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Premiere of TORERA, A NIGHT'S DREAM Adaptation & More Will Play Long Wharf Theatre in 2020-21

Premiere of TORERA, A NIGHT'S DREAM Adaptation & More Will Play Long Wharf Theatre in 2020-21

Long Wharf Theatre announced today the complete lineup for its 2020/21 Breaking Boundaries season. In the first season fully programmed by Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón, the non-profit theatre is re-dedicating itself to its founding mission to present innovative art with the community at its center and is committed to creating work that galvanizes New Haven and revolutionizes the new American theatre. The season will include work by directors Tatiana Pandiani, Aneesha Kudtarkar and Patricia McGregor; playwrights Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Kristoffer Diaz and Madhuri Shekar; a radical reimagining of a classic Shakespeare tale adapted and directed by Shana Cooper; and a revival of the award-winning musical Jelly's Last Jam, with a book by George C. Wolfe, music by Jelly Roll Morton & Luther Henderson and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead.

Subscriptions for the 2020/21 Breaking Boundaries season can be purchased beginning March 11 by calling the Long Wharf Theatre box office at 203-787-4282. Single tickets will go on sale on June 3, 2020.

In a transition from previous seasons, Long Wharf Theatre is shifting a majority of its productions to Stage II, complete with all new seating, offering audiences an opportunity to have a more intimate theater-going experience. With new leadership at the helm, Long Wharf Theatre is also transforming its operating model. In order to continue to create programming that thoughtfully engages people across the community, the theatre is seeking critical financial support throughout the community and across the country to ensure the theatre's continued success.

The 2020/21 Breaking Boundaries season will also include historic artistic collaborations. Long Wharf will partner with The Sol Project, an initiative dedicated to amplifying the voices of Latinx playwrights; New Haven's own Collective Consciousness Theatre, a company committed to using theatre to catalyze social justice; and NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company), whose mission is to assert the significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture. Long Wharf's partnership with NAATCO on the production of QUEEN will launch the NAATCO National Partnership Project.

The season will also introduce The Remix: A Lab for Artistic Collisions, a space for local artists, new work development and civic engagement; a one-night-only 20th anniversary reading of The Good Person of New Haven; and the introduction of the Long Wharf Artistic Ensemble, a collective of eight artists who will develop new projects with and for Long Wharf in addition to being ambassadors in their respective communities and the community at large.

Long Wharf Theatre will continue to deepen its engagement and work with the Greater New Haven community. Building on its recent collaborations with local organizations and artists, Long Wharf is launching a number of new community partnerships and initiatives that provide platforms for creative exchange and for the community to connect more deeply with the work on stage. Long Wharf will continue its long-standing partnership with the New Haven Free Public Library in addition to the New Haven Play Project.

Doubling down on its commitment to growing the next generation of theatre makers and theatre lovers, Long Wharf is also launching a young adult council called The Stage Squad. This dynamic group of high school students from across Connecticut will learn about the process of creating theatre by engaging in the art form through workshops, trainings with staff, and taking trips to see productions throughout the state. The Stage Squad serve as the present and future leaders in our community and help Long Wharf build a boundary-breaking future for audiences and artists alike.

The season officially kicks off on September 16, 2020 with State of the Union: An Artistic Congress. In an election year, Long Wharf will host a convening in partnership with multiple community organizations and arts leaders to activate a collective call to action, with programming over two days including speakers, roundtables and community-led conversations. Artists and leaders from across the country will gather together with members of the New Haven community in the Constitution State to answer the central question: How can our work as artists and storytellers help rebuild our democracy?

"The 2020/21 season was shaped by a listening tour that began the minute I stepped into my new role as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre. As we pivot this company to be one of, for and by the community, we aspire to break boundaries both on-stage and off as we invite artists, audiences and our longtime supporters to join Long Wharf's revolution," said Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón. "We are dedicated to the pillars of artistic innovation, radical inclusion and meaningful connection as we reflect on our past and joyfully conjure our future to rebuild a theatre company that is boundary-breaking in every way imaginable."

