TheaterWorks Hartford, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, is thrilled to announce details for its upcoming 2021–2022 season which marks a return to in-person events alongside a commitment to online streaming. In fact, all four productions of its 36th season, plus original digital work, will be available to audiences online. Flexible subscription and membership packages that mix in-person and digital experiences are currently on sale at www.twhartford.org.
TheaterWorks Hartford’s 2021–2022 season begins with Someone Else’s House, “a frightening digital coup-de-theatre” (The New York Times) from Obie-winning writer and performer Jared Mezzocchi and director Margot Bordelon. Running online October 21–31, this live virtual experience centers on Mezzocchi’s frightening, true-life haunting inside his family’s 200-year-old New England house.
A deep love is challenged by divisive political realities in This Bitter Earth from playwright Harrison David Rivers (2018 Relentless Award). Directed by David Mendizábal and running February 15 – March 20, this new play centers on a multi-racial gay couple forced to reckon with issues of race, class, and the bravery it takes to love out loud.
2021 Tony-winner Matthew López, the first Latino to win the Tony Award for best play, returns to TheaterWorks Hartford with the East Coast premiere of Zoey’s Perfect Wedding. Running May 3 – June 5 and directed by Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, this wild and funny play about love, relationships, and expectations celebrates the courage it takes to find what truly makes us happy.
The unconventional comedy Hurricane Diane from Pulitzer Prize finalist Madeleine George runs July 19 – August 21 and closes the season. The play sees the Greek god Dionysus returning to the modern world disguised as the gardener Diane, whose secret mission is to seduce mortal followers and restore the earth to its natural state. The New York Times cheered Hurricane Diane as an “astonishing new play.”
Additionally, TheaterWorks Hartford’s twisted holiday tradition, Christmas On The Rocks, returns December 2–23 for its 9th annual presentation. This “shiny, new and dangerously irreverent holiday production” (New York Times) features your favorite kids from Christmas stories—all grown up, shaken, stirred, and served with a twist.
Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero commented, “As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, I’m thrilled to share these plays which speak so specifically to the human condition – stories of self-reflection, deep love, relationships, happiness, and change. There’s also a great deal of joy and laughter in this season, something I think we all need right now. As TheaterWorks Hartford returns to in-person events, it was equally important to include virtual work in our upcoming season. It allows us to continue and expand our commitment to new work. Also, by making our entire season available online, TheaterWorks Hartford can connect with audiences all over the world, while giving local audiences options on how they would like to connect as we move forward.”
In-person season subscriptions start at $190 and give audiences the flexibility to stream all productions from home. Virtual memberships are $95 and include digital access to all in-person events plus exclusive online-only content including digital WORKshop productions and talks. In-person performances take place at TheaterWorks Hartford’s beloved home located downtown at 233 Pearl Street. Subscription and membership packages can be purchased online at www.twhartford.org or by calling 860.527.7838.
Please visit www.twhartford.org for more information.
About TheaterWorks Hartford’s 2021 – Season
Someone Else’s House
Written & performed by Jared Mezzocchi
Directed by Margot Bordelon
October 21-31; Opening October 21, 2021
“a frightening digital coup-de-theatre,” – The New York Times
Obie Award-winning multimedia artist Jared Mezzocchi has a harrowing story to tell: his family’s frightening, true-life haunting inside a 200-year-old New England house. Flip the switch, light a candle, and prepare yourself –as best you can – for this LIVE virtual haunting. October is the perfect time for a ghost story! Conjuring packet included!
Someone Else’s House was first produced in April 2021 as a world premiere production by Geffen Playhouse, in association with Virtual Design Collective, as part of the Los Angeles theater’s groundbreaking Geffen Stayhouse live, virtual and interactive series.
Christmas On The Rocks
Conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero
Written by John Cariani, Jenn Harris & Matthew Wilkas, Jeffrey Hatcher, Jacques Lamarre, Theresa Rebeck, and Edwin Sanchez
December 2 – Dec 23, 2021
“shiny, new and dangerously irreverent” – The New York Times
Connecticut’s twisted holiday tradition returns! Your favorite kids from Christmas stories—all grown up, shaken, stirred, and served with a twist. It’s Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests – children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies – now all grown up. Join them as they pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody.
This Bitter Earth
Written by Harrison David Rivers
Directed by David Mendizábal
February 15 – March 20, 2022; Opening February 26, 2022
“A lusty, delirious, time-suspending and pulse-pounding journey” – DC Theatre Scene
A deep love is challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class, and the bravery it takes to love out loud.
