By WI Web Staff
The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has announced the first production of its 40th season, “Fairview” by Jackie Sibblies Drury.
Woolly Mammoth is the first theater to produce Fairview following its premiere production at Soho Rep in New York. Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb and featuring design work by Woolly Mammoth members Misha Kachman, Colin K. Bills and Ivania Stack, Fairview will run from Sept. 9 thru Oct. 6.
Cast members include Nikki Crawford (Beverly), Christopher Dinolfo (Mack), Shannon Dorsey* (Jasmine), Samuel Ray Gates (Dayton), Kimberly Gilbert* (Suze), Laura C. Harris (Bets), Cody Nickell* (Jimbo) and Chinna Palmer (Keisha).
“Fairview is a game-changing original work about race, challenging us as much as it entertains and ultimately shattering the lenses with which we see each other,” said María Manuela Goyanes, Woolly Mammoth’s artistic director. “There is no better way to announce my ambitions than to produce a play as exciting and thorny as Fairview. Plus Stevie Walker-Webb is an astounding director who I am excited to not only dig into this material with but also to introduce him to D.C. audiences.”
Beverly insists the celebration for Grandma’s birthday be perfect. But her husband is useless, her sister is into the wine and her daughter’s secrets are threatening to derail the day. Meanwhile, a group of spectators has put them all under surveillance. Soon the voyeurs launch an invasion on the festivities, forcing the family to battle for their very identities.
Sibblies Drury (“We Are Proud to Present…”) returns to Woolly to boldly confront our perceptions of racism in the United States by ripping the conventional family drama to shreds and asking the question “who is watching whom?”
The genesis of the play came out of Sibblies Drury’s personal experience with police surveillance while living in North Africa.
In an interview with National Public Radio, she shares that the framing for the work came from the realization that the feeling of being watched “didn’t feel completely unfamiliar.”
“There is a lot about being a person of color in America that — that experience of someone watching me with suspicion, sort of expecting me to do something … bad or illegal — that felt familiar,” she said.
Fairview was originally commissioned and produced by SoHo Rep and Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2018. The play has received many accolades in addition to the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama such as, the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a feature of the Best of Theatre 2018 Lists from The New York Times, New York magazine, Time, The New Yorker, American Theatre, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times and Time Out New York.
Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday (except Oct. 14, which features an 8 p.m. performance only); and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday (except Oct. 15, which features a 7 p.m. performance only). Two pay-what-you-will performances will be held at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 and Tuesday, Sept. 10.
This post originally appeared in The Washington Informer.