THE HOT WING KING Comes to Baltimore Center Stage

Performances run April 11-28, 2024.

By: Mar. 25, 2024
THE HOT WING KING Comes to Baltimore Center Stage
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Baltimore Center Stage is preparing for the regional premiere production of the Pulitzer-Prize winning comedy-drama The Hot Wing King, written by P-Valley's Katori Hall and directed by Christopher D. Betts. This co-production with Hartford Stage runs for a strictly limited engagement, April 11-28, 2024.

"We are thrilled to partner with our incredible friends at Hartford Stage to bring this Pulitzer Prize winning play to life in Charm City," stated Stevie Walker-Webb, Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage. "Katori Hall's hysterical and deeply moving drama puts Black Queer love on full, transparent display, while examining questions around masculinity and what makes a family. Under Christopher D. Betts' keen direction, audiences should prepare themselves for a raucous and riveting performance."

Memphis, Tennessee's annual Hot Wang Festival is quickly approaching, and Cordell Crutchfield is determined to be crowned king of the wings. With support from The New Wing Order, made up of his partner Dwayne and his friends Isom and Big Charles, victory seems inevitable. However, Cordell soon finds himself preparing for the festival while caring for his teenage nephew who moves in after a family tragedy. Will this new arrangement be a recipe for success or disaster?

Betts describes The Hot Wing King as "a play that delves into radical intimacy, exploring the complexities of love and the potential harm it can inflict." He says, "The Hot Wing King skillfully navigates nuanced portrayals of Black Queer relationships, giving language to experiences that are usually felt rather than expressed. It's an invitation for audiences to immerse themselves in the richness of Black love. Love that is not stereotypical or conflict-averse but brave and rooted in emotional safety. As a society founded on narratives of Black suffering, this play prompts a crucial question: 'What does Black love truly look like on stage?'"

The cast includes: Bjorn DuPaty as Cordell, Israel Erron Ford as Isom, Marcus Gladney, Jr. as Everett "EJ," Postell Pringle as Big Charles, Calvin M. Thompson as Dwayne, and Alphonso Walker Jr. as TJ. Actors Bjorn DuPaty and Calvin M. Thompson starred in the regional premiere of the play at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta; both are reprising their roles in Baltimore and Hartford.

Betts recently directed a staged reading of Claudine Mboligikepelani Nako's Photosynthesis at Goodspeed's Festival of New Musicals, and has directed multiple productions at his alma mater, the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale.

The creative team includes Scenic Designer Emmie Finckel, Costume Designer Jahise LeBouef, Lighting Designer Adam Honoré, and Sound Designer Kathy Ruvuna, Voice and Dialect Coach Cynthia Santos DeCure, Intimacy and Fight Coordinator Kelsey Rainwater, with casting by Alaine Alldaffer. The production Stage Manager is Bernita Robinson and the Assistant Stage Manager is Makayla Beckles.




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