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Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention




Featuring Company Members Kimberly Gilbert, Michael Russotto, Emily Townley, and Michael Willis, with Felipe Cabezas, Michael Glenn, and Joshua Morgan

Appropriate for ages 14 and up. Running Time: Two hours (One 15 minute intermission)


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OverviewAdditional InfoWho's whoSchedule and Prices

About the Show

Prepare yourself: in the parking lot of a mega craft store in Idaho, someone is summoning The Rapture. Samuel D. Hunter's heartbreakingly funny reckoning between a father and son will shatter your preconceptions about the sacred, the profane, and the secret lives of big-box retailers.

"Illuminating…you’ll find substantial beauty
in Woolly Mammoth’s product."
The Washington Post

"Dark but deeply empathetic…a superb piece of writing with a company as rich as the material."
Washington City Paper

"Divinely inspired heartland comedy."
DC Theatre Scene

“A contained, interesting story that has echoes and implications far beyond what is purely on the page.”
We Love DC

“Extraordinarily thoughtful, nuanced, and funny.”

“Terrific acting!”
MD Theatre Guide

"Explores religious themes in an engaging way"
Brightest Young Things

"How does somebody with extremist religious views
change a tire or go shopping for groceries?
How does their daily life interact with these beliefs?"
—Playwright Samuel D. Hunter to The Washington Post

"Darkly funny musing on workplace politics and family ties."

“I’m very interested in people who want the world to end. They’re so hard to figure out, but the play is about a lot more than the rapture. The spine of the story is the reunion of a father and his long lost son. It’s a human story that’s pretty universal.”
—Playwright Samuel D. Hunter to The Washington Blade


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Throughout the run of Samuel D. Hunter’s humorous and heartwarming A Bright New Boise at Woolly Mammoth, we’re grappling with the collision of belief systems and daily life. What brings meaning to our lives, and how does it dictate our behavior and affect our personal relationships? When faced with life-altering (or mundane) decisions in the home and workplace: will your beliefs survive?  And either way—what remains?





How do you negotiate your worldview with the world at large? What are the realities of believing, especially in a capital city where so many worldviews collide? Over the course of the run of A Bright New Boise, Woolly will be hosting several short post-show discussions led by actors and other members of the show’s creative team. During these discussions, artists and audiences will explore together issues of faith that the play cracks open.

  • Tuesday, October 11 following the 8pm Pay-What-You-Can performance:
    Featuring playwright Samuel D. Hunter, production dramaturg John M. Baker, and Connectivity Director Rachel Grossman.
  • Thursday, October 13 following the 8pm performance:
    Featuring set designer Misha Kachman, costume designer Ivania Stack, and lighting designer Colin K. Bills
  • Wednesday, October 19 following the 8pm performance:
    Featuring members of the cast of A Bright New Boise
  • Sunday, October 23 following the 3pm performance:
    Featuring members of the cast of A Bright New Boise
  • Thursday, October 27 following the 8pm performance:
    Featuring members of the cast of A Bright New Boise
  • Thursday, November 3 following the 8pm performance:
    Featuring members of the cast of A Bright New Boise


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Judgment Call

When your beliefs are challenged, which side will you take? During your visit to see A Bright New Boise, examine moments in life when a course of action may not be as clear or decisive to you as you may have once thought. Through a number of hobby-inspired tasks: weigh your thoughts and express your beliefs; compare your choices to those of other audience members; create a community craft in the process!

Click here for a wrap up of A Bright New Boise's Lobby crafts.

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The Woolly Mammoth Blog details the theatre’s operations and new play production process. Posts written by Woolly artists and staff go live twice a week—every Tuesday and Friday. During the run of A Bright New Boise, the Woolly blog will explore the topics and themes such as the 2012 election politics and religion, stories of retail workers, and exploring faith in regards to education, internal clashes within religious traditions, and fundamentalism.

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radiowoollyRadio 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 reflect on new play production and wrestle with the content and aesthetics of the current production.

Radio Woolly begins broadcasting for A Bright New Boise on Wednesday, October 5. A new episode airs every-other Wednesday.

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To read A Bright New Boise's playbill, click here.

