Woolly Mammoth commits its ‘badass theater’ for accessibility


Throughout the race teen cock At the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, performances with subtitles, ASL interpreted and featured audio will be available. It turns out that the play is about a disabled character, but that’s not why. There is a bigger story here. The company, which is creating (in its own words) a ‘badass theater’, has renewed its mission and guiding principles – after a year of in-depth reflection on its heritage and values ​​- and plans to offer accessible performances for the entire audience. season.

“Our newly renovated mission statement and guiding principles capture the theater we aim to be. They are purposefully ambitious and provide direction to where we are heading, as well as accountability for how we live our values ​​every day, ”said Emika Abe, CEO, who worked with the Woolly Accessibility Committee. . around being more accessible to people of all abilities, we practice radical inclusion which has been a cohesive core value that we have pursued.

Exactly how Woolly intends to achieve her accessibility goals was explained in an interview with Timmy Metzner, Director of Marketing.

How did you get involved in making theater accessible? Why is this important to you?

Timmy Metzner: To be radically inclusive, we must remove the barriers that prevent members of our community with disabilities from going to the theater. Our industry has long ignored these needs – and Woolly is involved. It is time to recognize that inaction around these changes is a form of ableism. At Woolly, we’re committed to fighting ableism, so we’re moving from language to action.

Take us behind the scenes. How do you make the theater accessible in Woolly? What do you do and how do you do it? What is involved (pre-production, rehearsal, progress of the show) in the realization of the different types of accessibility (subtitling, ASL interpretation, audio description)?

We are starting this season with performances that are subtitled, described by audio and performed in ASL. Our hope is that we can also include sensory and relaxed performances in our programs in the future. These services were previously only available on demand, which we have learned is not the right way to provide accessible programming. Our revised intention is for these performances to be programmed, communicated and incorporated into the design of productions from the start rather than being added at the end. For example, in Teen cock, the closed caption screen is designed directly into the whole. Our various performers and operators will be included in the rehearsal process to learn the shows, and our lighting design / seating configurations will provide optimal experiences for clients needing these services. It’s the planning and intentionality that makes the difference for us this season.

Who are the audiences you serve? What response did you receive from them? How does Woolly connect with audiences who have accessibility needs?

We are working to build those relationships. The last thing we want to do is create a purely transactional relationship with members of the disability community. Our desire is to build something deeper. It means taking the time to meet people, listen to their concerns, recognize the mistakes of the past, and begin to repair exclusionary practices. We work with experts in the field, as well as with community leaders to ensure that the outreach is genuine and mutually beneficial.

Woolly Mammoth Returns To Performing In Person With “Teenage Dick”
Woolly announces a season of artists ahead of their time

Key illustration of “Teenage Dick” by Justine Swindell

teen cock runs through October 17, 2021 at the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, 641 D St NW, Washington, DC, with performances Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


Single tickets start at $ 29. Twenty-eight Pay-What-You-Will tickets are also available for Each performance by selecting the PWYW seats and adjusting the ticket price.

All single tickets are available in line, by phone at (202) 393-3939 and by email at tickets@woollymammoth.net.

Customers 30 years of age and under may purchase Section C tickets at any time for $ 20 for any show. Discounts are also available for educators, first responders and serving U.S. military personnel, spouses, and veterans. More information is available at Woollymammoth.net.


Entry to any event at Woolly Mammoth requires proof of vaccination or, for those not vaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event start time . Guests can present physical or digital proof of their medical condition. Masks must also be worn at all times in the building.


Subtitled performances Permanently visible on-screen text description feature that displays dialogue, identifies speakers and describes other relevant sounds.

September 29, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.
October 6, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.
October 8, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.
October 13, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.

Performances interpreted in ASL present performers placed inside the theater who translate to the audience what the actors say and express.

October 2, 2021: Performance at 3 p.m.
October 2, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.

Audio-described performance feature live narration interspersed with actor dialogues used to provide insight surrounding key visual elements.

October 15, 2021: Performance at 8 p.m.
October 17, 2021: Performance at 7 p.m.

Listening assistance devices are available for all performances. Transmitters, headsets and associated speakers are available at the ticket office.


Woolly mammoth creates a badass theater that highlights the astonishing, stimulating and enormous complexity of our world. For more than 40 years, Woolly has maintained a high level of artistic rigor while simultaneously daring to take risks, innovate and push perceived limits. Co-directed by Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes and General Manager Emika Abe, Woolly is located in Washington, DC, equidistant from the Capitol and the White House. This unique location influences Woolly’s investment in her active work towards a fair, participatory and creative democracy.

One of the few theaters in the country to retain a company of artists, Woolly plays an essential research and development role in American theater. The plays created here have been produced in hundreds of theaters around the world and have had a lasting impact on the pitch. These include the world premiere productions of Danai Gurira Eclipse in 2009, which later became the first Broadway play with a cast and creative crew of All Black Women; Bruce Norris Pulitzer Prize Winner Clybourne Park in 2010; and that of Anne Washburn Mr. Burns: a post-electric player in 2012. Woolly produces theater beyond our building by sending productions like Aaron Posner’s Fucking stupid bird across the country and bring Aleshea Harris’s What to send in case of failure to DC neighborhoods. A national tour of Madeline’s Sayet Where we belong will launch in 2021. Additionally, Woolly was the first at the DMV to launch Pay-What-You-Will tickets, which are now available at every performance.

Woolly Mammoth recognizes that the theater stands in occupied, unceded territory: the ancestral homeland of the Nacotchtanks, whose descendants belong to the Piscataway peoples. Additionally, the founding of this city, and most of the original buildings in Washington, DC, were funded by the sale of African-descent slaves and built by their hands. Understanding this history and context, Woolly values ​​building relationships with neighbors and resident artists of the DMV. Our nationally acclaimed Connectivity Department is one way we accomplish this by connecting Woolly with like-minded community organizations to generate mutually beneficial impact and power conscious partnerships.


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