TheaterWorks Hartford, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, is thrilled to announce details for its upcoming 2022–2023 season which is filled with great music, captivating stories, and world-class writing. In fact, all four productions of its 37th season showcase some of the most important voices working in American Theater – all of whom are women. Individual tickets along with flexible subscription packages are currently on sale at twhartford.org.
TheaterWorks Hartford’s 2022–2023 opens with Fun Home, one of the most groundbreaking musicals to hit Broadway and the winner of 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Featuring music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family. Fun Home is directed by Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero and runs October 8–30.
Queen of Basel from playwright Hilary Bettis is set in Miami’s Art Basel, where real estate heiress Julie reigns over the blowout her mogul father is throwing at his South Beach hotel. Directed by Cristina Angeles and running February 4 – March 5, this explosive elixir of power, class, and race within the Latinx community is a bold and contemporary take on Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
Spanning centuries of human experience, The Rembrandt, by playwright Jessica Dickey, is a visually stunning, theatrical tour-de-force. Running April 29 – May 28 and directed by Tracy Brigden, the play movingly explores the power of creative expression and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of love and beauty.
In Clyde’s from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, a truck stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at reclaiming their lives. Mikael Burke directs this new comedy which is set to run from July 8 – August 6.
Additionally, TheaterWorks Hartford’s twisted holiday tradition, Christmas On The Rocks, returns November 30 – December 23 for its 10th 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.
Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero commented, “When planning the 2022-2023 season, I wanted to focus on plays that would inspire audiences to come see live theater again. So, I started with great music, captivating stories, and world-class writing. These stories are uplifting, powerful, and unexpected. More importantly, they engage us in important conversations. I’m particularly excited that all of these plays are written by women, who represent the best and most important voices in American Theatre and that our plays are centered on stories that reflect our audience and community.”
Performances take place at TheaterWorks Hartford’s historic home located downtown at 233 Pearl Street in Hartford, CT. Individual tickets and flexible subscriptions can be purchased online at twhartford.org or by calling 860.527.7838. Visit www.twhartford.org for more information.
About TheaterWorks Hartford’s 2022 – 2023 Season
Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel
Directed by Rob Ruggiero
October 8 – 30, 2022; Opening: Thursday, Oct 13, 2022
One of the most groundbreaking musicals to hit Broadway and the winner of 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family. Moving through the past and present, Alison relives her childhood and her growing understanding of her sexuality, while she reconciles her relationship with her volatile, brilliant, and enigmatic father.
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
November 30 – December 23, 2022
“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.
Queen of Basel
Written by Hilary Bettis
Director by Cristina Angeles
February 4 – March 5, 2023; Opening: Thursday, February 9, 2023
It’s Miami’s Art Basel, where real estate heiress Julie reigns over the blowout her mogul father is throwing at his South Beach hotel. But after tangling with him and a tray of drinks, Julie plots her next move in the hotel’s storage kitchen with Christine, a cocktail waitress who recently fled violence in Venezuela, and Christine’s fiancé John, an Uber driver with ambitions. This explosive elixir of power, class, and race within the Latinx community is a bold and contemporary take on Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
Written by Jessica Dickey
Directed by Tracy Brigden
April 29 – May 28, 2023; Opening: Thursday, May 4, 2023 When a museum guard decides to touch a famous Rembrandt painting, a remarkable journey across the ages ensues. Spanning centuries of human experience, The Rembrandt is a visually stunning, theatrical tour-de-force that movingly explores the power of creative expression and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of love and beauty.
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Mikael Burke
July 8 – August 6, 2023; Opening: Thursday, July 13, 2023 A truck stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at reclaiming their lives. Even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them under her thumb, the staff members are given purpose and permission to dream through their shared quest to create the perfect sandwich. A new comedy by the Two-Time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sweat and Ruined.
About the Artists
Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, music) has written a diverse catalog for Broadway, opera, film and television. Her Broadway musicals include: Fun Home (2015 Tony Award Winner, Pulitzer finalist); Violet; Caroline, or Change; Shrek the Musical; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Twelfth Night (LCT); John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Delacorte: Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep). She has received five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. The hallmarks of her work have been described as “close-to-the-surface emotion, structural rigor and rhythmic drive.” Her operas include: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me and Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (MET/LCT Opera/Theater and Glimmerglass Opera commission); her collaboration with Tazewell Thompson, Blue. She wrote the musical featured in the 2016 revival of Gilmore Girls and has also written special material for artists such as The Girl in 14G for Kristin Chenoweth and has been featured in the documentaries Show Business and Theater of War. Jeanine Tesori became the founding Artistic Director of a new concert series at New York City Center called Encores! Off-Center, for which she has helmed seasons joined by artists such as Stephen Sondheim, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Randy Newman, William Finn, Alan Menken, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff. After producing four seasons of Off-Center concerts, she took one of those concerts, Sunday in the Park with George (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) to Broadway where she produced the 2017 revival, with ATG and Riva Marker. She was the recording producer for Sunday as well as the Original Cast Recordings of Violet; Caroline, or Change; Shrek; and Twelfth Night.
