Use All Available Doors

Use All Available Doors follows a soon-to-be-decommissioned WMATA train car, a grieving operator re-evaluating her life’s path, and a revolving door of passengers as they travel the length of the Red Line from Shady Grove to Glenmont. A vignette occurs between each stop, highlighting the varied nature of the Red Line’s path, including a parade, a sing-a-long, and unsolicited foot washing (that one's a true story).
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Use All Available Doors

Recommended by

  • Ian Thal:
    30 Apr. 2018
    It would be easy for a full-length play composed of vignettes, beginning and ending much the same way, with commuters boarding and exiting a train, to seem repetitive, but Willis stretches the format as far as it can go, embracing every genre. One of the play's strengths is just how assertively hyper-local it is to the D.C. metropolitan area -- there is no attempt to make it a generic "Big City™" -- but any rider of public transit in any city will relate.

    I reviewed Pinky Swear Production's 2018 staging:
  • David Hansen:
    13 Apr. 2017
    Willis skillfully plumbs points of transition, because those are not the places people understand they exist; we believe we are where we were or where we are going. "In transit" is not real. Stasis. The waiting. Hell is other passengers. But there are also moments of magic and grace and absurdity. Any time strangers dance together I am giddy.
  • John Bavoso:
    26 Feb. 2017
    Use All Available Doors is a wildly imaginative look at the wonders and surprises and drudgery of the small, routine parts of life we take for granted. The piece is both thoroughly DC and totally universal at the same time. It moves from humor to heartbreak seamlessly and asks lots of fascinating questions, including: Can you be both be on a set track and also have no idea where you're going or how you're going to get there?

Character Information

  • Sherry
    late 30s-40s,
    A train operator mourning her mother and prepping the eulogy as she drives her train.
  • An ensemble of metro riders
    6 or more metro riders who play a variety of characters.

Development History

Production History