Woolly Mammoth Hires Jocelyn Prince as Connectivity Director

by Jacob Coakley

 

Woolly Mammoth’s new position aims to try new ways of engaging and enlarging their audience.
Woolly Mammoth’s new position aims to try new ways of engaging and enlarging their audience.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., has hired Jocelyn Prince as their new “Connectivity Director.” It’s a new term for me—and perhaps for the industry. It sounds like a mix between social media expert and cruise director, thinking of more fun ways to keep your audience engaged. Woolly Mammoth describes it as a way to “create vital audiences through relationships in the greater Washington community and the cultivation of new audiences, as well as to enrich and enliven the theatergoing experience through unique experiences in the lobby, around the building, and throughout DC.” The position has been funded through a variety of sources—though mainly the Doris Duke Foundation—and Prince is kicking off her tenure around Woolly’s newest play, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play with such activities as a visual art show around the show’s themes, post-show discussions, and trivia contests throughout the D.C. area.

WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE COMPANY HIRES NEW CONNECTIVITY DIRECTOR AND ANNOUNCES PROGRAMMING FOR MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY

JOCELYN PRINCE LEADS CONNECTIVITY INITIATIVES INCLUDING POST-APOCALYPTIC ARTWORK, TRIVIA NIGHTS, AND POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS

(Washington, DC) – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is pleased to announce the hire of Jocelyn Prince as the theatre’s new Connectivity Director. Jocelyn will take over the theatre’s innovative Connectivity department—whose goal is to create vital audiences through relationships in the greater Washington community and the cultivation of new audiences, as well as to enrich and enliven the theatergoing experience through unique experiences in the lobby, around the building, and throughout DC. Prince launches her tenure at Woolly with a comprehensive Connectivity initiative for the theatre’s upcoming production of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.

Woolly Mammoth received numerous grants to support our ground-breaking Connectivity Department. Incubated in the Innovation Lab for the Arts, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by EmcArts, Connectivity received further support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Earlier this season, Woolly Mammoth was awarded a grant through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Continuing Innovation Program to continue Connectivity’s positive growth and development. Additionally, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a participant in the New Generations Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group—the national organization for the American theatre. The New Generations Program will fund a project to technologically-enhance Woolly’s lobby throughout our 33rd Season to engage our patrons with explosive and interactive Connectivity programming.

 

Jocelyn Prince recently served as the Artistic Associate at The Public Theater in New York City where she produced the Public LAB Speaker Series, numerous new play readings, workshops, and audience engagement events. She also coordinated the selection process and helped facilitate the 2010 Emerging Writers Group. Dramaturgy credits include A Raisin In The Sun (Juilliard School of Drama); Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Invisible ManRaisin and The First Breeze of Summer (Court Theatre); The MLK Project (Writers’ Theatre); My Julliard, Kingdom and Eyes (eta Creative Arts Foundation); Teibele and Her Demon (European Repertory Company);Daughters of the Mock, Spunk, King of Coons, and The House that Jack Built (Congo Square Theatre Company); and Intimate Apparel and Harriet Jacobs (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Jocelyn has directed at the Bailiwick Repertory Directors Festival, The Movement Theatre Company, Around the Coyote Art Festival, and 20 Percent Theatre, and has assisted Mary Zimmerman on Mirror of the Invisible World (The Goodman Theatre), Eric Rosen on Wedding Play (About Face Theatre), and Hallie Gordon on The Bluest Eye (Steppenwolf). Jocelyn is an Artistic Associate at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago and a Co-Founding Artistic Director of NYC’s The New Black Fest. Her social justice and political work includes positions with the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and Obama for America. She holds a MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has written for TimeOut ChicagoTimeOut New York, The Chicago Reporter, and African American Review.

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play Connectivity Initiatives:

Lobby Design
A Post-Electric World: Viewpoints from Visual Artists
Upper Lobby

Woolly has commissioned three DC visual artists to envision a post-apocalyptic society. What if all our infrastructure—water, electricity, and architecture broke down? The work of these artists will mirror the timeline of Mr. Burns, and be divided into three sections—tomorrow, seven years later, and 75 years later. It will share perspectives from the artists about the world playwright Anne Washburn has imagined.  Featured are local artists Gregg Deal, Dafna Steinburg, and Kelly Towles.

Gregg Deal, a 13-year resident of the DC area, is an artist that is constantly pushing his art through contemporary mediums. From his time immersed in the 90’s as a graffiti and street artist, to his training as a fine art painter, Gregg marries all of his experience into an incredibly self informed work that is humorous, insightful and comments on the social aspects of the world he lives. Working primarily in paint on surfaces from wood to canvas to glass like acrylic, he is a master at portraiture, while his work takes on a roll of irony and humor, it has a sense of drama and social commentary that can’t be missed.

Dafna Steinburg is a native of Washington, DC. A graduate of Hampshire College, the International Center of Photography, and Goldsmiths, University of London, she has exhibited in and curated challenging thematic shows in both in the United States and overseas. Though her background is in photography, she also works in mixed media, video and collage. Her collages are inspired from dreams, the media and how she sees the world. They are puzzles that come together organically from bits and pieces of magazine cut outs, vintage postcards and photographs of people she has never met.

