Young, etc.). Pick a label and put it on, and as you watch the play, we invite you to reflect on how your choice of self-definition affects your response.

As you exit the theatre following the performance, take off your label and stick it on the display near Woolly’s main doors. This display will serve as a living record, for the run of the show, of everyone who’s been exposed to Bootycandy and how they’ve chosen to identify themselves.


“What do you call it?” – Sexual Euphemism Alphabet

Throughout the run of Bootycandy, audience members in the Upper Lobby will be invited to contribute to our Sexual Euphemism Alphabet: an audience-generated urban dictionary of sorts, designed to ignite individual reflection and collective conversation about the language we use to neuter or infantilize words describing or depicting sex, sexual organs, sexual acts, or anything else we think of as “dirty."

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The Woolly Blog is updated twice a week, once on Tuesdays and once on Fridays, and explores Woolly’s play production process.
Check in on Tuesdays to learn more about the artistic process behind our shows, and on Fridays to learn how we are connecting with our audiences.

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radiowoolly Radio Woolly is Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's very own radio station. Tune in to hear interviews with Woolly staff members, playwrights, artists, and community members.
A new episode airs every Wednesday!

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Speakeasy and Woolly

On Monday, June 6th and Tuesday, June 7th, SpeakeasyDC performed a show called “Don’t Ask, Do Tell: Stories of Coming Out, Coming Clean, and Just Plain Coming” in a unique co-presentation with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company surrounding our production of Bootycandy. Missed the show? Tune in for a broadcast of this hilarious evening of storytellers.

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Click here for a PDF of the playbill for Bootycandy.

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Who's Who


Robert O'Hara

ROBERT O’HARA (Playwright and Director) received 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, the piece received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play and was subsequently published by both TCG and Dramatist Play Service. His current Directing can be seen in the World Premiere of Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Co-Production at McCarter Theater/ New York Shakespeare Festival. He has just completed writing and directing his feature film debut, The Gathering. His recent Stage Directing: Tough Titty, Magic Theater. Eclipsed, CTG/Kirk Douglas Theater. A Life In The Theater, Alliance Theater. Brother Size, City Theater. His play, Antebellum, World Premiered the Spring of 2009 at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company. ACT/Zeum recently produced his play, Good Breeding. He rewrote The Wiz (Revival at LaJolla Playhouse directed by Des McAnuff). His plays, which include Brave Brood and American Maul, have been produced around the World and he has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, NEA/TCG Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellow at New Dramatists, the First Mark Taper Forum's Sherwood Award, and the TANNE Award for Exceptional Body of Work. American Conservatory Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, LaJolla Playhouse, The McCarter Theater, NEA, Mark Taper Forum, Theater/Emory, Theatres De Mimes, Le Theatre L’Odeon, Theaterworks/USA and Bill Cosby have commissioned him. Mr. O’Hara has also Directed at Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, American Conservatory Theater, The Goodman Theater, Guthrie Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Edinburgh Fringe Fest, The Market Theater in Johannesburg, The Baxter Theater in Cape Town, The Culture Project, The Flea, Athenaeum Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company. He has been an Artist in Residence at the American Conservatory Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Theater/Emory, O’Neill Theater Festival, as well as an Endowed Chair at UCSD, Visiting Professor at DePaul University School of the Arts, and Adjunct at NYU, UIChicago and Tufts. He directed the first Sundance Institute Theater Workshop at the NYSF. He has written films for Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jon Avnet, Richard Zanuck, HBO, ABC, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, New Line/Fine Line Cinema and Artisan Entertainment. He received his Directing MFA from Columbia University School of Arts and early in his career assisted George C. Wolfe, Daniel Sullivan, and Adrian Hall. He has served on the Obie Jury, various NEA/TCG Juries and the Pew Fellowship Juries.



































TOM KAMM (Set Design)

COLIN K. BILLS (Lighting Designer)


LINDSAY JONES (Sound Design)

WILLIAM E. CRUTTENDEN III (Production Stage Manager)




Wednesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm & 8pm, Sunday at 3pm; Saturday, June 4th only at 8pm (no 3pm); Sunday, June 5th at 7pm (no 3pm).

Special performance dates:

  • Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC): Monday, May 30th, and Tuesday, May 31st at 8pm
    Tickets sold at 6pm each evening, two per person, cash/check only. Lines begin forming around 5pm. Performances typically sell out.


Tickets start at $30. Prices subject to change.

Click here for exact dates and prices...


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Lance Coadie Williams in Bootycandy (2011)


Phillip James Brannon and Jessica Frances Dukes in Bootycandy (2011)
Photos by Stan Barouh


Woolly Mammoth would like to thank the following patrons for their generous support of

Kenneth W. Crow & Basil Halabi
Lis & Kevin Driscoll
Melissa Galetto
Julie Rosenthal & Mark McCaffrey
Grant & Sharon Thompson


Restaurant Sponsor:



Catering Sponsor:



Show Art Concept & Design:
Kate Landis Loewengart & Judy Luke
Illustration © Ronald J. Cala II / i2i art