New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre has unveiled its 2020–2021 season, the first full slate of programming under new Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón. The season, titled Breaking Boundaries, will include work helmed by an all-female lineup of directors, Tatiana Pandiani, Aneesha Kudtarkar and Patricia McGregor; playwrights Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Kristoffer Diaz and Madhuri Shekar; a radical re-imagining of Shakespeare from Shana Cooper; and a revival of the Tony-nominated musical Jelly’s Last Jam.
Kicking off the season will be the world premiere of Torera, a story about becoming your truest self by proudly stepping into the ring—the bullfighting ring. The new play by Hurst-Mendoza will be directed by Pandiani and presented in partnership with The Sol Project (Padrón's national initiative committed to amplifying the voices of Latinx playwrights). Performances will run October 14–November 8.
Next up will be Cooper's adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare's tale of love, fantasy, and mischief (November 25–December 20), followed by a production of Diaz's Pulitzer Prize–nominated satire, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Presented in partnership with New Haven’s Collective Consciousness Theatre, the latter will run January 13–February 7, 2021.
In February, Long Wharf teams up with NAATCO to present Madhuri Shekar's Queen, a high-stakes drama about two best friends—mathematician and biologist—on the cusp of significant revelations. Aneesha Kudtarkar will direct, for a run scheduled February 24–March 21.
Rounding out the season next spring will be a revival of Jelly’s Last Jam, the musical story of Jelly Roll Morton, in a major revival helmed by McGregor. The Tony-nominated musical, seen on Broadway in 1992, features a book by George C. Wolfe, music by Jelly Roll Morton and Luther Henderson, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. Performances will run April 21–May 16.
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 by Alison Carey; 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.
“The 2020–2021 season was shaped by a listening tour that began the minute I stepped into my new role as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre," shares Padrón. "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. 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.”
Subscriptions are now on sale by calling the Long Wharf Theatre box office at (203) 787-4282. Single tickets will go on sale June 3.