LONG WHARF THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE 2020/21 SEASON: BREAKING BOUNDARIES

FIRST SEASON UNDER NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JACOB G. PADRÓN INCLUDES

A SEASON ENTIRELY DIRECTED BY WOMEN

Tatiana Pandiani, Shana Cooper, Aneesha Kudtarkar, Patricia McGregor

FEATURING ARTISTS

Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Kristoffer Diaz, Madhuri Shekar, George C. Wolfe, Jelly Roll Morton, Luther Henderson and Susan Birkenhead

ARTISTIC COLLABORATIONS WITH

The Sol Project, Collective Consciousness Theatre and NAATCO
(National Asian American Theatre Company)

THE INAUGURAL LONG WHARF ARTISTIC ENSEMBLE

Ryan Haddad, Mason Alexander Park, Bryce Pinkham,
Madeline Sayet, Dexter J. Singleton and Awoye Timpo

BRAND NEW 2020/21 SEASON INITIATIVES INCLUDING

STATE OF THE UNION: An Artistic Congress

THE REMIX: A Lab for Artistic Collisions

The 20th Anniversary Reading of THE GOOD PERSON OF NEW HAVEN
Stage Squad AND MORE

THE FULL SEASON LINE-UP INCLUDES

WORLD PREMIERE

TORERA

Written by MONET HURST-MENDOZA
Directed by TATIANA PANDIANI
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SOL PROJECT

A NIGHT’S DREAM

An adaptation of Shakespheare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
adapted and directed by SHANA COOPER

THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY

Written by KRISTOFFER DIAZ
In partnership with NEW HAVEN’S COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS THEATRE
QUEEN
Written by MADHURI SHEKAR
Directed by ANEESHA KUDTARKAR
In partnership with NAATCO (NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN THEATRE COMPANY)

JELLY’S LAST JAM

Book by GEORGE C. WOLFE
Music by JELLY ROLL MORTON & LUTHER HENDERSON
Lyrics by SUSAN BIRKENHEAD
Directed by PATRICIA MCGREGOR

THE SEASON BEGINS SEPTEMBER 2020

(March 11, 2020 – New Haven) Long Wharf Theatre (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director; Kit Ingui, Managing Director) 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 bySusan 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
VISIT LONGWHARF.ORG OR CALL 203.787.4282

About Long Wharf Theatre

Established in 1965 at the start of the regional theatre movement, Long Wharf Theatre was born on the notion that New Haven deserves an active culture that is locally created. Our founders shared the dream of starting a professional theatre company in Connecticut, built with the aid of community leaders and patrons of the arts. We are a theatre of international renown, recognized for a historic commitment to commissioning, developing, and producing new work that has become a part of the modern American canon. More than 30 Long Wharf Theatre productions have transferred to Broadway or Off-Broadway runs, three of which—Wit, The Shadow Box, and The Gin Game—won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. We were among the earliest recipients of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1978) and our productions have earned numerous accolades, including Tony, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and Obie Awards; a Margo Jones Award; and nominations and Connecticut Critics Circle Awards in nearly every category.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón and Managing Director Kit Ingui, in partnership with a dedicated staff and Board, Long Wharf Theatre annually engages 40,000 people through productions, lifelong learning programs, and community partnerships. Now in our 55th year, we aspire to be a company with, by, and for its community. We are activating a lifelong conversation with every person who walks through our doors, as we use the stories on our stage to catalyze a movement to better our world.

TORERA BIOS

MONET HURST-MENDOZA

(she/her/hers) is an New York City-based playwright from Los Angeles. Her plays have been developed with Rising Circle Theater Collective, Astoria Performing Arts Center (Veil’d, world premiere), The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Magic Time @ Judson, Atlantic Acting School/NYU Tisch, The Kupferberg Center for the Arts, #serials@The Flea, WP Theater, The Public Theater, and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, among others. Monet is an alum of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, R&D Group at The Civilians, WP Theater Lab, and the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists. She has held residencies with The Other Mirror, The MITTEN Lab and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Finalist: Playwright’s Week and the New York Jerome Fellowship at The Lark, Many Voices Fellowship at The Playwrights Center, The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, Artemisia Fall Festival, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Forward Flux Three New American Plays Project, and the Leah Ryan FEWW Prize (Honorable Mention, 2017). Smith Prize for Political Theatre and Cherry Lane Mentor Project nominations. Monet is a proud affiliate of Rising Circle Theater Collective, where she helped develop INKtank/PlayRISE, a developmental writers lab and new works festival for emerging playwrights of color. She continues her advocacy for equal representation for woman, trans, and non-binary writers in the American theatre as a member of The Kilroys. She is currently a member of Fresh Ground Pepper’s Playground Playgroup and is a staff writer for “Law and Order: SVU.” B.A., Marymount Manhattan College.