Kelly Towles is one of Washington, DC’s emerging artists. Towles has had numerous shows, including critically-acclaimed shows at DC’s David Adamson Gallery. He has painted interiors of Toki Underground, Rouge 24 and Graffiato. A few more projects coming out include limited edition bottles with DC Brau and a new snowboard line with Monument snowboard. He depicts people dealing with the society in which they live and the emotional arsenal with which each person is equipped. He resides in DC and loves DC to its core. He is also amazing at writing in third person.

Nostalgia Board: What’s that Reference?
Lower Lobby

Can you name that reference?  Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn references The Simpsons’ “Cape Feare” episode, which is a spoof of the 1962 film Cape Fear and its 1991 remake.  With a nod to The Simpsons' opening credits, during which Bart always writes lines on a chalkboard, we’ll be asking our patrons grab their own piece of chalk. List the references from contemporary cultural items like cartoons, novels, and music videos. Where does your nostalgia take you?

Post Show Discussions
Discussions will be 20-30 minutes long and take place in the theatre directly following the performance:

Wednesday, June 6th following the 8pm performance:
Mammoth Forum on Speculating an Apocalypse: Town-hall style discussion featuring a panel of guests who will share their insights and explore what would happen to the earth and our society if an apocalyptic event hit DC tomorrow. Panelists include Robert Stewart from the Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco) and Jon Tung from Keast and Hood, Inc., a structural engineering firm.

Sunday, June 10th following the 2pm performance:
Audience Exchange on Pop Culture: An invited guest joins Woolly Connectivity Director Jocelyn Prince on stage immediately after the performance to jump-start an audience-wide conversation by sharing their personal reflections on the role of pop culture in their everyday lives.

Thursday, June 14th following the 8pm performance:
The Making of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play: Q & A with Production Dramaturg and Woolly’s Director of Artistic Development Miriam Weisfeld, and members of the cast.

Community Events

Simpson’s Trivia Nights
The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and a big inspiration for Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. Join Woolly and Trivia Kings at bars around town in May and test your knowledge of this iconic cartoon series! Winners receive free pairs of tickets to the show.

Monday, May 21
·         Union Jack's Ballston in Ballston at 8pm
·         Madhatter in Dupont Circle at 7pm
·         Crystal City Sports Pub in Crystal City at 8pm
·         Star and Shamrock in H Street Corridor at 8pm
Wednesday, May 23
·         Molly Malone's in Barracks Row at 7:30pm
·         Clarendon Grill in Clarendon at 8pm
·         Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights at 8pm
·         Fire Station 1 in Downtown Silver Spring at 8pm
·         P. J. Skidoos in Fairfax at 8:30pm
·         Grevey's Sports Bar in Merrifield at 8pm
·         Duffy's Irish Pub in U Street Corridor at 8pm

Sunday, May 27
·         Sine Irish Pub Arlington in Pentagon Row at 7pm

Tuesday, May 29
·         Union Jack's Bethesda in Bethesda at 8pm

·         Union Jack's Columbia in Columbia Town Center at 8pm
·         Old Glory in Georgetown at 8pm
·         Old Dominion Brewhouse in Mount Vernon Square at 7:30pm
·         Growlers in Olde Town Gaithersburg at 8pm
·         Public House No. 7 in Seven Corners at 8pm
·         Limerick Pub in Downtown Wheaton at 8pm
·         Trusty's in East Hill at 8pm
·         Samuel Beckett's in Shirlington at 7:30pm
·         Irish Channel in Chinatown at 7pm

Thursday, May 31
·         Rock & Roll Hotel in H Street Corridor at 7:30pm

ABOUT Mr. Burns, a post-electric play:

Armageddon has struck and the grid is down: no TV, no radio, no internet—how will life go on? For one group of tenacious survivors, sitting around a fire and reminiscing about The Simpsons proves to be the greatest escape from despair. Miraculously, from their collective memories, a new industry struggles to be born: a crude theatrical re-creation of the digital culture we can’t possibly live without.

From The Simpsons to the pop hits of the last ten years, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play is a rocking, rollicking, scary good time that leaves you questioning how you’d make sense of the world if all your gizmos were gone.

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Community Arts Grant program.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play runs May 28–July 1; Wednesdays–Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm. *Sunday, June 3rd no 2pm performance. There will be Pay-What-You-Can performances on Monday, May 28th and Tuesday, May 29th at 8pm. Sunday, June 17th at 7pm will be a Cheap Date Night performance: all tickets $20.

TICKETS

Tickets for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play start at $35 and can be purchased through the Woolly Mammoth Box Office at 202-393-3939, online at www.woollymammoth.net, or in person at the Box Office located at 641 D Street, NW (7th & D). For directions and parking information, please visit www.woollymammoth.net.

ABOUT WOOLLY

Now in its 32nd Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as “the hottest theatre company in town” (The Washington Post), “known for its productions of innovative new plays” (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new plays, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America.

Woolly’s 32nd Season features five works that relate to the question, “Does our civilization have an expiration date?” They include Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Oct 10-Nov 13), The Second City’s Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies (Dec 6-Jan 8), Jason Grote’s Civilization (all you can eat) (Feb 13-Mar 11), Joey Arias and Basil Twist’s Arias with a Twist (Apr 4-May 6), and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (May 28-July 1).

www.woollymammoth.net