"I believe revolutionary partnerships are the future of the American theatre and I am so honored to have Collective Consciousness Theatre, NAATCO and The Sol Project as anchors in my inaugural season. In addition to new work, classic stories and the revival of a beloved musical filled with history and celebration-all of which will be directed by some of the most astonishing women working in American theatre today-we could not be prouder to be partnering with schools, libraries, neighborhoods, students and the people of Greater New Haven to create new initiatives, continue ongoing collaborations and be responsive to their needs," continued Padrón. "This work allows Long Wharf to expand its reach and bring art-making and social change out of the Theatre and into the community."

More information on all initiatives and partnerships can be found below, as well as at www.longwharf.org.


THE FULL 20/21 SEASON LINEUP INCLUDES:

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
TORERA

By Monet Hurst-Mendoza
Directed by Tatiana Pandiani
In partnership with The Sol Project
Stage II
First performance: October 14, 2020
Opening night: October 21, 2020
Closing night: November 8, 2020

Bullfighting is a world nearly exclusive to men-yet for Elena Ramírez, it is her life's ambition. With the help of her best friend, a matador's son, Elena begins secretly training to compete with the greatest. But when she discovers that her seemingly inherent talent can beat even the most accomplished toreros, this young woman must choose between accepting society's limits or breaking boundaries. A world premiere play written by a stunning new voice in the American theatre, Torera tells the poignant story about becoming your truest self by proudly stepping into the ring.

Said Hurst-Mendoza: "I am so thrilled Torera will have its world premiere at Long Wharf Theatre. As a biracial Latina, I am proud and delighted that the complex ferocity of women and Latinx people will unapologetically embody space on an American stage."

A NIGHT'S DREAM

An adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Shana Cooper
Stage II
First performance: November 25, 2020
Opening night: December 2, 2020
Closing night: December 20, 2020

Shakespeare's classic comedy of midsummer magic and mayhem gets radically reimagined in A Night's Dream. The timeless tale of hapless lovers, frolicking fairies and merry mischief-makers comes to vibrant new life as only eight actors shapeshift into multiple enchanting roles. Acclaimed director Shana Cooper creates a new adaptation especially for Long Wharf, envisioning a thrillingly theatrical world that conjures up the wonder of getting lost into a vivid, haunting dream.

Shana Cooper shared, "Jacob Padrón possesses the kind of visionary artistic thinking and transformational inclusivity that we (as artists and audiences alike) dream of in our leaders. I'm so grateful to be a part of his first season, the beginning of a deep and meaningful new legacy for Long Wharf and its artistic community."

THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY

By Kristoffer Diaz
In partnership with New Haven's Collective Consciousness Theatre
Stage II
First performance: January 13, 2021
Opening night: January 20, 2021
Closing night: February 7, 2021

What makes a hero? That's what professional wrestler Macedonio Guerra is trying to figure out. He's sick of losing, and he's tired of Chad Deity, the arrogant champion fans can't get enough of. So when he decides to flip the script and fight for his rightful place next to the god of wrestling, he has to leave it all on the mat or risk getting knocked out for good. More timely now than when it premiered, Kristoffer Diaz's Pulitzer Prize-nominated satire is a heated look at unspoken racism and politics-and the raw courage it takes to make a difference.

Dexter J. Singleton, Executive Artistic Director of Collective Consciousness Theatre stated, "Collective Consciousness Theatre is excited for the opportunity to bring this historic partnership and groundbreaking production to our New Haven community. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a play that is just like us-fun, hard-hitting and unafraid to tackle the tough questions around issues of race, class and culture. We are humbled and grateful to be asked to be a part of Jacob's inaugural season."

QUEEN

By Madhuri Shekar
Directed by Aneesha Kudtarkar
In partnership with NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company)
Stage II
Previews: February 24, 2021
Opening night: March 3, 2021
Closing night: March 21, 2021

Bees are disappearing around the world, and two scientists set out to find out why. Queen is the high-stakes drama about two best friends, a mathematician and biologist, on the cusp of stunning revelations-and they have agriculture's most reviled bogeyman, Monsanto, in their sights. But when all the right intentions become the wrong conclusions, their friendship is put to the ultimate test. A provocative portrayal of brilliant women confronting inconvenient truths.