TATIANA PANDIANI

(she/her/hers) is a South American, New York City-based director-choreographer who works in English and Spanish. She currently serves as the Associate Director (Dir. Oliver Butler) for the National Broadway tour of What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, which recently closed on Broadway. Recent work includes Lempicka (Associate Director, Dir. Rachel Chavkin, La Jolla Playhouse); When My Mama was a Hittite by Melis Aker (Park Theatre, London); Christina by Alexis Sheer (Cleveland Play House, workshop); Dike by Hannah Benitez (Urbanite Theatre); Friends with Guns by Stephanie Alison Walker (New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), workshop); Nanas by Leonardo Gonzales (Teatro LATEA and IATI Theater); Field, Awakening by Melis Aker (Signature Theatre / Corkscrew Festival); and the international tour of Le Negrophilie by Zakiya Markland (Collymore Hall, Barbados; Ubumuntu Festival, Rwanda; Kampala Theater Festival, Uganda). Tatiana has served as director-choreographer and co-book writer for the ongoing development on the bilingual musical Azul, Otra Vez [Blue, Revisited] at Tofte Lake Center, NYTW, BRIC, and The Drama League. Other new work development includes projects with NYTW, Westport Country Playhouse, Cherry Lane Theatre Playwrights Festival, Pipeline Theatre Co., WalkUp Arts, Timucua Arts Center, PlayXPlay, and Lanesboro Arts. As a choreographer, Tatiana has worked with Latin Indie musical artists in concerts and music videos. Upcoming: Whitewashed by Hannah Benitez (Island City Stage, Ft. Lauderdale), developing choreography for a new adaptation of Blood Wedding (Dir. Whitney White), and many stops on the Constitution tour. Tatiana is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, a Teaching Artist at Atlantic Theater Company, and an Associate Artist at Miami New Drama. She was a NYTW Directing Fellow and is a recipient of the 2018/19 National Directors Fellowship from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the Kennedy Center. Proud Member of SDC. Representation: Paradigm. MFA, Columbia University. tatianapandiani.com

THE SOL PROJECT

is a national theatre initiative dedicated to producing the work of Latinx playwrights in New York City and beyond. Founded by Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón and driven by an artistic collective, The Sol Project works in partnership with leading theatres around the country to amplify Latinx voices and build artistic homes for artists of color. Through the writers we champion, The Sol Project aspires to create a bold, powerful, and kaleidoscopic body of work for the new American theater. The Sol Project launched with the world premiere of Alligator by Hilary Bettis in collaboration with New Georges, followed by the New York premieres of Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and Oedipus El Rey by Luis Alfaro (The Public Theater). In the fall of 2018, The Sol Project partnered with Yale Repertory Theatre to produce the world premiere of El Huracánby Charise Castro Smith and in 2020 has partnered with Baltimore Center Stage and The Playwrights Realm to produce the rolling world premiere of Noah Diaz’s Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally, followed by a partnership with LAByrinth Theater Company to produce Guadalís Del Carmen’s Bees and Honey. The artistic collective includes Adriana Gaviria, Rebecca Martinez, David Mendizábal, Julian Ramirez, and Laurie Woolery. Brian Herrera is the Resident Scholar. Stephanie Ybarra is the Resident Dramaturg. Joey Reyes is the Producing Assistant. Our partners include Atlantic Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cara Mía Theatre Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, Magic Theatre, MCC Theater, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), Playwrights Horizons, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Playwrights Realm, The Public Theater, WP Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. solproject.org

