What is Wombat Drool?

K, a quirky zookeeper with infectious enthusiasm and a penchant for storytelling, has just got to tell you about Wombats, lovely Wombats. And Red Pandas. And silent German movies. And Tortoise poop. And a sleeping Siamang Gibbon. And vertigo. And Moonrat vaginas. And sex education movies. And Wombats! Join K in his digressions and diversions as he exalts the remarkably unremarkable. Drawn from David S. Kessler’s almost forty years experience at the National Zoo and from his fevered imagination, Wombat Drool is the fictional and amusing rants of a man more comfortable with animals than people, a man who spent his life behind bars with a compulsion to share what he knows and feels about his fellow cagemates and the humans on the outside. K celebrates small mammals, the forsaken and forgotten of the animal world, the misfits, the weird, the smelly. Get small with K and discover that Small Matters.

Team Wombat (Adelaide Waldrop, Jane Beard, Jason Wells, Scott Sedar and David S. Kessler) has crafted an entertainment for those who love animals, for those who don’t love animals, and for those who fall somewhere in between. Join K and be stuck up a tree with a Red Panda, harassed in the Tortoise yard, pelted by the space Chimp, cuddled by the Siamang, and the Wombat? The Wombat Drool? You’ll just have to find out for yourself at the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival.


No animals were harmed in the making of this production.



Meet the wild animals behind Wombat Drool!


david s. kessler – writer & performer

David S. Kessler has written numerous sonnets, including one in 45 minutes for WNYC’s The Next Big Thing, songs for the short-lived Fidel’s Marching Marimba Band, three novels for nobody in particular, and numerous scientific papers. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he studied Drama, Philosophy, Biology, Music, and Circus Skills (with Hovey Burgess!), amongst other disciplines. He had a two year abortive adventure as a doctoral student in Zoology. He spent almost four decades at the National Zoo, many of them as a small mammal biologist.

He is eternally grateful to Team Wombat, an amazing group of creative professionals.  He is overwhelmed by the generosity of the DC area theater community and humbled by their welcoming embrace. Love and gratitude to his wife, Patricia, and his son, Benjamin, for their support and encouragement. 

He has never thrown fecal material at anyone or anything.


jane beard – director

Jane Beard is a former professional actor and director who retired from the theatre a decade ago. But she’s thrilled to work on this production of Wombat Drool with long-time friend, David S. Kessler. Jane is a three-time Helen Hayes nominee as an actor, and performed in many theatres in the Washington area, as well as at the Seattle Rep and La Jolla Playhouse. She was frequently seen in commercials, training films and television shows. She still collects residual checks for films including Rocket Science, Guarding Tess, Cry Wolf and Step Up (thank you Channing Tatum!). Today, she and her husband run InVisible Light, a company that helps senior executives prepare and deliver high stakes business presentations. Jane has a specialty in helping people eliminate speaking anxiety, and travels around the country as a speaker herself. 

In her former life, she acted around the Washington DC area, and directed “Table Top” and “Underneath the Lintel” at the Round House Theatre. Today, she’s a business presentation coach, author and dedicated Washington Nationals fan. She lives in Churchton, MD.


scott sedar – dramaturg

With acting credits at most of DC’s professional theatres, Scott Sedar brings considerable stage experience to his work as a dramaturg.  His directing credits include shows for Round House Theatre’s Hey Day Players, DC Creative Writers’ Workshop, Playwright’s Forum and the Fringe Festival, as well as numerous industrials. His play, “Peddler,” was commissioned by Hebrew Union College as part of Cincinnati’s citywide celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America. His script for a documentary on SIDS won the Bronze Medal, at the International Film & TV Festival of New York.  He has had plays in both the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage and the DC Fringe festivals.  Most recently, he collaborated with Aaron Myers on a screenplay, “Paths at Sunset.” He was dramaturg for “Max’s Picture Palace,” by Tina Chancey, and he has worked with Barbara Papendorp, Ilona Dulaski and David Kessler on their solo shows.


Jason wells – light & sound

Jason Wells is a designer, playwright, performer and technician. His lighting designs include world premieres by artists including Fred Ho, Chad Raines, Runqiao Du, Erica Rebollar, Karen Reedy, Vincent Thomas, Christopher K. Morgan, Joanna Kotze and Jodi Melnick. His words have been heard in The Delaware 10 Minute Play Festival, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Capital Fringe Festival, 7 Stages Theatre (Atlanta, GA), The Academy of Music (Northampton, MA), The Lucille Lortel Theatre (NYC) and the United States State Department (Washington, DC). Most recently Jason wrote the book for “Scene Change” a new musical that celebrated the 100th season of The Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT. As a technician Jason has worked for The Sarah Lawrence College Theater Department, The Westport Country Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company, The Weston Playhouse and the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater. He is currently the Director of Production at American Dance Institute in Rockville, MD. Jason is a company member of A Broken Umbrella Theatre in New Haven, CT and a founding member of Not A Robot Theatre Co in Washington, DC. He is a 2001 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.


adelaide waldrop – graphic design, marketing, & stage manager

Adelaide Waldrop is an actor, director, graphic designer, and theatrical collaborator. Born and raised in the DC-area, she returned to Washington in 2013 to work with dog & pony dc as their first Company Apprentice. Over the course of her year-long apprenticeship she was involved in various capacities with dog & pony including performing on tour in A Killing Game (Cleveland Public Theatre), working audience integration for the Off-Broadway run of Beertown (59E59 Theaters), and co-devising and performing in the rolling-venue premiere of Toast last fall in DC. Adelaide graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2013 and was awarded the Malcolm Edwards Prize for her contributions to student theatre at the university. While at St Andrews, she directed and performed in numerous productions and served as Marketing Officer for the student theatre fund for two years. She participated in the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010, 2011, and 2013, most recently directing the EdFringe premiere of Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. 

In addition to her work as a member of Team Wombat, Adelaide is currently co-project leading the devising process for dog & pony dc's upcoming show Courage, an audience-integrated, gypsy-punk adaptation of Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children slated to go up in 2016.