"A half-dozen troubled souls find that enforced silence doesn’t necessarily bring inner peace in SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, an enchanting play by Bess Wohl. As funny as it is, uh, quietly moving, Ms. Wohl’s play is also a model of ingenuity…With one exception—the (unseen) guru running this spiritual retreat—the characters hardly ever speak. Both the humor and the pathos spring mostly from wordless interaction, which is testimony to Ms. Wohl’s intrepid writing…” —NY Times
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, Bess Wohl's strange and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.
Directed by Alex Jacobs
Joan: Michelle Moran
Judy: Anya Saben
Ned: Trevor Hathaway
Rodney: Michael Shifty Celestin
Alicia: Skylar Longley
Jan: Ryan McCarthy
Teacher: Djessy Kungu
Tickets are $15 general/$10 seniors and FREE for all students (with student ID) and under 18.
Small Mouth Sounds is performed without intermission.
This performance is a SALEM NIGHT. Free admission for all Salem residents (with ID) at the door. No advance reservation required.
For access and accommodation information, visit https://www.salemstate.edu/access or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covid-19 protocols for 2022- 2023 - Salem State is a mask flexible campus. We strongly encourage you to be up to date with your vaccinations, and we ask that you do not come to campus if you are experiencing any new symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19.
About the playwright
Bess Wohl’s plays include GRAND HORIZONS (Tony Nominations for Best Play and Best Featured Actress, Broadway, Outer Critics Circle Honor, Drama League Award nom), MAKE BELIEVE (NYTimes Critic Pick, Best of 2019, Outer Critics Circle Honor), CONTINUITY, SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award, top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Guardian and others), AMERICAN HERO, BARCELONA, TOUCHED, IN, CATS TALK BACK and the musical PRETTY FILTHY with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical).Her plays have been produced or developed at theaters in New York and around the country.
In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, VIRGINIA, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center.
She also writes screenplays and has developed multiple original television projects for HBO, ABC, USA, FOX, Disney, Paramount and others. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.