Dear Fringe Festival Folks,
Several months ago, Pam Mandigo got back from a season on a farm in Wisconsin, new play in hand. Washed is the story of a strange, accidental family doing time at a penal colony in the middle of the desert, hiding secrets, playing games, and fighting to stay alive. While chatting about this new play, director Alisha Huber confessed she had been desperately seeking something to direct. “That’s funny,” Pam said, “because this play has been desperately seeking a director.”
So we called in the reinforcements: farmers, scene shop managers, creative writing professors, and Irish band members—closeted actors all— to come out and play. On an icy December night, with the church thermostat reading a whopping 38 degrees, actors and audience shivered their way through ninety minutes of truth hunting, storytelling, fist fighting, and hymn singing.
Pam is a playwright who moonlights as a farmhand and dairymaid. She likes to sit quietly horse pastures and watch the light change when she’s not writing plays about armageddons, prisons, and little girls with magical powers. She’s a Mennonite, which may be Latin for “people who sing in four part harmony without accompaniment.” Alisha received her MFA in directing from Mary Baldwin College. Her passion and expertise lie with classical theatre, so she’s brought a quirky Shakespearean sensibility to this modern drama. She forces Pam and all the actors “push through the text.”
Paula Vogel also read this play. She loved it, and said we should get it out into the wide world. So we’re knocking on your door now. We would really love to bring Washed to the Capital Fringe Festival this summer, to perform in a church where (hopefully) the thermostat reads a bit above 38 degrees.
We wait with baited breath. Yours sincerely,
Pam Mandigo and Alisha Huber