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On the Grounds of Belonging

On the Grounds of Belonging 
By Ricardo Pérez González
Directed by David Mendizábal

October 9 – November 3, 2019

A breathtaking new story of forbidden love in 1950s Jim Crow Texas

Timeless in its telling, this stirring, universal story of star-crossed lovers will sweep you away. In Houston at the height of Jim Crow, segregation pervades society in every way, including the underground and illegal gay bar scene. One night a chance encounter between Russell, a local at the Blacks-only Gold Room, and Tom, from the whites-only Red Room, leads to a forbidden romance that could destroy them both. The spellbinding On the Grounds of Belonging signals the arrival of a bold new voice in the American theatre.


This show contains mature content and is recommended for people ages 14 and up.


Wojtek Borowski, Ray Baldelli
– Edgehill Realtors, LLC




Jacqueline Koral

On The Grounds of Belonging
 is a recipient
of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award





DAVID MENDIZÁBAL (Director) is a director/designer and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the Obie Award winning The Movement Theatre Company. He is also the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project. Select directing credits include: the bandaged placeThen They Forgot About The Rest (INTAR); The Maturation of the Inconvenient Negro, or iNegro (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); And She Would Stand Like This, Look Upon Our Lowliness, and Bintou (The Movement); and Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic / Drama League Nomination). Former Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company, current member of Latinx Theatre Commons. Alumnus of Drama League, Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab, NALAC Leadership Institute, & artEquity. BFA NYU/Tisch.

RICARDO PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ (Playwright), a queer Puerto Rican playwright and TV writer with bacalao on his breath and salsa on his hips, recently finished writing for the third season of Designated Survivor on Netflix. His first play, the story of the WWI Christmas Truce In Fields Where They Lay (dir. Brad Raimondo), was hailed by the NY Times as “gripping” and “moving drama.” Since that debut, his Alan Turing biopic, The Tender Peel, won him an Alfred P. Sloan Grant. He is an alumnus of the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater and Sundance’s screenwriters intensive and theatre lab. On the Grounds of Belonging debuted at the Public as part of Public Studio. It’s the first in a trilogy that follows a pair of Queer lovers, one black and one white, from the 1950s to the present day. Additional writing credits include the drag ball musical Neon Baby (book writer/co-lyricist, Pregones); Ashé, his Puerto Rican style two brothers myth (UP Theater; Labyrinth); and his BDSM drama R.A.C.K. Works in progress include a comedy about cultural scapegoating, Name & Blame, Inc., and a play about the cutthroat world of women in academia, The Judgment of Athena. Upcoming projects include Orlando, a T.V. pilot with Nina Tassler about the Puerto Rican diaspora after Hurricane María, additional workshops of the Belonging Trilogy, and the Magic Theatre World Premiere of Don’t Eat the Mangos. Gratitude to Jesse, Jack, Liz, Jeanie, EWG ’15, David, Jacob, and Ron. www.ricardoperezgonzalez.com



BLAKE MORRIS (Henry Stanfield) Long Wharf Theatre Debut. Off-Broadway: Aint No Mo’ (The Public Studio), Kings of Harlem (Pittsburgh New Horizons Theatre). Regional: Byhalia, Mississippi (The Kennedy Center); King Hedley II (Two River Theatre). Readings: The New Group Spring Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse New Works Fest, New Black Fest, 48 Hrs. in Harlem, NYSAF Reading Series, INK’d Fest. TV: “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” “Pose,” “Jessica Jones.”

CALVIN LEON SMITH (Russell) Long Wharf Debut. New York: SWEAT (The Public Theatre’s Mobile National Unit), The Inheritance (workshop), Dunkfest ’88 (Ars Nova). Regional: Lisa Kron’s The Ver**zon Play; Oh, Gastronomy! (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival); A Christmas Carol, Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Amadeus (Clarence Brown Theatre). Film and Television: “The Deuce” (HBO), “High Maintenance” (HBO), The Smell of Smoke, Paper Friends, RSVP, Better Man (Best Actor, Queens World Film Festival). Calvin is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

