2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘McPherson Madness’ by Kelly Canavan

McPherson Madness is what happens when revolution hits family, friendships, and romance head-on in a freezing tarp-tropolis on K Street, in in Washington, DC

In February 2012, activist and playwright Kelly Canavan was shivering in the cold, helping to keep a 24-hour protest vigil inside McPherson Square following the eviction of the Occupy DC encampment from the Square earlier that month. Kelly was laughing and reminiscing about tent life with a close friend and fellow Occupyer, when they realized how many people have tried to capture the Occupation Movement, but couldn’t think of anyone who had told their stories from an insider’s perspective. Through their conversations, the play was born.


Although it is fiction, McPherson Madness is based very strongly on real events and people, and represents a very accurate account of what it was like to live in the Occupy DC Tent City. It also explores the issue of sacrifice that comes with dedication, whether it be to a child or a cause. Although some particulars of the story are unique, the themes and questions it raises are universal.

McPherson Madness captures the unraveling of an unusual activist – a disabled mother living most of the time at Occupy DC. Dreama is caught in a struggle between family and radicalism, trying to figure out how to care for her child, her comrades, and the world around her without losing the people she loves, or her sanity. In the face of mounting pressures in both of her worlds, she finds that she must make a hard decision about where her allegiances lie…

sixteen (19)

World Premiere Performances
The Studio Theatre – Stage 4 – 1501 14th St NW
Saturday, July 13 @ 4:15 PM
Sunday, July 14 @ 4:45 PM
Friday, July 19 @ 6:45 PM
Sunday, July 21 @ 2:15 PM
Saturday, July 27 @ 6:15 pm


Produced by Rabble Crew Productions
Written by Kelly Canavan
Directed by Lynnie Raybuck
Featuring: Tina Ghandchilar, Jen Bevan, James Cullen, Sean James, and Sha Golanski

If you like to become involved in the production of McPherson Madness, explore the play’s Indie Go Go campaign for opportunities.


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