Zoey’s Perfect Wedding (East Coast Premiere)
Written by Matthew López
Directed by Rob Ruggiero
May 3 – June 5, 2022; Opening May 7, 2022
Saying “I do” was the easy part. From the 2021 Tony-Winning playwright of The Inheritance, this hilarious commentary on commitment is every bride’s worst nightmare. Disaster after disaster follow her down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner and friends too preoccupied to help with the wreckage around them. A wildly funny play about love, relationship, expectations, and the courage it takes to find what truly makes us happy.
Written by Madeleine George
July 19 – August 21, 2022; Opening July 30, 2022
This unconventional comedy from Pulitzer Prize finalist Madeleine George sees the Greek god Dionysus return to the modern world disguised as the gardener Diane, whose secret mission is to seduce mortal followers and restore the earth to its natural state. Where better to begin than with four real housewives from New Jersey? The New York Times cheered Hurricane Diane as an “astonishing new play,” and New York magazine hailed it as “hilarious and full of keen observation and profound human affection.”
About the Artists
Jared Mezzocchi (writer and performer, Someone Else’s House) is an Obie Award winning multimedia artist based out of Washington, DC. He is a resident artist at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, DC and has directed and designed at theaters across the US including the Kennedy Center, Roundhouse Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Portland Center Stage, Arena Stage, South Coast Rep, National Geographic, National Gallery of Art, and Baltimore Center Stage. In NYC, he has worked with Big Art Group, The Builders Association, Rob Roth, 3-Legged Dog, New Georges, and HERE Arts Center. In 2016, Mezzocchi designed projections for Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club, written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales, and received a Lucille Lortel Award, an Obie Award, and a Henry Hewes Award for his work. As a playwright, Mezzocchi was a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. He is also a recipient of a 2012 Princess Grace Award for his work at HERE Arts Center (You Are Dead. You Are Here. by Christine Evans). He received his MFA in performance and interactive media arts at Brooklyn College and is currently on faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he built the projection design curriculum in the MFA Design program. Mezzocchi grew up in New Hampshire, where he returns every summer as producing artistic director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse, an innovative children’s theater producing original work by professional artists from across the country. www.jaredmezzocchi.com
Margot Bordelon (director, Someone Else’s House) is a New York based director who specializes in new work. Off-Broadway and New York credits include: Wives (Playwrights Horizons); Something Clean (Roundabout Underground), Do You Feel Anger? (Vineyard), Eddie and Dave (Atlantic), Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (LCT3), Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Roundabout Underground), The Pen (Premieres NYC), A Delicate Ship (Playwrights Realm), Still (Juilliard), Wilder Gone (Clubbed Thumb), The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play (DODO). Bordelon has directed productions regionally at ACT Seattle, Actors Theatre Louisville, Alliance, American Theater Company, Denver Center, Geffen Playhouse, Marin Theater Company, Steppenwolf, the Wilma, and Yale Rep. She has developed work at Ars Nova, Berkeley Rep, Cherry Lane, The Lark, Ma-Yi, MTC, New Dramatists, NYTW, P73, Portland Center Stage, Primary Stages, The Public, PWC, Rattlestick, Seattle Rep, and Woolly Mammoth. Upcoming: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Denver Center), When Monica Met Hillary (Miami New Drama), …what the end will be (Roundabout), peerless (Primary Stages). BFA, Cornish College of the Arts; MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.margotbordelon.com
Harrison David Rivers (Playwright, This Bitter Earth) is an award-winning playwright, librettist and screenwriter. His plays include The Bandaged Place (Relentless Award), When We Last Flew (GLAAD Award), Sweet (AUDELCO nominee), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nominee), This Bitter Earth (Jeff nominee, MN Theatre Award) and the musicals Five Points with Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar (MN Theatre Award) and Broadbend, Arkansas with Ellen Fitzhugh and Ted Shen (Antonyo and AUDELO noms). Harrison was named a runner-up for the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune and a 2017 Artist of the Year by City Pages. He is the recipient of McKnight, Jerome and Van Lier Fellowships, and residencies with the Bogliasco Foundation, Siena Art Institute, the Hermitage, Duke University, NYTW, New York Stage & Film and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Harrison is a member of the Board of Directors of the Playwright Center and The Movement Theatre Company. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. www.harrisondavidrivers.com
David Mendizábal (Director, This Bitter Earth) is a director/designer, one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the Obie Award-winning The Movement Theatre Company and the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project. Select directing credits include: Don’t Eat the Mangos (Magic Theatre/Sundance/Sol), On The Grounds of Belonging (Long Wharf), the bandaged place (NYSAF), Then They Forgot About The Rest (INTAR), The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), And She Would Stand Like This (w/ choreo by Kia LaBeija), Look Upon Our Lowliness, Bintou (The Movement) and Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic / Drama League Nomination). He is a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, alumnus of The Drama League Directors Project, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble, NALAC, artEquity, and Lincoln Center Directors Lab. David was a participant in the TCG Leadership U: One-on-One program from 2017 – 2018, where he was the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. BFA – NYU/Tisch @ PHTS.
