The folks at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, which postponed the start of its sixth season until April to allow time to search for a new space, want you to know the Mammoth isn't extinct.
"We're certainly still a theater," said managing director Linda Reinisch. "We haven't just been a fund-raising machine over these months."
Reinisch cites Woolly's new permanent company of actors, directors, playwrights and designers who have been working together in the theater's lab program since September.
And though that company will perform its upcoming season in its current home, the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW, Reinisch said the Woollies are "right on schedule" in the search for a new home. However, she would not elaborate on the results of the hunt so far.
"It could be that we'll be in a new space next season and it could be that we'll do one more season here," she said, conceding that "even if we signed on a space tomorrow, it would be tough to be in it next year."
Artistic director Howard Schalwitz, who has been busy exploring both purchase and rental options in the downtown area, the 14th Street corridor and outlying neighborhoods, said, "It's very hard to envision a [downtown] scenario that is affordable," noting that potential downtown theater spaces he has visited were running in the $1 million to $2 million range, not including renovation costs.
"In Washington it doesn't happen quickly," Schalwitz said, adding, "We've gotten the lay of the land."
The Woolly Mammoth Triple Play, three full-length productions presented in repertory, opens April 24 and runs through July 31. The season is comprised of the first full production of "New York Mets," a bittersweet comedy by company member T.J. Edwards about four lovable but confused characters coming to grips with their own identities; "Christmas on Mars," Harry Kondoleon's comedy centered on an unmarried couple expecting a baby and planning to move in together; and Terrence McNally's "And Things That Go Bump in the Night," a mid-1960s Broadway drama depicting a family that lives in a basement in fear of a mysterious outside noise that seems to rule its life and the lives of everyone around it. For information call 393-3939. PiRoman's Plays
John PiRoman has kept his translation of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" in a trunk since he wrote it as his senior thesis at Georgetown University in 1974. Tonight it receives its premiere at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger, where under the direction of John Neville-Andrews, it runs through March 30.
"This is a very literal, faithful translation," said PiRoman, who blew the dust off of his manuscript when former college roommate and now resident company member Richard Hart mentioned that the Shakespeare Theatre was going to stage the modern classic. "I've tried to make it colloquial, and more than anything else -- funny. Because Chekhov is funny. He's actually a Neil Simon."
Since leaving the Washington area in 1976 after earning his master of fine arts degree in directing from Catholic University, PiRoman has had three of his own plays produced, including "Power, Sex & Boogie," a black comedy about a former rock star who lives in seclusion in her sumptuous bathroom, which is currently premiering at BoarsHead: Michigan Public Theater in Lansing. "Away to Pago Pago," a one-act musical by PiRoman and Barry Manilow, is expected to premiere this summer at Joe Papp's Public Theater in New York. Odds and Ends
Ford's Theatre reports it has sold 50 of the 738 chairs that are being replaced by a larger and more comfortable design, with several hundred inquiries also received. The cane-bottom chairs -- facsimilies of those used during Lincoln's day -- are available for $500 each ($480 of which is tax-deductible); call 638-2941 . . . Paradise Island Express returns to the 5th Floor Theater at the National Archives tomorrow at noon for a repeat performance of "Dear Uncle Sam," a dramatic piece based entirely on documents stored at the Archives . . . The Source Theatre begins its spring '86 10-week "SourceWorks" reading series next Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Warehouse Rep with a presentation of Ellen Morgan's "The Realtor" and William A. Berno's "In the Wings" . . . Mayor Marion Barry has proclaimed March "Hexagon Month" in honor of the organization staging the upcoming month-long run of "Roast of the Town," a musical comedy revue that will benefit the Hospital for Sick Children; for tickets call 333-SHOW . . . Monica Tesler stars in the Broadway Yiddish musical "A Match Made in Heaven," which will have two performances, complete with English subtitles, Sunday at the Lisner Auditorium; call 385-0044 . . . A coupla Tony winners -- Elizabeth Ashley and Sandy Dennis -- will star in "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking," March 18 -- April 12 at Baltimore's Morris Mechanic Theatre.
Opening this week: tonight, "The Tap Dance Kid" at the Warner Theatre; Monday, "What the Butler Saw" at the Round House Theatre.