A Night’s Dream Bios

SHANA COOPER (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the Directing M.F.A. program in Chicago as well as a company member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. where directing credits include The Nether and HIR by Taylor Mac. Other directing credits include Julius Caesar (Theatre for a New Audience); Terra Firma (world premiere Off-Broadway, The Coop); The Lady from the Sea (The Court Theatre, Chicago); The Unfortunates (American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), San Francisco); American Night, Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven); Straight White Men (Studio Theatre, DC); The Unfortunates (world premiere musical), Indecent, Julius Caesar, Love’s Labor’s Lost (OSF); Venus in Fur (Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre Company); The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (California Shakespeare Theater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (PlayMakers Rep); Camino Real (New York University MFA Program); Three Sisters (The Studio/New York); The Whale Play, Twelfth Night Parking Lot Project (New Theater House). Shana was the Associate Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater (2000-2004), and a co-founder of New Theater House with Yale School of Drama alumni (2008-present). Awards include 2014 Leadership U Grant, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG); 2010 Princess Grace Award; Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize in Directing (Yale School of Drama); Drama League Directing Fellow; TCG Observership Grant; OSF Phil Killian Directing Fellow; and a G. Herbert Smith Presidential Scholarship. MFA, Yale School of Drama. Upcoming projects include The Taming of the Shrew (The Old Globe, San Diego). shanacooper.com

THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY BIOS

KRISTOFFER DIAZ

(he/him/his) is a playwright, librettist, screenwriter and educator. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deitywas a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His adaptation of the Disney film Hercules premiered in Central Park in Summer 2019 as part of the Joseph Papp Public Theater’s Public Works program with a cast of nearly 200. Other full-length titles include Welcome toArroyo’s, Reggie Hoops and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, ACT, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman Theatre, Second Stage Theater, Victory Gardens Theater and OSF among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships; The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; Lucille Lortel, Equity Jeff, and OBIE Awards; and the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant among others.

As a screenwriter, Kristoffer has developed original television pilots for HBO and FX, written for the first season of Netflix’s “GLOW,” and adapted the musical Rent for FOX.

Kristoffer holds a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing, and an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performing Arts Management program. He teaches playwriting at New York University. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a member of its Board of Directors, a member of the Dramatists Guild Council, and a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East.

COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS THEATRE (CCT)

is a multicultural small professional theatre company based in New Haven, CT. Founded in 2007, we are a theatre dedicated to social change through the art of live theatre, interactive workshops and community conversations. We believe theatre has the power to open doors, unlock hearts and change minds. We use theatre to tackle social issues affecting our city and nation. Through creativity on the stage, in the classroom and with our community we partner to collectively inspire and seek solutions to improve our world. Our work has been seen by more than 60,000 youth and adults across the U.S. and Europe, headlining festivals in New York City, Holland and Norway. As a theatre that champions the work of writers of color and women, we have produced dozens of new plays featuring underrepresented stories in our community reaching diverse audiences of all ages. CCT has produced the work of some of the best playwrights in the nation including Dominique Morisseau, Idris Goodwin, Marco Ramirez and Katori Hall. collectiveconsciousnesstheatre.org

Queen Bios

MADHURI SHEKAR

(she/her/hers) was born in California and grew up in India, and after a couple of quick detours in Singapore and London, made her first grown-up home in Los Angeles. She is currently based in New York City, having recently graduated from the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School. She writes on themes of love, relationships and sexuality inspired by her cross-cultural background.

Madhuri’s plays include Dhaba on Devon Avenue (commissioned and premiered by Victory Gardens in spring 2020); House of Joy(California Shakespeare Theatre, San Diego Rep, developed at South Coast Rep, Juilliard, Atlantic Theater Company, and New York Stage and Film); Queen (Victory Gardens Theater—2017 Jeff Award for Best New Play; Astoria Performing Arts Center—NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full Length Script; Geva Theatre Center); A Nice Indian Boy (East West Players, Rasaka Theatre Company, EnActe Arts); In Love and Warcraft (Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest winner); Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s (Alliance Theatre); and Bucket of Blessings (Alliance Theatre).

She is also working on a new play commission about hockey culture for South Coast Rep.

Madhuri is one of the first recipients of Audible’s new commissioning program for emerging playwrights. Her audio drama, Evil Eye, debuted at #5 on Audible’s bestseller list, and won a 2020 Audie Award from the Audio Publishers Association for Best Original Work. In Hollywood, Madhuri was a staff writer on HBO’s “The Nevers.”