CRAIG BOCKHORN (Mooney) Broadway: On Golden PondThe Lonesome WestPrelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway and New York: The Seagull (Delacorte), King LearThe Cripple of InnishmaanKit MarloweOn the Grounds of Belonging (The Public); The Hope ZoneThe Truth-Teller (Circle Repertory Co.) Regional: ArtOur TownA Streetcar Named DesireThe Front PageTwelve Angry MenGod of CarnageThe Seafarer, The Beauty Queen of LeenaneThe Diary of Anne FrankLonely PlanetThe Skin of Our TeethThe MatchmakerArsenic and Old LaceDinner with FriendsMolly SweeneyRoom ServiceDeathtrapLaughing StockLend me TenorOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestJulius CaesarAs You Like itA Midsummer Night’s Dream. Film & TV:,The Big YearTransAmerica, “Seven Seconds,” “Daredevil,” “The President Show,” “Law & Order S.V.U and C.I.,” “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Person of Interest,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Cupid,” “Kidnapped,” “Ed,” “As the World Turns.”

JEREMIAH CLAPP (Thomas Aston) is ecstatic to be working at Long Wharf Theatre for the first time. A Houston, Texas native and New York resident, Jeremiah is an actor, a story teller, a teacher and artist. Regional credits include: Damascus (Florida Repertory Theatre); Luna GaleThe Crucible, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Three Sisters, Too True to be Good, The Philadelphia Story (Cleveland Play House); My America Too: Black Lives Matter – Allies (video performance) (Baltimore Center Stage); Hamlet, Twelfth Night (The Colonial Theatre); Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (In partnership with THE GAY GAMES ’14) (New World Performance Lab); Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing (Ohio Shakespeare Festival)Film/Media: Mirror, Mirror (Uncharted Productions), The Art of Making It (Gingerspark Productions). Training: Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi; CWRU/Cleveland Play House, MFA; Stella Adler Studio of Acting. www.jeremiahclapp.com

THOMAS SILCOTT (Hugh Williams) is very happy to be performing at Long Wharf Theatre for the first time! Past productions include: Broadway: National and International tour of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. Off Broadway: Athol Fugard’s Boseman and Lena (Signature Theatre). Regional: August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Taper Forum), West Coast Premiere of Athol Fugard’s Coming Home (Fountain Theatre & Berkeley Rep). Television: “This is Us,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarders,” “Luke Cage,” “Stand-Off,” “Girlfriends,” “Desperate Housewives.” 

TRACEY CONYER LEE (Tanya Starr) is honored to make her Long Wharf Theatre debut in this exciting new play. Recent roles include Clairee in Steel Magnolias, Cynthia in Sweat and Ida Green in Into the Breeches. Next up is Ms. Lee’s 5th production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Other acting highlights include original off-Broadway casts of Sistas The Musical and Bedbugs!! It’s a Musical, and Carbonell, NAACP, and Barrymore Award winning work at regional theaters including Yale Rep, Baltimore Centerstage, Denver Center, Pittsburgh Public, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Portland Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Theatre of the Stars, Detroit Public Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, TheatreWorks, Delaware Theatre Co., Westport Country Playhouse, Merrimack Rep, Virginia Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse, Great Lakes, Cleveland Playhouse, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Pittsburgh CLO, Syracuse Stage, InterAct, Bucks County Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, national and international tours totaling more than 75+ productions. Onscreen highlights include roles on “The Path,” “SMASH,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Ed,” “All My Children,” “Guiding Light.” Also a playwright, Ms. Lee’s plays have received development or productions in New York, Boston, DC, Vermont and Chicago. Two of her plays, Rabbit Summer and Retreat, will have productions in Chicago and New York, respectively, in early 2020. For details and updates www.traceyconyerlee.com



Set Design: Wilson Chin
Costume Design: Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene
Lighting Design: Cha See
Composition & Sound Design: Mauricio Escamilla
Fight & Intimacy Director: UnkleDave’s Fight-House
Production Stage Manager: Bianca A. Hooi
Assistant Stage Manager: Amy Patricia Stern
Casting by Calleri Casting


On the Grounds of Belonging was developed by
The Public Theater
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director and Patrick Willingham, Executive Director