The play, which follows the last 48 hours of four different 1950s B movie stars who were either slain or discovered dead under disputed circumstances, was originally scheduled to play a limited engagement through January 31, 2024. The production officially opened November 9.
Directed by McDowell, the play stars Sean Young as Susan Cabot, one of Roger Corman's muses who was killed by her son in 1986 in a still debated case of matricide. Young is joined by Douglas Everett Davis, Payton Georgiana, Jonathan Hartman, Josh Alscher, Anna Telfer, David Wenzel, and Rita Rehn, who portray famous Superman George Reeves, Our Gang comedy star Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, and the troubled actor Barbara Payton, in addition to auxiliary figures in the four slain stars' lives.
“I wrote Ode to the Wasp Woman as a paen to my boyhood TV heroes of the the 1960s and '70s,” said McDowell in a previous statement. "When I learned on the same rainy day in 1970 that Superman and Alfalfa were both dead, it shocked me. Fold in the deaths of ‘Wasp Woman’ Susan Cabot and Barbara ‘I am not ashamed’ Payton, actresses I admired, and the grim picture was complete. Ode To The Wasp Woman reveals the who, what, where, if not the 'why,' of the deaths of these fallen stars."
Ode to the Wasp Woman features scenic design by Christian Fleming, lighting design by Maarten Cornelis, company wide costume design Pearl Copalani, Sean Young's costumes by Montgomery Frazier, and sound design by Bob "The Hammer" Franco. Matthew Palmer is production stage manager. Nilton Emilio is the assistant stage manager. Casting is by Amy Gossels. Adam Smith Jr. is co-producer.