Madhuri is currently a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. She has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from USC, and a dual Master’s degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC. madhurishekar.com

ANEESHA KUDTARKAR

(she/her/hers) is a New York-based theatre artist. She is a trained Indian classical dancer who calls upon her background in dance to create compositionally compelling pieces of theatre that often center around underrepresented communities. Her recent directorial projects include Men on Boats (Southern Methodist University); [Veil Widow Conspiracy] (NAATCO); LOCUSTS, Trouble in Mind (Yale School of Drama); The Purple Flower (Yale Cabaret); and Mud (Hangar Theatre). Aneesha is an alumna of the Drama League Director’s Project and a graduate of Yale School of Drama.

NAATCO (NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN THEATRE COMPANY)

Under the leadership of Founding Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and co-founder Richard Eng, NAATCO was founded in 1989 to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture. NAATCO puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi-and inter-cultural dynamics of our society. By doing so, they demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. The enrichment accrues to each different culture as well as to America as a whole. NAATCO was the recipient of the Obie’s Ross Wetzsteon Award, the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women for their work “highlighting the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society” and the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity Association in recognition of its contribution toward increasing diversity in American theatre. NAATCO was recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, as well as Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for their acclaimed production of Henry VI: Shakespeare’s Trilogy in Two Parts. Additionally, at this year’s ceremony, NAATCO founder and Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak was honored by a Special Drama Desk Award.

Jelly’s Last Jam Bios

PATRICIA McGREGOR

(she/her/hers). Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Patricia McGregor is a director and writer working in theater, film and music. McGregor has twice been profiled by the New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Productions include Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (co-writer and director, Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light); Sisters In Law (Wallis Annenberg) What You Are, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure (The Old Globe); Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse); Good Grief (Center Theater Group); Hamlet (The Public Theater); The Parchman Hour (The Guthrie Theater); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company); brownsville song…(Lincoln Center); Indomitable: James Brown (The Apollo); Holding It Down (Metropolitan Museum); A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale, Spunk (California Shakespeare Theater); Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR); Blood Dazzler(Harlem Stage); Four Electric Ghosts (The Kitchen) and the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company). She served as Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway. For many years she has directed The 24-Hour Plays on Broadway. She served as director for HBO emerging writer’s showcase and tour consultant to Raphael Saadiq and J Cole. Her short film “Good Grief” will premiere this year. She co-founded Angela’s Pulse with her sister, choreographer, and organizer Paloma McGregor, and on the advisory board of Adam Driver’s Arts In the Armed Forces and the Parent Artist Advocacy League. McGregor attended the Yale School of Drama, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

Artistic Ensemble Bios

RYAN HADDAD

(he/him/his) is an actor, playwright, and autobiographical performer based in New York. His acclaimed solo play Hi, Are You Single? was presented in The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and continues to tour the country. Other New York credits include My Straighties (Ars Nova/ANT Fest), Noor and Hadi Go to Hogwarts (Theater Breaking Through Barriers) and the cabaret Falling for Make Believe (Joe’s Pub). Regional credits include The Maids, Lucy Thurber’s Orpheus in the Berkshires(Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Hi, Are You Single? (Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Play House, Williamstown Theatre Festival). He has a recurring role on the Ryan Murphy Netflix series “The Politician.” Additional television credits include “Bull,” “Madam Secretary,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Ryan has performed original work at La MaMa E.T.C., the New Museum, and The LGBT Center of New York City. His plays in development include Good Time Charlie and Dark Disabled Stories. He is an alum of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and a former Queer|Art Performance and Playwriting Fellow, under the mentorship of Moe Angelos. Learn more at ryanjhaddad.com and follow him on social at @ryanjhaddad.

MASON ALEXANDER PARK

(they/them) just returned to New York following a critically acclaimed run as Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf in a reimagined I Am My Own Wife at Long Wharf Theatre. Favorite credits include Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1st National Tour), The Emcee in Cabaret (Helen Hayes Award nomination) Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show (Bucks County Playhouse), Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone (Pittsburgh Playhouse) and he was the first male countertenor to play Miss Andrew in Disney’s Mary Poppins (Pittsburgh CLO). They were honored at the Kennedy Center as the 2013 Presidential Scholar in the Arts for Musical Theatre (documented in PBS’s Becoming an Artist). Other TV/Film include: PBS reality series Broadway or Bust, Nickelodeon’s iCarly, Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures and Before You Know It, which premiered at Sundance this year. Podcast: Loveville High. Visit www.masonalexanderpark.com for more info.

