Small Mouth Sounds

By Bess Wohl
Directed by Shawn Lee

October 7, 2018 – November 4, 2018

Alder Stage

Tired of not living their 'best life,' six broken individuals gather at a wellness center in the middle of the woods for a weeklong silent retreat to breathe and reset. As the voice from an omniscient guru drones on in broken self-help speech, the attendees struggle to find their inner calm while awkwardly combating their mental and physical desires. Over the course of five days, the group inexpertly attempts to navigate through hurt feelings, crippling faux pas, and exposed vulnerabilities to reach enlightenment. Absurdly funny and profoundly poignant, Small Mouth Sounds encourages us all to put down the phone and just be in the moment.

  • Awards for Bess Wohl: Drama Desk Award
  • "...exploits the subversive power of stillness in our age of manic multitasking." -Karen D'Souza, Mercury News
  • "...joyful and hilarious about the absolutely worst things we all face." -Jesse Green, Vulture

Please note: This show contains nudity.

Run Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission

Cast and Production Team


Bess Wohl


Shawn Lee



Scenic Designer: Megan Wilkerson #^

Costume Designer: Gregory Pulver ^

Lighting Designer: Jennifer Lin

Composer & Sound Designer: Rodolfo Ortega #^

Dramaturg: Luan Schooler

Intimacy Consultant: Amanda K Cole *

Stage Manager: Miranda Russ +

Props Master: Robert Amico

Production Assistant: Megan Moll

Board Op: Alan Cline

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

* Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

# The scenic, costume, lighting, projection & sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Production Media




"The performances here are truly otherworldly -- and the casting is genius" -Lee Williams, The Oregonian/OregonLive

"It's not only ambitious, but also thought-provoking, heart-warming, and funny." -Krista Garver, Broadway World

“…a lot happens in these silent moments. It’s a nice reminder of how meaningful touch is between humans and how much vulnerability it takes.” -TJ Acena, Oregon ArtsWatch



Prep for Small Mouth Sounds with this book and movie list inspired by the play from the Multnomah County Library.

Take a deep dive into the show with our STUDY GUIDE.