NAATCO's Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak shared, "To be part of Jacob Padrón's inaugural season at Long Wharf Theatre fills me with pride and gratitude. Jacob's steadfast and inspirational support for NAATCO's National Partnership Project, his considerate guidance and our compatible ideals and goals make the launch of the NNPP with Long Wharf a significant event. This double inauguration and Jacob's leadership augurs well for the future of American theatre and I am honored and exhilarated by this partnership with Long Wharf. "

JELLY'S LAST JAM

Book by George C. Wolfe
Music by Jelly Roll Morton and Luther Henderson
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Directed by Patricia McGregor
Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre
First performance: April 21, 2021
Opening night: April 28, 2021
Closing night: May 16, 2021

At the birth of jazz in the early 20th century, one man led the band. The legendary Jelly Roll Morton revolutionized American music like no one before him. His life-the dizzying heights and inconceivable lows-becomes a thrilling theatrical ride in Jelly's Last Jam. With a cast of 14, a red-hot band of six and enough music and tap dancing to fill several lifetimes, director Patricia McGregor brings this major revival of the Tony Award-winning musical to Long Wharf.

Director Patricia McGregor shared, "I'm thrilled to be joining visionary leader Jacob Padrón's first full season at Long Wharf. At a time when the soul of this country is in such crisis, what better piece than Jelly's Last Jam to examine our past pain and illuminate our future possibilities with glorious theatricality and searing insights. I'm excited to develop this piece with partners in the New Haven community, fortifying George C. Wolfe's powerful vision with these rich perspectives."

THE GOOD PERSON OF NEW HAVEN - A 20th ANNIVERSARY READING

ONE NIGHT ONLY - MAY 2021

Join Long Wharf Theatre as they present a 20th anniversary reading of The Good Person of New Haven. Adapted from Brecht by Alison Carey and directed by Bill Rauch (co-founders of Cornerstone Theater Company), The Good Person of New Haven was the final production of Long Wharf's 1999-2000 season and was created over three years in partnership with hundreds of New Haven residents.

20/21 ARTISTIC PROGRAMS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS INCLUDES:

STATE OF THE UNION: AN ARTISTIC CONGRESS

Calling all artists and arts leaders! In this election year, let us gather in the Constitution State to talk about how we use our work as artists and storytellers to catalyze meaningful systemic change and help rebuild our democracy. On September 16-17, 2020, Long Wharf will host State of the Union: An Artistic Congress, a convening in partnership with other community organizations to activate a collective call to action. The two days of programming will include speakers, roundtables and community-led conversations where, together, we will mobilize so that art and activism can live side by side.

THE LONG WHARF ARTISTIC ENSEMBLE

Long Wharf is proud to announce the creation of an inaugural artistic ensemble, composed of eight New Haven-and New York City-based artists, who serve as thought partners to the artistic director and develop new projects with and for Long Wharf. The ensemble includes actor and playwright Ryan Haddad (Hi, Are You Single?); actor Mason Alexander Park (Hedwig and the Angry Inch-first Broadway national tour, Long Wharf's I Am My Own Wife); Tony Award-nominated actor Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder); director Madeline Sayet (Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program); director Dexter J. Singleton (Executive Artistic Director, Collective Consciousness Theatre); and director Awoye Timpo (In Old Age, Long Wharf's Paradise Blue). Three more members of the artistic ensemble will be announced shortly.

THE REMIX: A LAB FOR ARTISTIC COLLISION

Long Wharf will officially launch The Remix: A Lab for Artistic Collisions, a space for local artists, new play development, and civic engagement at Long Wharf that will host a wide variety of musicians, scholars, cabaret artists and more, encouraging artistic partnership and co-creation.

THE STAGE SQUAD

Long Wharf Theatre's Stage Squad is a dynamic and innovative group of high school students from across Connecticut who are invested in the future of American theatre. The Squad learns about the process of creating theatre, engaging in the art form through workshops, trainings with staff, and trips to see productions all over Connecticut. These students serve as the present and future leaders in our community and will help Long Wharf Theatre to build a boundary-breaking future for our audiences and artists alike.


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