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Who's Who


SAMUEL D. HUNTER (Playwright) Recent plays include A Bright New Boise (2011 OBIE Award for Playwrighting, 2011 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Play; produced originally by Partial Comfort Productions, NYC), The Whale (upcoming production at Denver Center in Winter 2012), Jack’s Precious Moment (Page 73 Productions at 59E59), Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb at the Ohio Theater), Norway (Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis; Boise Contemporary Theater), I Am Montana (Arcola Theatre, London; Mortar Theater, Chicago). He has active commissions from MTC/Sloan, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, and Boise Contemporary Theater. His plays have been developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, PlayPenn, Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Lark Playwrights Workshop, Juilliard, LAByrinth, Rattlestick, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, 24Seven Lab, and elsewhere. Internationally, his work has been translated into Spanish and presented in Mexico City and Monterrey, and he has worked in the West Bank with Ashtar Theatre of Ramallah and Ayyam al-Masrah of Hebron. At Ashtar, he co-wrote The Era of Whales which was performed in Ramallah and Istanbul. Awards: 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship from the Lark, two Lincoln Center Le Compte du Nuoy Awards, others. He is a member of Partial Comfort Productions and is an alum of Ars Nova’s Playgroup. He has taught at Fordham University, Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College, and The University of Iowa. A native of northern Idaho, Sam lives in New York City. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, The Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard.

JOHN VREEKE (Director) Woolly Mammoth directing credits include Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph, Boom by Peter Sinn-Nachtrieb, Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner, Our Lady of 121ST Street by Stephen Adley Guirgis, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis by Charlotte Jones, and The K of D by Laura Shellhardt. In the DC area he has worked at Theater J, Washington Shakespeare Company, MetroStage, Everyman Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Forum Theatre, H Street Theatre, Source Theatre Festival, Charter Theatre, Theater Alliance, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, Imagination Stage, and the Helen Hayes Awards Society. He has received four Helen Hayes Awards nominations for Best Director. Other regional theatre credits include the Alley Theatre in Houston, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Attic Theatre in LA, Salt Lake Acting Company, and First Stage in Milwaukee. In Seattle: Book-It Repertory Theatre, Annex Theatre, Alice B. Theatre, Arts West Playhouse, Seattle Public Theatre, Balagan Theatre, Center Stage, and Stone Soup Theatre. His television credits include Associate Producer and Casting Associate for the CBS TV Series Northern Exposure.



JOSHUA MORGAN (Alex) is making his Woolly Mammoth debut. Most recently he appeared in Theater J’s production of The Chosen at Arena Stage, which was adapted and directed by Aaron Posner. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Co-Artistic Director of No Rules Theatre Company, which was the 2011 Helen Hayes Award recipient of the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, and for whom he will be directing the DC premiere of Andrew Hinderaker’s Suicide, Incorporated later this season. You can find out more information about Joshua at

FELIPE CABEZAS (Leroy), a Washingtonian born and bred, is juiced to make his Woolly debut. He most recently returned from a jaunt with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: All’s Well That Ends Well. Closer to home, he has performed with Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Alchemist; The Studio Theatre: reasons to be pretty; Constellation Theatre Company: Women Beware Women; and American Century Theater: Beyond the Horizon. He studied at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and the University of Virginia.

MICHAEL RUSSOTTO (Will) is a Woolly Company Member who has appeared in over fifteen Woolly productions. Highlights include Alexandra in She Stoops to Comedy, The Soul in Vigils, Lou in Lenny and Lou, and Cosmo in The Pitchfork Disney. Most recently he played Yvan in Signature Theatre’s production of Art. In the DC area, Michael has also performed at Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Olney Theatre Center, Theatre J, Rep Stage, Washington Stage Guild, Theatre Alliance, MetroStage, Wayside Theatre, and The Studio Theatre. A four-time Helen Hayes Award Nominee, Michael teaches acting and directing at The Theatre Lab, and is a long-time narrator of recorded books for the Library of Congress and several commercial companies.

KIMBERLY GILBERT (Anna) has been in the DC Theatreverse for over 10 years and is returning to Woolly after many productions, including Clybourne Park, In The Next Room or the vibrator play, Fever/Dream, Boom, Measure for Pleasure, The K of D, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Big Death Little Death, and Cooking With Elvis. Kimberly joined the Woolly Company in 2006, and is also a company member with Taffety Punk Theatre. She received her MFA in 2001 at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting.

