ON THE GROUNDS OF BELONGING WRITTEN BY RICARDO PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ DIRECTED BY DAVID MENDIZÁBAL

September 26, 2019

ON THE GROUNDS OF BELONGING

WRITTEN BY RICARDO PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ

DIRECTED BY DAVID MENDIZÁBAL

 

FEATURING

CRAIG BOCKHORN, JEREMIAH CLAPP, TRACEY CONYER LEE, BLAKE MORRIS, THOMAS SILCOTT, CALVIN LEON SMITH

 

PERFORMANCES BEGIN OCTOBER 9, 2019

 

 

(New Haven, CT, September 26, 2019) Long Wharf Theatre (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director) is proud to announce dates, complete casting and the complete creative team for the first production in the 19-20 Season, On the Grounds of Belonging, written by Ricardo Pérez González and directed by David Mendizábal. Performances begin on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 for a limited run through November 3, 2019. Opening night is set for Wednesday, October 16 on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre (222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT). On The Grounds Of Belonging is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

 

On the Grounds of Belonging follows lovers Russell and Thomas as they try to find and keep love during the height of Jim Crow in Houston, TX. A chance encounter at the local Blacks-only Gold Room leads to a forbidden romance that could destroy them both. The play is timeless in its telling as well as its subject matter. The themes are all too present today and continue to replay in the daily news cycle.

 

“I first learned of this play a few years ago while it was early in its development. I am delighted that Long Wharf is able to produce the world premiere.” stated artistic director Jacob Padrón. “It is an old-fashioned love story about two men, led by love, who are having to navigate the perils of 1950’s Jim Crow-era Texas. We see them endeavoring to come together despite the giant obstacles they must face due to race, racism, and homophobia. Ricardo is truly a star on the rise, who is building a body of work that is the future of American theatre.”

 

The cast will feature Craig Bockhorn (Mooney Fitzpatrick), Jeremiah Clapp (Thomas Aston), Tracey Conyer Lee (Tanya Starr), Blake Morris (Henry Stanfield), Thomas Silcott (Hugh Williams), Calvin Leon Smith (Russell Montgomery).

 

The creative team includes set design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, lighting design by Cha See and sound design by Mauricio Escamilla. Unkledave’s Fight-House serves as Fight/Intimacy Director, Bianca Hooi serves as Production Stage Manager, Amy Patricia Stern as Assistant Stage Manager, and casting is by Calleri Casting.

 

Long Wharf Theatre is dedicated to reinstating daily post-show conversations after all performances (except opening night), as well as a symposium featuring local guest speakers, on Sunday, October 27. Please check longwharf.org for updates on post-show conversations as well as additional programming surrounding the show.

 

Tickets start at $26 and can be purchased online at longwharf.org, by calling 203.787.4282, or by visiting the box office. Student AnyTime Passes (four for $80 or five for $100) can be purchased with a valid student ID. For group ticket sales, contact groups@longwharf.org or call 203.772.8202. Performances occur at Long Wharf Theatre, on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre, located at 222 Sargent, New Haven, CT. The Friday, October 25 performance will offer open captioning.

 

Press opening is Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 PM. Contact Deena Nicol-Blifford (deena.nicol@longwharf.org) for tickets. For pre-production rehearsal photos click here. Photo credit: Deena Nicol-Blifford.

 

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 Jefferson Award for the Production of New Work; and nominations and Connecticut Critics Circle Awards in nearly every category.

 

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón and Acting Managing Director Kit Ingui, in partnership with a dedicated staff and Board, Long Wharf Theatre annually engages 50,000 people like you through productions, arts education 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.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT

WWW.LONGWHARF.ORG

 

#               #            #

 

BIOS

 

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 New York 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 TV 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. ricardoperezgonzalez.com

 

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 place (NYSAF), Then 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 Theater Co. / 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, and artEquity. BFA, NYU/Tisch. davidmendizabal.comON THE GROUNDS OF BELONGINGWRITTEN BY RICARDO PÉREZ GONZÁLEZDIRECTED BY DAVID MENDIZÁBAL FEATURING CRAIG BOCKHORN, JEREMIAH CLAPP, TRACEY CONYER LEE, BLAKE MORRIS, THOMAS SILCOTT, CALVIN LEON SMITH PERFORMANCES BEGIN OCTOBER 9, 2019 (New Haven, CT, September 26, 2019) Long Wharf Theatre (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director) is proud to announce dates, complete casting and the complete creative team for the first production in the 19-20 Season, On the Grounds of Belonging, written by Ricardo Pérez González and directed by David Mendizábal. Performances begin on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 for a limited run through November 3, 2019. Opening night is set for Wednesday, October 16 on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre (222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT). On The Grounds Of Belonging is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. On the Grounds of Belonging follows lovers Russell and Thomas as they try to find and keep love during the height of Jim Crow in Houston, TX. A chance encounter at the local Blacks-only Gold Room leads to a forbidden romance that could destroy them both. The play is timeless in its telling as well as its subject matter. The themes are all too present today and continue to replay in the daily news cycle. “I first learned of this play a few years ago while it was early in its development. I am delighted that Long Wharf is able to produce the world premiere.” stated artistic director Jacob Padrón. “It is an old-fashioned love story about two men, led by love, who are having to navigate the perils of 1950’s Jim Crow-era Texas. We see them endeavoring to come together despite the giant obstacles they must face due to race, racism, and homophobia. Ricardo is truly a star on the rise, who is building a body of work that is the future of American theatre.” The cast will feature Craig Bockhorn (Mooney Fitzpatrick), Jeremiah Clapp (Thomas Aston), Tracey Conyer Lee (Tanya Starr), Blake Morris (Henry Stanfield), Thomas Silcott (Hugh Williams), Calvin Leon Smith (Russell Montgomery). The creative team includes set design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, lighting design by Cha See and sound design by Mauricio Escamilla. Unkledave’s Fight-House serves as Fight/Intimacy Director, Bianca Hooi serves as Production Stage Manager, Amy Patricia Stern as Assistant Stage Manager, and casting is by Calleri Casting. Long Wharf Theatre is dedicated to reinstating daily post-show conversations after all performances (except opening night), as well as a symposium featuring local guest speakers, on Sunday, October 27. Please check longwharf.org for updates on post-show conversations as well as additional programming surrounding the show. Tickets start at $26 and can be purchased online at longwharf.org, by calling 203.787.4282, or by visiting the box office. Student AnyTime Passes (four for $80 or five for $100) can be purchased with a valid student ID. For group ticket sales, contact groups@longwharf.org or call 203.772.8202. Performances occur at Long Wharf Theatre, on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre, located at 222 Sargent, New Haven, CT. The Friday, October 25 performance will offer open captioning. Press opening is Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 PM. Contact Deena Nicol-Blifford (deena.nicol@longwharf.org) for tickets. For pre-production rehearsal photos click here. Photo credit: Deena Nicol-Blifford. 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 Jefferson Award for the Production of New Work; and nominations and Connecticut Critics Circle Awards in nearly every category. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón and Acting Managing Director Kit Ingui, in partnership with a dedicated staff and Board, Long Wharf Theatre annually engages 50,000 people like you through productions, arts education 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. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISITWWW.LONGWHARF.ORG # # # BIOS 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 New York 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 TV 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. ricardoperezgonzalez.com 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 place (NYSAF), Then 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 Theater Co. / 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, and artEquity. BFA, NYU/Tisch. davidmendizabal.com

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