Woolly Mammoth Theatre 

New 265-seat courtyard-style theatre in the 7th Street Arts District in the heart of downtown Washington, DC provides a permanent home for an experimental theatre company. In addition to developing, producing and promoting new plays, the 35,000 SF, three floor facility offers an award-winning outreach program for young people. Spaces include the main theatre, 100-seat black box theatre/rehearsal hall, classroom spaces, offices, a shop and two cafes within a long, two-story urban-like lobby to ultimately serve as a setting for exploring the edges of theatrical style and human experience.

Supporting an atmosphere to ignite an explosive engagement between artists and the community, the theatre design required visual intimacy. A tight multi-level seating plan met this requirement and also achieved an acoustically exciting and intimate environment.

Silence was a main focus for acoustic design and entailed close collaboration with mechanical engineers to achieve a system that was totally silent. A simple yet clever air distribution system was developed using all open-ended ducts (no diffusers) that distribute air horizontally out and down from the catwalk level.

Another acoustical challenge stemmed from the entire theatre complex being located within a mixed-use residential development. Outdoor common gathering spaces and residential units are located directly above the theatre, a parking garage directly below, and a loading dock adjacent to the theatre. While complete room-in-room construction was not feasible due to budget limitations, acoustic control was integrated directly into the structural systems design.

In July 2006, this project received the AIA Architecture Honor award.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Washington, DC

Project Type
New Construction

Square Footage



Seat Count

$9 Million

McInturff Architects


Dynamic, architecture-award winning space on the leading edge of American Theatre that produces fun, intelligent cultural experiences.   

 “. . . to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC.”

-Woolly Mammoth Theatre Mission