Matthew López (playwright, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding) is the first Latiné playwright to win the Tony Award for best play for The Inheritance in 2021. He is the author of The Whipping Man, one of the most widely produced new American plays of the last several seasons. Since its world premiere at Luna Stage in 2006, it has played at over two dozen theatres across the country. The play premiered in New York in 2010 at Manhattan Theatre Club, directed by Doug Hughes and starring Andre Braugher. The sold-out production extended four times, ultimately running 101 performances off-Broadway and garnering Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Matthew was awarded the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle for the play. His play Somewhere premiered at the Old Globe and has been subsequently produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA and most recently at Hartford Stage Company. Other plays include The Legend of Georgia McBride (World Premiere: Denver Center Theatre, 2014), Reverberation (World Premiere: Hartford Stage Company, 2015), The Sentinels (World Premiere: Headlong Theatre, London, 2011). His play The Inheritance, directed by Stephen Daldry, premiered at London’s Young Vic in 2018, where it was called “the most important American play of the century.” It transferred to the West End later that year, opened on Broadway in 2019, and was awarded the Tony Award in 2021. López currently holds new play commissions from Hartford Stage Company, Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Rep. He worked as a staff writer on the HBO series The Newsroom.
Rob Ruggiero (director, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding) has been a part of TheaterWorks Hartford artistic leadership for 26 years. He has directed over 60 shows, including TWH productions of The Sound Inside, American Son, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Constellations, Next to Normal, Relativity(starring Richard Dreyfuss) and Christmas on the Rocks, which he also conceived. His Broadway credits include Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony-nominated performance) and High (starring Kathleen Turner) which had its world premiere at TWH. He also conceived and directed the musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn which moved off-Broadway and was nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Ruggiero conceived and directed Ella, a musical about Ella Fitzgerald, which saw sold-out runs in 24 regional theaters and was produced as a National Tour. His work on plays and musicals has received multiple awards in Connecticut and around the United States. In his eleventh collaboration with Goodspeed Musicals, Ruggiero directed Oliver where he has also directed many award-winning musical productions. His adaptation of Show Boat is now being licensed by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Internationally he directed Fiddler on the Roof in Athens, Greece.
Madeleine George (playwright, Hurricane Diane) plays include The Sore Loser, Hurricane Diane (Obie Award), The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist), Precious Little, and The Zero Hour (Jane Chambers Award, Lambda Literary Award finalist). Honors include a Whiting Award, the Princess Grace Award for Playwriting, the Stacey Mindich Lilly Award Commission, and three MacDowell Fellowships. George is an alum of New Dramatists, a founding member of the Obie-Award-winning playwrights’ collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.), the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Two River Theater in New Jersey, and the Fellow for Curriculum and Program Development at the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College.
About TheaterWorks Hartford
Celebrating its 36th season, TheaterWorks Hartford (TWH) produces high quality, contemporary theater that is relevant to our audiences, engages a diverse community, and provides insight into the human experience. TWH is committed to the power of storytelling in creating community. Founded in 1985, TWH has produced over 170 plays and presents approximately 225 performances per season. TWH also owns and manages the historic property at 233 Pearl Street, known as City Arts on Pearl. City Arts provides an affordable home and services to a diverse family of non-profit arts organizations.
TheaterWorks Hartford is supported by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers, Aetna, Hartford Financial Services, Hartford Healthcare, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Bank of America, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, Richard P. Garmany Fund, United Technologies Corporation, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Liberty Bank, John and Kelly Hartman Foundation, Connecticut Office of the Arts, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Cheryl Chase & Stuart Bear Family Foundation, People’s United Bank, TD Bank, William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, The Saunders Foundation.
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