Natural Shocks

October 28 - November 25, 2018

World Premiere

by Lauren Gunderson
directed by May Adrales
with Pascale Armand

A darkly hilarious solo tour-de-force where an unnamed woman is forced into her basement when she finds herself in the path of a tornado. Trapped there, she spills over into confession, regret, long-held secrets, and giddy new love. But as the storm approaches, she becomes less and less sure where safety lies — and how best to defy the danger that awaits. Directed by the acclaimed May Adrales (Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club), Natural Shocks marks the highly-anticipated New York return of Lauren Gunderson, the most produced female playwright in America today.

In April of 2018, 107 theaters in 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, and 5,000 audience members came together nationwide to hear public readings of Natural Shocks, raising more that $50,000 for charities dedicated to addressing the issues of guns in America.  WP is excited to continue this national conversation with the World Premiere of Natural Shocks.

“With a title borrowed from Hamlet and A THEME WRESTED FROM THE HEADLINES, Lauren Gunderson’s new play, directed by May Adrales, stars Pascale Armand as a woman preparing for a tornado that may not be all it seems.”


HAUNTINGNatural Shocks is a character play — led by a GRADE-A, TONY-NOMINATED actor Pascale Armand! She is warm and charming and the person with whom you’d gladly wait out a storm with a bottle of wine and a game of Monopoly.”


“Lauren Gunderson’s Natural Shocks RAISES IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE NEED TO TAKE ACTION in times of crises. Actor Pascale Armand reveals Angela’s ebullient personality, makes some attempts at jokes, discusses her professional expertise and love of statistics, probability, and dice, then slowly begins to get to the heart of the real imminent danger, recounting memories from her life, confessing her increasing distress and regrets, and exposing the MOMENTOUS SECRETS she’s been hiding.  Her performance transitions from the chatty energy of a woman determined to find shelter, to her increasing fear and panic with the realization that she might not, shifting her emotions with the UNEXPECTED TWISTS AND TURNS of the plot.”


(Playwright) Lauren is the most produced playwright in America of 2017/18, two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award. She is also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Coast Rep, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The O’Neill, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire and more and will soon be seen in London with Hampstead Theatre’s production of I and You in Fall 2018. She co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon, which was one of the most produced plays in America in 2017. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon was released from Two Lions/Amazon in 2017.


(Director) May Adrales has directed over 25 world premieres across the US, including four productions of award-winning Vietgone. Her work has been seen at Lincoln Center Theater, Signature Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage Theatre, The Goodman Theater, South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Rep, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre, and Two River Theater.  She is proud to serve as Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. She is a former Director of On-Site Programs at the Lark Play Development Center and Artistic Associate at The Public Theatre. MFA, Yale School of Drama; Drama League Fellow; WP, NYTW and Second Stage Directing Fellow.  She has directed and taught at Yale, Brown, NYU, Bard College, Juilliard and Fordham University.   She is the recipient of the 2018 Alan Schneider Directing Award.

Pascale Armand

(Angela) Ms. Armand is proud to be an award-winning actor. Within her body of work, she has had the pleasure of appearing on Broadway in the history-making production of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira (2016 Tony-nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play) and The Trip to Bountiful with Ms. Cicely Tyson, embodying Shakespearean characters (‘Rosaline’ in Love’s Labor’s Lost, ‘Marina’ in Pericles, ‘Ophelia’ in Hamlet, ‘Celia’ in As You Like it), performing in solid works of African-Amercian playwrights (‘Beneatha’ in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, ‘Grace’ in The Piano Lesson, ‘Rena’ in Jitney, ‘Black Mary’ in Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson and ‘Salima’ in Lynn Nottage’s Ruined) and originating characters in premieres of contemporary pieces (‘Jupiter’ in Kia Corthron’s Breath, Boom in the first American production, ‘Jekesai/Ester’ in Danai Gurira’s The Convert {2012 Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play} and ‘Amina’ in Belleville by Amy Herzog). Other works include Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon and JC Lee’s Relevance. Her film and television credits include “The Blacklist”, “America Odyssey”, “Marvel’s Agents of  S.H.I.E.L.D.”, and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. She is a core member of Quick Silver Theater and an alumna of NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.

  • Building the set of Natural Shocks

  • NATURAL SHOCKS Now Playing!

  • Audiences Can’t Believe the Twist!

  • WP Theater wants you to vote!

  • An interview with the creative team of “Natural Shocks”

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