EMILY TOWNLEY (Pauline) is a Woolly Company Member, previously seen here as Woman in House of Gold, Lizzie in Maria/Stuart, Barbara in Spain, Heidi in Fuddy Meers, various roles in Wonder of the World, and Marilyn in Watbanaland. Other area credits include The Studio Theatre: Candida in Rock n’ Roll, Joyce Murray in The Bright and Bold Design; Rep Stage: Stevie in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?; Everyman Theatre: Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town; MetroStage: Cynthia in The Real Inspector Hound; Round House Theatre: Martine in The Sisterhood; Folger Theatre: Ariel in The Tempest. She can be seen next as Alpiew in The Gaming Table at Folger Theatre, directed by Eleanor Holdridge. For Sarah and John, her guardian angels.

MICHAEL WILLIS (Hobby Lobby TV#1) has been a Woolly Company Member for over 25 years, performances include Full Circle, Fever/ Dream, Current Nobody, Faculty Room, Grace, Patience, Sharon and Billy, Mud People, Strindberg in Hollywood, and NY Mets. He has also appeared at Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Arena Stage, and New Playwrights. Nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards, he received the Outstanding Lead Actor for The Boys Next Door at Round House Theatre. Feature films include Excuse Me For Living, Pushing Tin, Men in Black, and Just the Ticket. Television appearances include HBO’s The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Streets, and Law & Order. He will next appear in Stay for Theatre of the First Amendment, and at Folger Theatre in The Gaming Table. Mr. Willis is grateful to his wonderful and loving family, wife Lori, and their (grown) children Mike, Jr., Amy, and Rebecca for the unconditional support and tolerance they have offered over the years as he has pursued his muse.

MICHAEL GLENN (Hobby Lobby TV#2) recently appeared at Woolly Mammoth in two successful runs of Clybourne Park (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Production). Some other recent productions include Longacre Lea: Cat’s Cradle, The Hothouse; Folger Theatre: Henry VIII, Arcadia; Constellation Theatre: On the Razzle, A Flea in Her Ear; Signature Theatre: The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Fallen From Proust; Theater J: The Moscows of Nantucket, Photograph 51. Michael can be seen currently at Imagination Stage in Aladdin’s Luck, and next at Folger Theatre in The Gaming Table.



MISHA KACHMAN (Set Designer) is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia and a graduate of the St. Petersburg State Academy of Theatrical Arts. At Woolly he has designed set and costumes for Oedipus el Rey and sets for Gruesome Playground Injuries and Fever/Dream (Helen Hayes Wards Nomination for Outstanding Set Design). Since moving to DC ten years ago, Misha has worked for Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Maryland Opera Studio, Theatre J, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, and Milwaukee Shakespeare, among many other companies. Misha serves as Assistant Professor of Scene and Costume Design at University of Maryland. Prior to moving to the United States Misha had worked as a staff museum designer at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg from 1994 to 1998; he is also a renowned painter and printmaker whose work has been shown at numerous one-man and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Misha is honored to have recently become a Woolly Company Member, and he looks forward to designing Mr. Burns later this season.

IVANIA STACK (Costume Designer) previously designed Full Circle and Boom for Woolly Mammoth, and was the associate designer for Oedipus el Rey. Her other design credits include: The Odd Couple, Photograph 51, The Four of Us, and In Darfur for Theater J; Adding Machine: A Musical at The Studio Theatre; Pop! and F***ing A for The Studio Theatre 2nd Stage; bobrauschenbergamerica and Angels in America at Forum Theatre; Lucido and True History of Coca Cola in Mexico at Gala Hispanic Theatre; 1001 and Lord of the Flies for Rorschach Theatre Company; Five Flights and Gretty Good Time for Theatre Alliance; Savage in Limbo, The Real Inspector Hound, and Heroes for MetroStage; Lidless and Breadcrumbs for The Contemporary American Theatre Festival; Three Sisters for Constellation Theatre; Beertown and Courage for dog & pony dc. She received her MFA in Design from the University of Maryland.

COLIN K. BILLS (Lighting Designer) has lit many productions at Woolly, including Bootycandy, Oedipus el Rey, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, House of Gold, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Clybourne Park, Full Circle, Eclipsed, Fever/Dream, Stunning, The Unmentionables, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and The Clean House. His designs have been seen at The Berkshire Theater Festival, CENTERSTAGE, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Didactic Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Forum Theatre, Imagination Stage, Intiman Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Maryland Stage, Metro Stage, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre, The Smithsonian Institution, Signature Theatre, The Studio Theatre, Synetic Theater, Theatre for the First Amendment, Theater J, Tsunami Theatre, Vermont’s Northern Stage, the Washington Revels, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. Mr. Bills has won three Helen Hayes Awards and has been nominated for that award eleven times. He is a 2009 recipient of a Princess Grace Fellowship in Theater and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

