The new play, “Webster’s B!+@#,” will begin its first run beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 25 at the Ted Jones Playhouse in Bloomington. The play is being presented by Constellation Stage and Screen and was written by Jacqueline Bircher.
Bircher is a playwright based in New York City and won Constellation’s Woodward/Newman Award, which honors the best unpublished play of the year with a prize and a full production as part of Constellation’s Mainstage season.
“Webster’s B!+@#” is a contemporary story of office politics, morality and lexicography. The premise follows employees of the company, “Webster’s Dictionary,” when they find themselves in the middle of an internet controversy over gender and obscenity after the editor-in-chief is caught using shocking profanity.
Constellation’s Associate Artistic DirectorDaniella Wheelockis taking the lead for the play’sproduction. She has experience in writing grants and supporting the theater community in Chicago where she is based, as well as directing projects such as “The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge” and “Hot Asian Doctor Husband.” Her most recent work in Bloomington was “The Roommate” in Feburary of 2020 at Cardinal Stage.
The play also features actors Diane Kondrat and Henry Woronicz, who have extensive theater and acting experience both in Indiana regional productions and beyond. Kondrat’s most recent performance in Bloomington was the solo show at McCormick’s Creek Amphitheatre of “Every Beautiful Thing.” Woronicz has starred in dozens of productions across the Midwest as well as screen appearances and work Off-Broadway.
Also returning to the stage is actress Jenni Putney, starring as Gwen, who last performed in the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s “Heist” in 2022. Alongside Putney, actor Jay Hemphill will star as Nick, who was previously in Cardinal’s “The Great Gatsby” and “Rounding Third.”
“Webster’s B!+@#" will showcase AJ Huq as well, an IU senior in the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance, who is making her Constellation debut in the role of Ellie.
The creative team working behind the curtain of this production consists of Scenic Designer David Wade, Lighting Designer Chelsie McPhilimy, Costume Designer Becky Underwood, Sound Designer Abigail Hughes and Props Master Aubrey Krueger.
The play will run from Jan. 25 to Feb. 11. Tickets start at $35 for adults and $20 for students. To purchase tickets and to find the full performance schedule visit Constellation’s website.