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  Underground Railroad Game at Woolly Mammoth Theatre

Underground Railroad Game

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D St NW Washington

Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers are getting down and dirty with today's lesson. The nimble duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation's history, tackling race, sex and power in this kaleidoscopic and fearless comedy for mature audiences. Ars Nova, a company committed to developing outside-the-box thinking and supporting innovative, genre-bending work, was dubbed a "fertile incubator of offbeat theater" by The New York Times. Ars Nova presents Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard's Underground Railroad Game at Washington, DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Are you ready to play?

Thru - Apr 29, 2018

Wednesdays: 8:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 7:00pm

Box Office: 202-393-3939

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  Underground Railroad Game Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Recommended

"...By the time the evening draws to a close, an audience member is likely to feel that what transpired at Woolly was far more than a game. As reductive as the exercise that teacher Stuart and teacher Caroline have devised may appear to be, the play that Sheppard and Kidwell have constructed is a fascinatingly complex latticework that will have you parsing its lessons long after, in the epilogue of your own experiences."
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Peter Marks

MetroWeekly - Recommended

"...Vaguely unhinged and occasionally exciting, Jennifer Kidwell, Scott R. Sheppard, and Lightning Rod Special’s Underground Railroad Game is reminiscent of the kind of childhood dress-up game that gets wilder and weirder the longer it goes unsupervised."

Kate Wingfield

BroadwayWorld - Highly Recommended

"...It can be unsettling to reflect on the experience of learning about slavery in middle school: was the content accurate and appropriate, or harmful to our perceptions of history and the present day? Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard explore this - and much more - in their creative, fearless production of UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. No matter how uncomfortable or thought-provoking you found American history class, it's nothing compared to this searing comedy."
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Barbara Johnson

DC Metro Theater Arts - Recommended

"...If you feel theater should challenge you to the point where you are squirming and shallow-breathed, go and see it. If you don’t like being challenged when you see a play, go see it anyway for what it will show you about the human condition."
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William Powell

MD Theatre Guide - Highly Recommended

"...“Underground Railroad Game” is sure to shake up the subconscious, providing plenty of food for thought to chew on for hours, if not days, later. It’s best to come prepared with an open mind. Some may find certain scenes squeamish, otherwise may marvel at how far this off-centered comedy dared to go."
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Katie Gaab

Theatre Bloom - Highly Recommended

"...Moving history forward and making progress are not the same thing. In a highly provocative, yet critically acclaimed, exploratory and awkwardly intense theatrical experience, Teacher Caroline and Teacher Stewart takes the 5th grade students of Hanover Middle School— *caw caw* GO HAWKS!— through an interactive and immersive educational model of the Civil War. Only they aren’t really Teacher Caroline and Teacher Stewart, they are Underground Railroad Game’s co-creators Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, and the 5th grade Hanover Middle School students are you, the audience. Debuting in back half of the 2017/2018 season at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Ars Nova Production of Underground Railroad Game, directed by Taibi Magar, is a raw and unabashedly forward exploration of a troubled history intermingled with explorations of romantic and sexual entanglement between races via the lens of fantasy and fetishism."
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Amanda Gunther

DCTheatreScene - Somewhat Recommended

"...If nothing else, the show turns the tables on the role of black and enslaved women. We’ve seen more than enough of the sexual brutality, the complete subjugation and powerlessness of black women throughout history. Here, the power base is turned upside down with a depiction of an enslaved woman in a huge contraption of a dress heightened to tower over the white male who at first tries to describe her before he weakens with curiosity and lust and crawls beneath her huge contraption of a skirt. And that’s just the beginning of the upside-down sexual travesty."
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Debbie Minter Jackson

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