Swell show

On March 15th Dramatic Adventure Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, Kathleen Amshoff, opened her ambitious production of Swell to rave reviews at Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival at the Living Theatre.

Swell is an adaptation of the graphic novel by Juliacks. The protagonist Emmeline Grouse lives in a small town in Vermont, in a house overlooking an abandoned cemetery where she and her sister Lucy would often play. The play Swell explores the memory-shifting and kaleidoscopic journey of grief, immersing the audience in a lush visual landscape as Emmeline confronts her fears, dreams and imagination. 

"When you finally cross into the playing space, you feel like you’ve come upon something hidden, a secret world or a child’s fort!"

~ Nicole Villeneuve, Backstage

"…a black-and-white world where graphic texture trumps dialogue."

~ Andy Webster, NY Times

The performance score for Swell was developed collaboratively in rehearsal by Kathleen, Juliacks and the company. In adapting the comic, Kathleen says she built on her experiences devising plays for Dramatic Adventure Theatre’s projects in Zimbabwe and Ecuador.

“While in this process we were working from a book instead of a series of experiences, many of my techniques and tools -– giving actors assignments, improvising scenes, culling material and drafting and re-drafting -– came from my work generating DAT projects with a company.”

~ Kathleen Amshoff, Director

Other DAT alumni also contributed to the work.  Katey Parker (ACTion 2009) stars as the mother and created beautifully detailed shadow puppets.  J’nelle Bobb-Semple (ACTion 2010) leads applied theatre workshops around the topic of grief and in relation to the production.  

For more on the making of SWELL:



Thursdays + Fridays at 7:30PM

Now - April 6 @ the Living Theatre (21 Clinton Street, NYC)

Tickets are available at

Free Reading at The Kennedy Center

From August 30, 2010

NOTE: We will be in the NORTH, not South, Atrium.

Hello DAT Friends,

We wanted to take a minute to update you about our upcoming performance at The Kennedy Center.

On Saturday, September 4th at 2pm DAT will be collaborating with Run of the Mill Theater in Baltimore to produce a reading of a brand new play by our Resident Playwright, Jason B. Williamson.

This reading is FREE!!!

Some of our company members got together last night for an informal reading, and it was exciting to hear this new play come to life. The play is a new interpretation of an old Andean myth about The Condor. Dramaturg Christen Madrazo has done incredible work researching this Quechuan myth and Jason has done a terrific job retelling the story in a fun and current way.

The play is suitable for all audiences, so fans of all ages are invited to be a part of this adventure!

This is DAT’s first time returning to the Baltimore/DC area since our very first production, Voices from Zimbabwe.

Directed by DAT Resident Director, Kathleen Amshoff, this play is a true collaboration and will include actors from NYC and Baltimore.

If you are in the DC area this Saturday, we would love to share this “Indie Love Story meets Andean Myth” with you.

Run of the Mill Theater & Dramatic Adventure Theatre will present a reading of Jason Williamson’s latest play on Sept. 4th at 2:00pm. (General admission seating opens approximately 30 minutes prior.)

The North Atrium Foyer of the Kennedy Center (2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566).

Hope to see you there!

Contact DAT