Lisa Kron (Fun Home, book and lyrics) is a writer and performer whose work has been widely produced in New York, regionally, and internationally. Her plays include Well, 2.5 Minute Ride and The Ver**zon Play. She wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Fun Home (with music by composer Jeanine Tesori), winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Lisa and Jeanine were the first all-woman team to ever receive a Tony for best score. As an actor Lisa was most recently seen as Mrs. Mi-Tzu and Mrs. Yang in the Foundry Theater’s acclaimed production of Good Person of Szechuan (Lortel Award, Outstanding Featured Actress). Honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award, and the CalArts/Alpert Award. She is a proud founding member of the OBIE- and Bessie-Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers. Lisa currently serves as Secretary of the Dramatists Guild Council and on the boards of the MacDowell Colony and the Lilly Awards.
Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Graphic Novelist) is a cartoonist and graphic memoirist exploring the complexities of familial relationships in multilayered works that use the interplay of word and image to weave sophisticated narratives. Bechdel’s command of sequential narrative and her aesthetic as a visual artist was established in her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1983–2008), which realistically captured the lives of women in the lesbian community as they influenced and were influenced by the important cultural and political events of the day. Garnering a devoted and diverse following, this pioneering work was a precursor to her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a nuanced depiction of a childhood spent in an artistic family in a small Pennsylvania town and of her relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral home director. An impeccable observer and record keeper, Bechdel incorporates drawings of archival materials, such as diaries, letters, photographs, and news clippings, as well as a variety of literary references in deep reflections into her own past. With storytelling that is striking for its conceptual depth and complexity in structure as well as for the deft use of allusion and reference, Bechdel is changing our notions of the contemporary memoir and expanding the expressive potential of the graphic form.
Hilary Bettis (Queen of Basel, Playwright) is a critically-acclaimed playwright whose work has been developed and produced all over the country including, Roundabout Theatre, New Georges, The Sol Project, Miami New Drama, Studio Theatre, Alley Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse, amongst others. Accolades include, Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards, National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, Kendeda Award, Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition, American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Award, amongst others. In television Bettis won the 2019 Writers Guild of America Award for her work on the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning FX series The Americans. She wrote for the Hulu miniseries The Dropout, starring Kate McKinnon, and Amazon’s Rodeo Queens starring Dakota Johnson and Fred Armisen. She’s an alumni of the Sundance Institute Episodic TV Lab, and is developing projects for AMC, Hulu, and PatMa. She’s a graduate of The Juilliard School. Proud member of The Kilroys and WGAEast. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two cats, and a tiny tiny human that cries a lot. She is represented by CAA and Grandview. www.HilaryBettisWriter.com.
Jessica Dickey (The Rembrandt, Playwright) is an award-winning playwright whose writing was hailed by New York Times as having “freshness, economy, cheeky vulgarity, with a fine measure of poetic insight”, and the New Yorker magazine as “funny, smart, deep and sad”. She recently signed a development deal with ABC and Touchstone (Fox21). Jessie’s most recent play, The Convent, a dark comedy about a group of women who try to live like nuns in the middle ages, premiered Off-Broadway this year in a sold-out co-production with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Rising Phoenix and WeatherVane, and is now being developed into a series for Sarah Jessica Parker’s company Pretty Matches. Jessie’s play The Rembrandt (about a museum guard who decides to deliberately touch a Rembrandt painting) had a sold out run at Steppenwolf starring John Mahoney. Other plays have been premiered Off-Broadway in New York and produced around the country — The Amish Project, about the 2006 Nickel Mines school shooting in an Amish community; then Charles Ives Take Me Home, about a violinist father and his basketball star daughter; and Row After Row, a dark comedy about Civil War reenactors. In television, Jessie recently joined the writers room for Apple TV’s comedy “Physical”, starring Rose Byrne. Jessie is a member of the exclusive New Dramatists and a recipient of the prestigious Stavis Award.