BRYCE PINKHAM

(he/him/his) is an American stage and screen actor. Bryce is most widely known for originating the role of Monty Navarro in the Tony Award-winning production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, for which he was nominated for a Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Award. He also notably appeared opposite Elisabeth Moss in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles as Peter Patrone, for which he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include originating roles in The Great Society, Holiday Inn, Ghost, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Bryce’s on camera appearances include as a series regular on the second season of the Civil War Drama “Mercy Street,” as well as guest appearances on “The Blacklist,” “Instinct,” “Proven Innocent,” “The Get Down,” “The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest,” and “Blindspot” as well as Robert DeNiro’s feature film The Comedian. A graduate of Boston College and Yale School of Drama, Bryce was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Foundation Early Career Fellowship in 2012.

Bryce also helped found Zara Aina, an NGO that uses the power of theatrical storytelling to empower at-risk youth. In May 2013, Bryce led a team of American artists on Zara Aina’s pilot program to Madagascar. Bryce is also a frequent collaborator with Outside the Wire, a social impact theatre company that serves many communities but particularly focuses on military audiences. His most notable international tours include Guantanamo Bay, Japan, Kuwait, and Qatar.

MADELINE SAYET

(she/her/hers) is a director of new plays, classics and opera who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. She has been honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, National Directing Fellow, Drama League Director-In-Residence, NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40 and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. She is a member of the Mohegan Tribe, serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) and is known throughout the field for her work promoting indigenous voices and decolonizing systems. She premiered her solo performance piece Where We Belong at Shakespeare’s Globe and RichMix in London this past summer to critical acclaim, becoming the first Native American playwright to have her work performed at the Globe. Recent directing work includes: Midsummer Night’s Dream (South Dakota Shakespeare), Henry IV (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Whale Song (Perseverance Theatre), She Kills Monsters (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), The Winter’s Tale (Amerinda/HERE Arts), Poppea (Krannert Center, Illinois), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass), Macbeth (NYC Parks), Miss Lead (59e59). Upcoming: The Great Leap (Long Wharf Theatre).

DEXTER J. SINGLETON

(he/him/his) is from Detroit, MI. He is a director, actor, activist, playwright, educator and producer. He is currently the Executive Artistic Director of Collective Consciousness Theatre, a multicultural theatre for social change in New Haven. Since 2007, this company has reached thousands of youth and adults with plays and workshops across the U.S. and Europe. They have produced the work of playwrights Dominique Morisseau, Idris Goodwin, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Katori Hall and many others. As a director, Dexter’s work has recently been seen at TheatreSquared, University of Michigan, University of Arkansas, Flea Theatre (NYC), Long Wharf Theatre, and Passage Theatre among others. Recent credits include The Royale, Flint, Jesus Hopped the A Train, I KnowWhy The Caged Bird Sings, Among The Western Dinka, Black Book, Topdog/Underdog, The Mountaintop, and She Kills Monsters. Dexter is an Assistant Professor of Performance at University of Connecticut, Board Member for Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, and Co-Chair of the National Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in TYA. He was recently awarded the 2019 Artistic Excellence Award from the State of Connecticut and Distinguished Director of a Play for Black Book from The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. Upcoming projects: Skeleton Crew (Collective Consciousness Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Connecticut Repertory Theatre).

AWOYE TIMPO

(she/her/hers). Off-Broadway: In Old Age (New York Theatre Workshop), The Loophole (The Public Theater’s Studio), Good Grief (Vineyard Theatre), The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d (The Playwrights Realm), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Co.). Regional: Everybody Black (Actors’ Theatre of Louisville), Paradise Blue (Long Wharf Theatre). Other: Carnaval (National Black Theater), Sister Son/ji (Billie Holiday Theatre), The Vanished (site-specific), Skeleton Crew (Chester Theater Company), Ndebele Funeral (59E59, Edinburgh Festival/Summerhall, South African tour). Producer: CLASSIX, a series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights. Upcoming: Pipeline (Studio Theatre, DC), School Girls (Berkeley Rep), The Bluest Eye (Huntington Theatre Co.).