About the Author: Bess Wohl

Before Bess Wohl became an American playwright and screenwriter she could be seen in a few television series, including “Law & Order” (1990-2010), “Cold Case” (2003-2010) and “CSI: New York” (2004-2013). Wohl grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she developed a love of theater. She went to Harvard College and received a BA in English. She continued her education at Yale School of Drama, earning a MFA in acting. While attending Yale, she created the play Cats Talk Back, which went on to the New York International Fringe Festival and won Best Overall Production.

Bess’ plays include Grand Horizons (Tony Nominations for Best Play and Best Featured Actress, Broadway, Outer Critics Circle Honor, Drama League Award), Make Believe (NY Times Critic Pick, Best of 2019, Outer Critics Circle Honor), Continuity, Small Mouth Sounds (John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award), American Hero, Barcelona, Touched, In, Cats Talk Back, and the musical Pretty Filthy with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her plays have been developed and produced at theaters in New York and around the country, including Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman Theater, to name only a few!

Small Mouth Sounds is a result of Bess attending a silent retreat only because she wanted to spend more time with a friend. “I didn’t even realize that we were going to be in silence,” she says. Triggered by the experience, her storytelling instincts take over and by the end of the first day she was secretly making notes.

“All I knew,” says Wohl, “was that I wanted the play to begin with a speech that ended with the words, ‘We shall now observe silence.’

Small Mouth Sounds soon became a hit, premiering Off-Broadway at Ars Nova in 2015 to wide critical acclaim. The play was also produced in 2016 at the Off-Broadway Signature Theatre and has been performed in a US national tour in 2017.

Bess explains, “The play to me is so much about pain and how we deal with pain. Is it possible to lessen the pain of being alive, and is that a worthy goal? I had this weird idea of can you do a play in silence. I didn’t know I would be writing about agony, but it just emerged. And then, of course, the flip side of that is that it’s funny too.”

See Small Mouth Sounds October 13 – 17 at CCBC Essex, Robert & Eleanor Romadka College Center, F. Scott Black Theatre.
Performance Dates: October 13 at 11:10 a.m., October 14, 15 at 7 p.m., October 16 at 3 p.m. (ASL Interpreted), and October 17 at 10 a.m.
General admission $10, Seniors, Students, CCBC Faculty/Staff/Alumni $5, FREE for CCBC Students with current ID
Purchase tickets online at www.ccbctickets or call the Box Office at 443-840-ARTS.

Please note, Small Mouth Sounds contains mature content, including discussions of addiction and self-harm.

CCBC requires masks be worn indoors at all times inside any arts venue. Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around your face and chin. Mask must be worn regardless of vaccination status. For the most up-to-date information visit CCBCMD.EDU/TOGETHER.

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