Lynn Nottage (Clyde’s, Playwright) is a playwright and a screenwriter. She is the first, and remains the only, woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Most recently, Nottage premiered MJ the Musical, directed by Christopher Wheeldon and featuring the music of Michael Jackson, at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway, Clyde’s directed by Kate Whoriskey at Second Stage Theater on Broadway and an opera adaptation of her play Intimate Apparel composed by Ricky Ian Gordon and directed by Bart Sher, commissioned by The Met/Lincoln Center Theater. Her other work includes, Floyd’s (retitled- Clyde’s) (Guthrie Theater), the musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees, with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (The Atlantic Theater), Mlima’s Tale (Public Theater), By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination- Second Stage/Signature Theater), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award- MTC/Goodman Theater); Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play Center Stage/SCR/ Roundabout Theater); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award – Playwrights Horizons/Signature Theater); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; and POOF! Her play Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Evening Standard Award, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Nomination) moved to Broadway after a sold-out run at The Public Theater. It premiered and was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolutions History Cycle/Arena Stage. Inspired by her research on Sweat, Nottage developed This is Reading, a performance installation based on two years of interviews, at the Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station in Reading, PA in July 2017.
About the Directors
Rob Ruggiero (Fun Home) has been part of TheaterWorks Hartford artistic leadership for 29 seasons. He has directed over 65 shows, including TWH productions of Zoey’s Perfect Wedding, 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. Rob 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. Rob recently directed A Grand Night for Singing at Goodspeed Musicals where over his 14-year relationship he has directed many award-winning musical productions. Internationally he directed Fiddler on the Roof in Athens, Greece.
Cristina Angeles (Queen of Basel) is an Afro-Latina director, writer, and theater maker, whose mission is to create empathy and conversation by directing new plays and musicals, as well as socially conscious adaptations of classics that place women of color at the forefront. Angeles holds a BA in Theatre from Barnard College at Columbia University and has participated in the 19-20 Roundabout Directing Fellowship, the Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Corps, the SDCF Observership Program, the Drama League Directing Fellowship, and has served as an assistant director on and off Broadway. Cristina was recently named one of the Broadway Women’s Fund’s “Women to Watch” of 2022, and her directing credits include Suzan-Lori Parks’s In The Blood at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at The New School. Angeles is an Associate Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company, and the Founding Artistic Director of Checkmark Productions, an NYC based company dedicated to artists of color and the telling of their stories in theater and film. Checkmark most notably produced Eliana Pipes’s play, Dream Hou$e (2019 Leah Ryan Prize, 2019 O’Neill Finalist), directed by Cristina at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest. Currently, Checkmark is developing a new series, Toni, which is written by Cristina and inspired by the life of Marie Antoinette. cristinaangeles.com
Tracy Brigden (The Rembrandt) is a writer, director, and producer for the stage, screen, and earbuds. With a specialty in new work, Brigden has directed award-winning theatre productions in regional theatres across the country and in New York. She was Artistic Director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh for 16 years, and prior to that, she worked on the artistic staff of Hartford Stage and Manhattan Theatre Club. For Theaterworks, Brigden has directed Art, Midsummer, Hand To God, and Lifespan of a Fact. This summer she is directing two plays in repertory under the heading #GIRLPOWER for Thrown Stone in Ridgefield, CT.
Mikael Burke (Clyde’s) is a Chicago-based director, deviser, and educator. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre and Jeff Award-nominated director, Mikael’s worked with Goodman Theatre, About Face Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, The Story Theatre, and Windy City Playhouse in Chicago, and regionally with Forward Theatre, Urbanite Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Phoenix Theatre Indianapolis. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of The Magnolia Ballet by Terry Guest; The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler; Fireflies by Donja R. Love; Mrs. Harrison by R. Eric Thomas; and we are continuous by Harrison David Rivers | mklburke.com
About TheaterWorks Hartford
Celebrating its 37th 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. Visit twhartford.org for more
TheaterWorks Hartford is supported by Hartford Foundation For Public Giving, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Travelers, Bank of America, CT Office Of The Arts, CT Humanities, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Richard P. Garmany Fund, Raytheon Technologies, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Burry Fredrik Foundation, The Shubert Foundation,Ensworth Charitable Foundation, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, TD Bank, Liberty Bank, William And Alice Mortensen Foundation, The Saunders Foundation, The Elizabeth M. Landon and Harriette M. Landon Charitable Trust, Prudential Retirement, The Katherine K. McLane and Henry R. McLane Charitable Trust.