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Alexandra Petri's The Campsite Rule

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Leave him better than you found him.  Inspired by the famous relationship rule of thumb coined by sex columnist Dan Savage, The Campsite Rule charts the course of career woman Susan and college freshman Lincoln’s unlikely romance. While visiting her alma mater, Susan meets the unusually charming and inexperienced Lincoln at a house party and fireworks ensue. What starts as a one-night stand becomes more involved as Susan resolves to educate young Lincoln in the ways of romance.  Alexandra Petri’s sexy new comedy asks, when dating someone much younger, how do you leave him better than you found him?

The first staged reading of The Campsite Rule played to a packed house at the Kennedy Center’s 2013 Page to Stage festival and “went over like gangbusters” according to the Washington City Paper. Now The Campsite Rule will receive it’s first full production at the stunning new Anacostia Playhouse, the recent winner of the Washington Post Leadership Award at the 2014 Helen Hayes. The Campsite Rule will be directed by company member Megan Behm, who recently appeared in the cast and choreographed fights for the Rogues production of In The Forest, She Grew Fangs. Megan’s recent directing credits include Comedy of Errors for Lean & Hungry Theater and, Minus You and Edward Cullen Ruined my Mother's Love Life for the Source Festival.



About the playwright:

Alexandra Petri is a blogger and columnist for the Washington Post. With the Rogues she previously developed Young Republicans, which went on to a Capital Fringe run. Other plays: (New York City) One Room Over, (DC): Hookups, Rare Medium Well Done, Tragedy Averted, Treetop Idol; Upcoming: Miss Emma's Matchmaking Agency for Literary Characters (Capital Fringe 2014). Her writing has appeared in the New York Daily News, Salt Lake Tribune, and The Week magazine,and you might have seen her on CNN, ESPN or heard her on the BBC World Service, among others. Her book of humorous essays, "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences" will be published by Penguin (New American Library) in 2015. She was part of the first all-female writing team for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, America's oldest undergraduate theater organization, for which she co-wrote two shows: Commie Dearest and Acropolis Now. She is a member of the BMI/Lehman Engel First Year Lyricist workshop. Her fiction has been published in Daily Science Fiction and the Belladonna press Black Apples Anthology of new fairytales. Sometimes, when not writing, she relaxes by writing. Also, in May 2014, she won the International Punning World Championship in Austin, Texas. No, really!



About The Cast:

Rachel Manteuffel (Susan) originated the role of Susan at the Kennedy Center reading. Campsite Rule marks Manteuffel’s fourth maintsage appearance with the Washington Rogues, after roles in Eight, The Teacher's Lounge, and Busted Jesus Comix. She's also been excited to work with Rorschach (Klecksography), Active Cultures (The Resurrectionist King and Doorway Arts Ensemble (Morning, Miranda), Wit's End Puppets, and the Capital Fringe Festival (A Most Notorious Woman).  In last year's Fringe she was well-received in the sold-out Recovery, directed by Michael Burgtorf. Jennifer Mendenhall directed her in a short play of Alexandra Petri's, I go.

As a writer, Manteuffel had her first story published in The Washington Post at age 21. For the editorial department, where she has worked for five years, she broke the story of the misquotation on Martin Luther King's memorial before the memorial's opening ceremony, and led the charge (which included Maya Angelou and Stephen Colbert) on getting the quote fixed. She contributed reporting to Gene Weingarten's Pulitzer-winning Pearls Before Breakfast. She won a 2013 Livingston Award for National Reporting (Judges included Ken Auletta and Charlie Gibson) for a story on the objects people leave at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the man who keeps them for Washingtonian. Her most recent story for the Post Magazine, The Keeper, was read into the Congressional Record by Senator Pat Leahy.

Matthew Sparacino (Lincoln) makes his debut with the Washington Rogues with Campsite Rule.  Recent DC credits include The Ballad of the Red Knight (Red Knight Productions), Dracula (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), Canterbury and Imagination Meltdown Adventure (Pointless Theatre), and Detective Pimbley and the Case of the Rich, Dead Lady (The Impressionable Players).  He has also performed onstage with African Continuum, American Ensemble, Infinite Stage, Flying V, and Woolly Mammoth, as well as at the NYC International Fringe Festival and the Otoño Azul theatre festival in Argentina.  Matthew is a DC-area native with a degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland.  He will next be seen in DC as a part of this June's Source Festival.

Hazel Lozano (Tina) joins the Washington Rogues for the first time.You may have seen her last in Tigers, Dragons, and Other Wise Tails at the Discovery Theater, where she played a grandma, a rich dude, a mole, and a couple of dragons. She also had the pleasure of appearing in the 2014 Source Festival 10-Minute Plays. Hazel has recently been accepted into the graduate acting program at the University of Washington.


THE CAMPSITE RULE By Alexandra Petri

Directed by Megan Behm*

Cast: Rachel Manteuffel* (Susan), Matthew Sparacino (Lincoln), Hazel Lozano (Tina)

Set Design: Ruthmarie Tenorio Lighting Design: Brian S. Allard Costume Design: Jesse Shipley*

Dates: July 23-August 16 Pay What You Can previews: July 23 - 27

Special Industry Night: Monday, August 11th Tickets: General admission: $20.00 With Student ID: $10.00

* - Washington Rogues company member.

Location: Anacostia Playhouse 2020 Shannon Place, SE Washington, DC 20020


The Campsite Rule continues the Washington Rogues streak of daring and visceral new plays to local audiences, with a focused commitment to works by Washington, DC playwrights. Most recently they produced Stephen Spotswood’s In the Forest, She Grew Fangs. Past productions include Capital Fringe Festival hits Mitzi’s Abortion, Eight, Busted Jesus Comix and The Teacher’s Lounge, or One Child Left Behind. More information about the company and The Campsite Rule can be found online at More informatino about The Anacostia Playhouse can be found at

Be bold. Be daring. Be a Rogue.