2015 Capital Fringe Preview #44: ‘The Insanity of Mary Girard’ by Liz Imler

2015 Capital Fringe Preview: Lanie Robertson’s ‘The Insanity of Mary Girard’

Last year’s Audience Award winners in Dance and Physical Theatre, The Wandering Theatre Company, return to this year’s Capital Fringe Festival with playwright Lanie Robertson’s first piece, The Insanity of Mary Girard.

Eliza Hill. Photo by Stephen Shadrach (Wedophoto Stephen).
Eliza Hill. Photo by Stephen Shadrach (Wedophoto Stephen).

Based on a true story, Mary Girard is committed to the basement of Pennsylvania Hospital in 1790, the only asylum for the insane at the time. We soon learn it is her wealthy financier husband, Stephen Girard, who has her institutionalized, and our introductions to various characters in the play — from Mary’s past, present, and future — reveal the tragic details of her circumstance.

For the third year in a row, Director and Choreographer Natalie V. Zito brings her unique application of Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints Technique to the stage, coupling her understanding of Robertson’s text and a historical knowledge of Mary Girard’s life to bring her ensemble to life.

For much of the cast, the Viewpoints Technique is a new — but highly valued — experience. And it should be mentioned that this ensembles respect for one another comes through on stage. With each actor stretching and disfiguring their lines using the movements Zito has imagined as part of Mary’s story, the ensemble preserves one of the most important parts of Robertson’s play: the cadence of his characters’ lines, which each “Fury” must share and recite without missing a beat. “Working with Viewpoints has been an enormous challenge, but that’s a great thing,” says Eliza Hill, who plays the title role of Mary Girard. “It’s not a coincidence that we all connected,” she adds.

The Wandering Theatre Company’s production process is highly influential in how the cast connects in the theatre during a performance. “A close ensemble is a beautiful experience,” says Zito, and it’s clear the company’s production ofThe Insanity of Mary Girard is no different. With a mission to “train together, rehearse together, perform together, travel together” Zito and her company return to the 10th Annual Capital Fringe Festival at Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center.



Atlas Performing Arts Center: Sprenger
1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC 20002

Friday, July 10th @ 8:30 pm 

Thursday, July 16th @ 7:45 pm 

Saturday, July 18th @ 10:30 pm 

Wednesday, July 22nd @ 6:00 pm 

Sunday, July 26th @ 12 pm



Follow The Wandering Theatre Company on Facebook/Twitter /


  • Choreographer: Natalie V. Zito.
  • Playwright: Lanie Robertson.
  • Director: Natalie V. Zito.
  • Featuring: Eliza Hill, Timothy Bell, Nancy Ellen Reinstein, Russell Norris, Madeline Hickman, Lauren Smith, Vincent Joseph Donato, Monica Lerch, Gareth Balai, and Camilla Skalski.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here