CHRIS BAINE (Sound Designer/Composer) designed sound for Gruesome Playground Injuries at Woolly. His other design work includes includes Dancing Princesses and Mulan with Imagination Stage, Da and Bus Stop with Olney Theatre, and Two Rooms with Everyman Theatre. He has also designed for Theater J, The Hub Theater, Journeyman Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Kennedy Center TYA, American Century Theatre, Constellation Theatre Company, Theatre Alliance, Washington Shakespeare Company, Source Theatre Festival, American College Theatre Festival, Young Playwrights Theatre, University of Maryland, Catholic University, American University, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, and National Players.

AARON FISHER (Video Designer) has worked on a few projection designs for Woolly including House of Gold, Full Circle, and Current Nobody. His designs have also been seen at Signature Theatre for Chess, Impossible Theater Company for Macbeth, and Useless Theatre Company for Perfect Chocolate Milkshake. Aaron has assisted the projection design of Passing Strange at The Studio Theatre 2nd Stage, La Momia En El Closet at Gala Hispanic Theatre, and most recently Aladdin’s Luck at Imagination Stage.

WILLIAM E. CRUTTENDEN III (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to return to Woolly Mammoth Theatre. His Woolly credits include Bootycandy, Clybourne Park, Full Circle, Boom, Maria/Stuart, Measure for Pleasure, and No Child… among others. His past credits include Off-Broadway: Perfect Harmony; Signature Theatre: And the Curtain Rises, Sunset Boulevard, Chess, I Am My Own Wife; Shakespeare Theatre Company: 2010 Will Awards; West Virginia Public Theatre: Doubt; Olney Theatre Center: Is He Dead?, Bad Dates, Of Mice and Men; and Imagination Stage: Twice Upon a Time.

JOHN M. BAKER (Dramaturg) is the Literary Manager at Woolly Mammoth, where he recently dramaturged the world premiere of Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus el Rey. He is the former Artistic Associate at Brooklyn-based Page 73 Productions and Literary Associate at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. He has dramaturged new work with Boise Contemporary Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Guthrie, Juilliard, The Kennedy Center, Lark, Ma-Yi, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Page 73, Partial Comfort, PlayPenn, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, SPF, and Williamstown. He has recently worked with directors Hal Brooks, Sean Daniels, Kip Fagan, Jackson Gay, Sam Gold, Wendy C. Goldberg, Davis McCallum and playwrights Christina Anderson, Neena Beber, Julia Cho, Samuel D. Hunter, Jason Grote, Heidi Schreck, and Jen Silverman. John has taught at Fordham University, Marymount Manhattan College, Rutgers University, and the University of Iowa. He holds a BA from Boston University and an MFA from the University of Iowa.



Wednesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm & 8pm, Sunday at 2pm & 7pm; Saturday, October 15th at 8pm (no 3pm performance); Sunday, October 16th at 7pm (no 2pm performance)

Special performance dates:

  • Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC): Monday, October 10th & Tuesday, October 11th, 8pm
    Tickets sold at 6pm each evening, two per person, cash/check only. Lines begin forming around 5pm. Performances typically sell out.

Post-Show Discussions:

  • Tuesday, October 11, 2011 following the 8pm performance
  • Wednesday, October 12, 2011 following the 8pm performance
  • Wednesday, October 19, 2011 following the 8pm performance
  • Sunday, October 23, 2011 following the 2pm performance
  • Thursday, October 27, 2011 following the 8pm performance
  • Thursday, November 3, 2011 following the 8pm performance


Prices start at $30. Prices subject to change.

Click here for available dates and prices...


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Michael Russotto and Joshua Morgan in A Bright New Boise (2011)


Special Funding provided by:
Joan & David Maxwell


Woolly Mammoth would like to
thank the following patrons
for their generous support of
A Bright New Boise:

William Caldwell
Lorraine E. Chickering
Melissa Galetto
Wendy & Don Hagen
Chas Hausheer & Sheila Sweeney
Charlotte Hollister & Donald Clagett
William L. Hopkins & Richard Anderson
Rick Kasten
Bob & Mary Lou McGee
Sheldon & Barbara Repp
Erika & Jeremy Rissi


Restaurant Sponsor:



Catering Sponsor:



Show Art Concept & Design:
Carolyn Sewell Design


Emily Townley, Felipe Cabezas, and Michael Russotto in A Bright New Boise (2011)