NEW HAVEN – Long Wharf Theatre is partnering with IRIS – Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services – to seek essential home supplies for refugee families arriving in the United States.

A collection drive will take place at the theatre, located at 222 Sargent Drive, throughout the run of Agnes Under the Big Top, March 2 through April 3, 2011 on Stage II. Agnes Under the Big Top, a new play by Aditi Brennan Kapil, tells the story of a group of contemporary immigrants trying to make a new and better life in an unnamed American city.

In order to help people arriving in the country set up their homes, IRIS needs microwaves, pots, pans, kitchenware, including dishes, glasses and utensils. In addition, gently used sheets and towels, alarm clocks, tool kits, flashlights, first aid kits, and personal toiletries would be helpful. “This year IRIS expects to set up at least 30 apartments for new Americans in the New Haven area,” said Chris George, executive director of IRIS.

IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services receives support from a wide range of public and private donors.  IRIS partners with faith-based groups, clubs, schools, colleges, and other nonprofits to welcome refugees and help them start new lives. 

IRIS resettles approximately 200 refugees each year. IRIS also provides some services to asylees and other immigrants. Currently, over half of IRIS’s refugee clients come from Iraq. Others come from Afghanistan, Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and other countries.

For more information about Agnes Under the Big Top, go to www.longwharf.thinkcreativegroup.com or call 203-787-4282. For more information about IRIS, visit www.irisct.org or call 203-562-2095.

Media inquiries: Steven Scarpa, director of marketing and communications, 203-772-8255, steven.scarpa@longwharf.org