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The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington
A bold, fantastical and uproarious remix of American History
Welcome to Miz Martha
In the notes at the beginning of the script for The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, Pulitzer Prize-winner James Ijames provides a warning about the nature of laughter in the play. He shares that when the enslaved characters in the play laugh, “it is not light or fun. It’s more like showing one’s teeth... Their laughter is hostile. Loud! Laughter is a weapon.” In this production, James, director Whitney White, and this sterling cast of actors take up this advisory with mastery. 
What you are about to see is unique in many ways. The true genius of James’ play is how it allows early 19th century Americana to blend with contemporary cultural elements to force the audience and players to confront a historical truth. Martha Washington’s story is rarely told, but in this play stunning character examinations and genre-bending portraits bridge the gap between 1801 and today.
Constructed with boldness, theatricality, pain, maximalism and conviction, Miz Martha is a shrewdly clever piece of theater that simultaneously embraces an audience with an electric and daring humor, while skewering us with the sharpness of a dagger. The result is that audiences of all backgrounds must spend their time in the theater contemplating, recognizing and confronting the legacy of racism in this country. 
We welcome you to journey with us on this fantastical thrill ride of a play.
Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis
Artistic Directors
About the Show



By James Ijames
Directed by Whitney White



Sydney Charles*, Carl Clemons-Hopkins*, Celeste M. Cooper †*,
Nikki Crawford*, Cindy Gold*, Victor Musoni*, and Donovan Session


Clint Ramos+ Scenic Design
Izumi Inaba+ Costume Design
Amith Chandrashaker+ Lighting Design
Fan Zhang+ Sound Design & Original Music
Manna-Symone Middlebrooks Associate Director
Rachel Flesher & Maya Vinice Prentiss Fight Choreography
Rachel Flesher Intimacy Choreography
Benjamin Barnes Magic Consultant
Silver Fox Wigs Wig Design
Gigi Buffington Company Voice, Text & Dialect Coach
Tom Pearl Director of Production
JC Clementz CSA Casting Director
Christine D. Freeburg* Production Stage Manager
Kathleen Barrett* Assistant Stage Manager

The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial Of Miz Martha Washington was developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference.

† Member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional
actors and stage managers.
+ Member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 of the IATSE.
‡ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society,
a national theatrical labor union.

The Artists

Sydney Charles* Priscilla
Carl Clemons-Hopkins* Davy
Celeste M. Cooper†* Doll
Nikki Crawford* Ann Dandridge
Cindy Gold* Martha Washington
Victor Musoni* William
Donovan Session Sucky Boy

Shawna Franks Martha Washington
Keith Illidge Davy
Arielle Leverett Doll/Priscilla
Gabrielle Lott-Rogers Ann Dandridge
Jarred Webb* Sucky Boy/William

Diggle Associate Scenic Design
Maximo Grano De Oro Associate Lighting Design
Matthew Chapman Associate Sound Design
Maya Vinice Prentiss Associate Intimacy Choreography
Black Girls Jump Jump Rope Consultants
Julie Jachym Production Assistant
Joe Creen, Aaron McEachran Run Crew
Lauren Peters COVID Safety Manager
Johan Gallardo Dresser
Rick Sims Audio Technician
Cindy Moon Assistant Costume Design
Louise Gregory Costume Design Assistant
Ellis Greer, Eli Hunstad First Hands
Kyra Pan, C.M. Taylor, Melissa Wilson Stitchers
Elizabeth Flauto Costume Crafts Select Millinery
Jessica Rodriguez Costume Distressing
Johan Gallardo, Jeanette Rodriguez Shoppers
Ray Sanchez Braiding Specialist
Kenny Faust, Tim Martin, Carolyn Voss Additional Carpenters
Amanda Barth, Melissa Centgraf, Natalie Fitz, Kayleigh Gauthier, Amanda Hermann,
Emily Pape,
Camille Toshiko Peotter, Victoria Ross, Mara Zinky Additional Properties
Meghan Erxleben, Courtney Winkelman Additional Paint

As a courtesy to the actors and your fellow patrons, please turn off your cell phones before the performance.

Entry and re-entry into the theater after the performance begins is not guaranteed.


The theater reserves the right to limit admission of children younger than the age of six. 


 The taking of photographs and the use of any type of recording device are not allowed in the theater during performances and is a violation of state and federal copyright laws; digital media will be deleted, and tape or film will be confiscated.


To help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread, patrons are required to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times. There is no eating or drinking in the theater.

Meet The Artists
Honoring Those Who Came Before Us
Welcome to our Community
Our Staff & Board