WRITTEN BY Jaclyn Backhaus
DIRECTED BY Mike Werckle

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon! MEN ON BOATS tells the true(ish) history of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition, when the one-armed major and a crew of his insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River.

It’s a total testosterone fest— and all the men are played by women!

Men On Boats is our first wild new show in our new theater. Five years in the making, The West Side Show Room is finally back!

“…off-the-canyon-walls funny…”
— Variety
“[MEN ON BOATS] is marvelously destabilizing both as history and theater. The stalwartness and selfishness of the adventurers—their cockiness and cluelessness—become biting satire when sent up by women.”
— New York Magazine


Jaclyn Backhaus

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright and co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper. Her play MEN ON BOATS was a NYT Critics’ Pick (Off-Broadway, Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons) after starting in Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks, and was a Kilroys play in 2015. Other works include PEOPLE DOING MATH LIVE! (Under The Radar Festival's INCOMING! Series at The Public Theater), THE INCREDIBLE FOX SISTERS (Live Source), YOU ON THE MOORS NOW (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, The Hypocrites Theater Chicago), BULL'S HOLLOW (Ars Nova), and the musical FOLK WANDERING. She has received commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Ars Nova and is the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb. Her work has been developed and showcased with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Playwrights Horizons, The Public and Joe’s Pub, The Ice Factory Festival, (not just) 3 New Plays, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, and The Falcons. BFA: NYU. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona




Stella Adams - Hawkins, Tsauwiat
Kiera Bouton - Bradley
Mary Bridgeland - Sumner
Carolyn Cadigan - Old Shady
Sierra Goddard - Powell
Quetzia Ramirez-Ibarra - Seneca Howland, The Bishop
Ky Rankin - Dunn
Renee Tracy - Goodman, Mr. Asa
Lenae Weichel - Hall
Rachel White - O.G. Howland

Jazmine White - Understudy


Director - Mike Werckle
Costume Designer - Jan Bacino
Props Designer - Rosemary Million, Pat Staaf

Stage Manager - Elizabeth Carner
Assistant Director - Beth Edgerton

Men On Boats is the first play in our new location!
Learn more about the WSSR...

The West Side Show Room believes in freedom of expression and we present all works in their entirety. We encourage people of all ages to expose themselves to a wide range of art, and to engage in critical discussions about the content they encounter. For specific information about the language, content, and effects in a particular production, please contact us.