LONG WHARF THEATRE TO REMAIN CLOSED BUT OPEN NEW DOORS WITH REIMAGINED 2020/21 SEASON

NEW HAVEN’S LANDMARK REGIONAL THEATRE FULLY EMBRACES HOME 

(NEW HAVEN, CT—June 9, 2020) Long Wharf Theatre has shifted its 2020/21 season to be entirely off of its mainstage. To prioritize the safety of its staff and patrons, the longstanding regional theatre will observe its 55th year and inaugural season for new artistic director, Jacob G. Padrón by celebrating New Haven, Connecticut. With One City, Many Stages—a yearlong commitment rooted in community partnerships, innovative and emergent programming, and productions in open spaces throughout New Haven—LWT will embrace its origin story and hometown with a revamped season that acknowledges the fatal devastation of a novel coronavirus and the virus of racism, while honoring the place and people at the heart of its many achievements.  

A revolutionary playhouse that gained national prominence by producing new works amplifying rarely heard voices, LWT remains inspired by its birthplace. Mindful of the severe financial challenges effecting it and other theatres, LWT’s visionary artistic director, Jacob G. Padrón remains optimistic for the theatre’s future and grateful to be supported by a home base that epitomizes America. “America’s living history is a complex and inspiring story of survival,” said Padrón. He adds, “New Haven deserves an institution that is dedicated to welcoming, investigating, and manifesting lived experiences that display the complexity of the world we live in.” Without revealing the “many stages” where works will be produced, Padrón discloses that the “2.0” iteration of his inaugural season will develop revolutionary partnerships to maintain the artistic integrity of his hoped-for vision, while offering creative opportunities to experience theatre in a way that safely navigates the moment’s many unknowns. Additionally, Padrón shares that 2020/21 still includes a 20th anniversary reading of The Good Person of New Haven; artistic partnerships with UNIVERSES, Collective Consciousness Theatre, and other area creators; the inaugural, albeit virtual, convening of its Artistic Congress—to explore resilience and level set pathways to inclusivity for theatre-makers across the country; along with concert readings and new works highlighting directors, playwrights, and performers reflecting the kaleidoscopic depth of New Haven.  

Through One City, Many Stages, LWT will take the necessary steps to put its mission statement to action by redoubling its pledge to collaborating with and attending to the needs of its artists and neighbors. The revised season is a commitment to advancing efforts to create a gathering place that is accessible to and by all. Padrón intimates that, “as an institution, we are devoted to living our guiding pillars of artistic innovation, radical inclusion, and kaleidoscopic partnerships. We can’t simply claim to be a space where everyone belongs. At Long Wharf Theatre, we are dedicated to our values being repeatable actions rather than static ideas. That is what this moment requires. To achieve that end, we are committed to observing and responding to the fundamental needs of our patrons.” Managing Director Kit Ingui adds that she has “ambitious aims of doing the necessary work in preparation for a reopening that will reveal innovations creating a more accessible and inclusive theatre-going experience for all.” This includes a bold initiative for assistive technologies, wheelchair access and seating, low-cost ticket options, comfortable seating that accommodates patrons across the range of body types, and other on- and offstage efforts that will break race, gender, accessibility, and socioeconomic boundaries that have been restrictive to many prospective storytellers and theatre-goers.  

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 arts 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. Many of these works have become part of the modern American canon with more than thirty Long Wharf Theatre productions transferred to Broadway or Off-Broadway runs, three of which—WitThe 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 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards in nearly every category.  

MUCH OF LONG WHARF THEATRE’S 2020/21 SEASON WILL EMERGE FROM DEVELOPING CONVERSATIONS WITH ITS COMMUNITY AND A DESIRE TO OFFER CANDID RESPONSES TO UNANTICIPATED PRODUCTIONS. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION 

PLEASE VISIT LONGWHARF.ORG OR CALL (203) 787-4282  

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