Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops to Make World Premiere at Woolly Mammoth

Aug 15, 2016
Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces its first production of its 37th Season, the world premiere of Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops by Jen Silverman, directed by Mike Donahue. Collective Rage will run from September 12 to October 9, 2016.

Betty is rich. Betty is lonely. Betty's a dutiful wife, but Betty's busy working on her truck. Betty wants to talk about love, and Betty wants Betty, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty keeps using a small hand mirror to stare into parts of herself she's never examined. Meanwhile, Betty decides to stage a production of that play-within-a-play from...what's it called? Summer's Midnight Dream?

In Collective Rage, five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the "thea-tah." Award-winning playwright Jen Silverman's absurdist romantic comedy is at once hysterical, inspired, and boldly uncompromising.

This world premiere is the first collaboration between Silverman and Woolly Mammoth. The rising playwright has had New York and regional productions of Phoebe in Winter, Crane Story, The Roommate, Wondrous Strange, The Moors, and The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane. Her The Roommate will have another run at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, MD later this fall, and she will premiere another new play, All the Roads Home, at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park next spring.

"Jen Silverman is a chameleon who re-invents herself as a writer with every play," says Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. "And Collective Rage is her most stylistically daring work to date. Her five characters (all named Betty Boop) represent a wide range of feminine archetypes, each of whom feels trapped in a box of some kind. The magic of the play lies in the transformative power of bringing them together around an absurd theatrical project - and witnessing how they discover their truest selves by engaging with other women who are totally different."

Well known Washington, DC and Baltimore actor Beth Hylton will return to the Woolly stage for the first time since Appropriate in the role of Betty 1. Joining her will be acclaimed stage veterans-all Woolly newcomers- Dorea Schmidt as Betty 2, Natascia Diaz as Betty 3, Kate Rigg as Betty 4, and Felicia Curry in the role of Betty 5.

New York-based director Mike Donahue will make his directing debut at Woolly with Collective Rage. He made his DC debut in 2014 directing The Wolfe Twins at Studio Theatre. Woolly Company Member Colin K. Bills (lighting design) joins the production team, which also includes Dane Laffrey (set design), Kelsey Hunt (costume design), Daniel Kluger (Composer), and Thomas Sowers (sound design).

More information about Woolly's 37th Season can be found at

Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops runs September 12 to October 9, 2016, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm (Saturday, September 17 at 8pm only), and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm (Sunday, September 18 at 7pm only). Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13 will be Pay What You Can performances, which will begin at 8pm.

Tickets to Collective Rage start at $35 and can be purchased online at, by phone at (202) 393-3939, via email at, 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 educators, first responder men and women and active US military personnel, spouses, and veterans. More information is available at

Now in its 37th 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.