A Gulag Mouse won the 2009/2010 Joining Sword and Pen competition, Seattle's Off-Broadway Playwrights competition and was a finalist for the 2010 inaugural Woodward/Newman Drama Award.
The feature Film version of A GULAG MOUSE is in postproduction. Directed by Simon Fink.
A GULAG MOUSE was written in the spring of 2009, and premiered at the Trap Door Theatre in Chicago, March 21st through May 1st, 2010, by the Babes With Blades Theatre Company after winning their Joining Sword and Pen competition.
Delia Ford, Kathrynne Wolf and Stephanie Repin in the March 2010 premiere.
The play takes place in a Siberian Gulag, where the arrival of a new inmate upsets the hierarchies and alliances between her fellows. It's a tense drama for five women, mostly set inside the bunkhouse. A man playing dual roles (abusive husband, and a grown son) appears in the opening and closing scenes.
The play has been published by Next Stage Press. When privileged and pretty Anastasia is sent to a Siberian gulag for the murder of her abusive husband, her arrival destroys the intricate web of hierarchy, alliance and treachery among the other four inmates of her bunkhouse. To save herself, Anastasia must save all of them: the prostitute, the killer, the lifer... and Prushka - the mouse.
A GULAG MOUSE was revived in 2016 in Los Angeles by Sacred Fools Theater Company, and in 2017 at the University of Northern Iowa.
The 2013 production in Anchorage by TossPot Productions at the out North Contemporary Art House
Arts in LA writes: "Jolly writes startling, evocative dialogue and creates richly carved characters"
review by Travis Michael Holder.
The World Through Night Tinted Glasses posts: "this play surprised me throughout... frankly a truly extraordinary set of words strung together."
review by David MacDowell Blue.
Anchorage Daily News says "Jolly is not without his successes, but he remains a novice name in the world of theater. Ruhl has spent much of the last ten years acclaimed as a major talent and up-and-coming genius. But seeing these two shows back to back, "A Gulag Mouse" is the one that approaches genius, the one that has a chance of outliving its author."
review by Mike Dunham.
Anchorage Press says A Gulag Mouse is "uncomfortable to watch, but terribly compelling." Read the review by Colleen Bailey.
★ ★ ★ Chicago Theater says A Gulag Mouse is "densely packed with dark suspense, non-stop tension, well-timed action scenes, and black humor precisely placed and played for all its grim power... The playwriting shows real quality. It's still a dark, noir-ish thriller, but it's a thriller with a brain, showing historical and cultural sophistication." Read the review by Paige Listerud.
CenterStage recommends A Gulag Mouse as a Must See Show!...Like an exquisitely placed punch to the kidneys, this Siberian women's prison drama will leave you gasping. Read the review by Rory Leahy.