Endorsements

 

Rushing

“A dynamic and devastatingly honest play, Rushing questions our society’s glorification of athletes. This play scores a touchdown with its clever and realistic dialogue, complex characters, and an arresting marching band soundtrack. Highly recommended for anyone interested in creating an unforgettable theatre experience that speaks to current social issues.”
– Andrea Kovich, dramaturg

Rushing is an ambitious play, both in its scope, cast size, and themes. Even with a world, when fully realized, that includes a football team, a marching band, and the spectators to a game, the play is still very personal, very raw, very intimate. Mia's journey is unabashedly brutal, but not gratuitously so; everything we see and hear in the piece connects us emotionally with her. The themes Rushing explores are not easy. They are complex, large, important, and need our attention. Danielle Mohlman succeeds in making us pay attention and ask ourselves how to do better.”
– Mario Gomez, dramaturg

“As the dramaturg for the first staged reading of Rushing, I could not recommend this play more highly. It's ambitious, but it should be. The world of the play is vast and clear, the characters are relatable (and most certainly college students), and the way Mohlman has shaped the action is spot on. We careen through Mia's experiences, carried by the sound of drumlines and football chants, and it's terrifying. This play leaves audience members feeling unresolved, but not without hope. If you have the people for the cast, make Rushing come to life.”
– Iphigenia Rising, dramaturg

Halcyon

"We love and support this play because it takes what could be a predictable setup – a prototypically Strong Female Character seeking to reconcile her potentially rash impulses with their inevitable effects – and pursues it with uncommon nuance, honesty, and fearlessness, transforming a seeming cliché into a universally recognizable, specific, and vulnerable human being. We are all not as strong as we hope we can be. We all feel ourselves drifting from those we love. We all alternate running to and from conflicts. And we are all mired in and subject to systems of power and privilege. In short, we are all Annie, sometimes." 
– Ryan Maxwell, Pinky Swear Productions 

"A deeply moving portrait of that liminal twilight when hope begins curdling into despair."
– Matt Diamond, audience member

Dust

Dust is more than a play, it’s a conversation lightning rod for performers, creative team, and audience alike around the themes of youth and gun violence. I mounted a full workshop production for Youth Theatre Northwest at the height of the 2018 #Enough movement and it inspired change in everyone in its presence. The play exposes the misogyny at the heart of most school shootings and the presence of sexual assault often gone unacknowledged in America's high schools. Movement, music, and a mindful creative process await the director who works on this lyrical fairy tale-like nightmare for the Snapchat generation.”
– Erin Murray, director

“Theatre can't be all escapist entertainment. It needs to expose atrocities and give voice to the voiceless. As long as women's voices are silenced and ignored, men will be free to commit horrible violence against them. This play needs to heard and seen. People always say art can change the world. This is the kind of work that actually can.”
– Shaun Leisher, dramaturg

“Danielle writes plays that fulfill one of the most important things theater can do, explore and shine a light on relevant contemporary themes. Dust does this. School shootings, toxic masculinity, sexism, all come into play in the play. This piece asks those questions and more - for example, the framing that Danielle uses for this play, without giving anything away, made me ask myself tough questions about how we tell these stories, how I perceive them through my own privilege, and what conversations we need to have.”
– Mario Gomez, dramaturg

“My skin crawled and I wept reading this play, and I can't even imagine what it would do on stage. It is so skillfully written that it carries a truly physical ache. I know every character here. I have been some of them, but I know all of them. This play is desperately relevant and must be produced.”
– Natalie Ann Valentine, playwright

"Youth, power, violence, gender, sexuality: Danielle Mohlman weaves these themes into a poetic fugue. Dust intertwines voice and movement alongside the narrative of a school shooting, making it as beautiful as it is timely. A powerful, boldly theatrical, haunting play that arrives at the perfect time."
– Joanna Castle Miller, playwright

"Danielle writes movingly about loss and being lost. The boys of Barrie’s 19th century adventure stories become the girls of a 21st century tragedy—the victims of a school massacre. Danielle weaves the voices of these lost girls into polyphonic spoken-word collages that mirror the non-stop, social media landscapes we all navigate. We see the pressures to succeed, academically and socially, and how momentary decisions can have lasting, even permanent consequences. Captain Hook and Peter Pan might not be all that different. Heroes and villains are, after all, just people willing to do what the rest of us fear." 
– Jacob Janssen, director

"Danielle Mohlman is the rare writer who knows how to both embrace and elevate the theatrical medium. With Dust, she’s created a virtuosic score of poetry, movement, imagery, and characterization that – in addition to being a director's dream piece – is a fresh point of view on this difficult, painful, and timely subject matter. Dust is a chilling, freaky acid-trip of poetic horror that needs to be seen."
– Liz Maestri, playwright

"Danielle's writing is like music in the way that it escalates, building to a cacophony and still finding pockets of stillness. She tackles brutality with delicate language, allowing the play to breathe in a way that is frighteningly beautiful. Dust is a haunting play that should find its way to a stage. If you have a few hours – and a nightlight – dive in." 
– Darcy Parker Bruce, playwright

Nexus

“A play that feels sometimes like a mirror. So many things are said and done that reflect our own past relationships: this ultimately makes you as an audience feel vulnerable, frustrated, yet not alone all at the same time. Mohlman writes with wonderful honesty that so beautifully (and simply) captures humanity, and its quest for whatever this thing is that we call ‘love.’”
– Alex Paul Burkart, playwright and director

"A lovely, sweet and explosive little play! Danielle beautifully moves us through every stage of a relationship with keen insight and nuance. The play is so fricking produceable and cheap, yet also a director's dream – so much room for interpretation and play. Danielle is an exciting and new voice to watch out for!"
– Catherine Weingarten, playwright

"On one level, the writing is spare. Nexus unfolds as a series of vignettes. Mohlman tells us as much as we need to know. Most of the particulars of W and M's lives — family, what each of them does for a living, background — are never revealed or are, at best, vague allusions. What matters is who and what W and M are now; how they respond to one another. Historic detail matters less than effect. The emotional undercurrents, however, are deep, complex, nuanced.

"Mohlman understands the complexities of relationship dynamics — how those dynamics are shaped by the personalities involved. In this emotional setting chemistry is a complex, not unerring equation. [...]

"No sentiment, no mawkishness, no melodrama, no artificial manipulation; just a remarkable 90 minutes of theater that lives in shades of grey."
– Jeffrey Borak, The Berkshire Eagle

"I just saw a reading of Danielle Mohlman's Nexus and it was AWESOME."
– Andy Wasson, audience member

Stopgap

"The perceptive Mohlman creates a gallery of characters believably engaged in the struggle to shed the solipsism of young adulthood for a life filled with more serious purpose."
– Peter Marks, The Washington Post

Profiles & Podcasts

Meet the playwrights of Arena Stage's Playwrights Arena, DC Metro Theater Arts (March 6, 2014)

For local playwrights, more seeds are sown, The Washington Post (December 17, 2012) 

Fringe births talent; now D.C.'s theaters have to help raise itThe Washington Post (July 29, 2012)