TheaterWorksHartford, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, is thrilled to open its 2022-2023 season 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 Ruggiero with musical direction by Jeff Cox and runs October 8–30 at TheaterWorks Hartford’s historic home, located at 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT. Tickets are now on sale at www.twhartford.org.
The cast for FUN HOME includes Broadway veterans Aaron Lazar (Broadway: The Last Ship, A Little Night Music opp. Catherine Zeta Jones) as Bruce, Christiane Noll (Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde, Chaplin,Ragtime, Dear Evan Hansen) as Helen, and Sarah Beth Pfeifer (Broadway: The Lightning Thief) as Alison, as well as Ali Louis Bourzgui as Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy, Sam Duncan as John /Jasper, Myles Low as Christian, Skylar Lynn Matthews as Small Alison, Julia Nightingale as Medium Alison, and Cameron Silliman as Joan.
The winner of 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical and a Pulitzer finalist — FUN HOME tells the story of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel and her relationship with her volatile, brilliant father whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving through past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s funeral home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.
Rob commented, “I couldn’t be more excited to finally share this incredibly unique story with TheaterWorks audiences. The universal theme of child to parent forgiveness will touch many people, and the familiar story of coming out in a generation less tolerant will continue to create important conversations about acceptance, self-love, and inclusion.”
The musicians of the FUN HOME company include Morgan Brown on guitar, Celeste Cumming on cello, Kevin Huhn on bass, Harry Kliewe on reeds, Selah Kwak on violin, and Elliot Wallace on Drums/Percussion.
The creative team includes Jeff Cox (music director), Luke Hegel-Cantarella (set design), Herin Kaputkin (costume design), Rob Denton (lighting design), Joanna Lynne Staub (sound design), Camilla Tassi (projection design), E. John McGarvey (hair), Paul Hardt (casting), Ralph Perkins (additional musical staging), Mike Lenaghan (director of production), Nicole Wiegert (production stage manager), and Theresa Stark (production stage manager)
Performances of FUN HOMEwill take place October 8 – 30, 2022, at TheaterWorks Hartford’s beloved home, located at 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT. Critics are welcome starting Thursday, October 13 for an opening on Friday, October 14.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8pm, and Sundays 2:30pm with no 2:30pm performance on October 15. In-person tickets are priced at $25–$75. All tickets can be purchased online at www.twhartford.org or by calling 860.527.7838.
FUN HOME contains adult themes and mature language. It is not recommended for persons under the age of 16.
TheaterWorks Hartford no longer requires proof of vaccination. The theater’s full Covid Policy can be found here.
Special Thanks to: Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Marjorie E. Morrisey, Hartford Gay Lesbian Health CollectivePlease visit www.twhartford.org for more information.
About the Artists
Jeanine Tesori (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 (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 (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.
Jeff Cox (Music Director) is a New York-based music director and conductor who has performed internationally and on Broadway. His credits include THE BAND’S VISIT (Broadway & National tour), A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK (Off-Broadway), WICKED (National tour), AUSTEN’S PRIDE (Fifth Avenue Seattle), and numerous other regional theatres and concert venues. An avid arranger and orchestrator, Jeff has shaped the development of new works, most notably as music supervisor of Danny K. Bernstein’s FAR FROM CANTERBURY. His work as a copyist has appeared on music stands in New York, on cruise ships and across the country. Jeff is a faculty member at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and he holds a Master’s Degree in conducting from Ithaca College. www.jeffcoxmusic.comRob Ruggiero (Director / Producing Artistic Director) 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.
Ali Louis Bourzgui (Roy / Mark / Pete / Bobby Jeremy) Credits include: The Band’s Visit First National Tour (Haled). Regional: Barrington Stage Co., Berkshire Theatre Group, Hope Summer Rep. Theatre, Titan Theatre Co., The Theater Barn, GhostLit Rep. Voiceover: Antibody for Gimlet/Monkeypaw (Hassan) BFA Ithaca College. Original music on Spotify/Apple Music. www.alilouisbourzgui.com
Sam Duncan (John/Jasper) was most recently seen on stage this past summer, playing the Duke of York in The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard III. Regionally, he played Tiny Tim in Goodspeed Musicals’ A Connecticut Christmas Carol. On screen, Duncan played Baby Colin on the FX television series, What We Do in the Shadows, and you may also recognize him from various small roles on Saturday Night Live. He is a trained singer and dancer, whose musical theater dance solos have been recognized with national and regional titles. Special thanks to Linda Thornberg at CT Talent Management, and Bonnie Shumofsky Bloom and team at Stewart Talent NY, for making Sam’s dream of performing in a production of Fun Home a reality.
Aaron Lazar (Bruce) was recently seen as Reverend Paul Thomas opposite Kim Cattrall in Filthy Rich for FOX. Lazar has extensive Broadway credits including Sting and John Logan’s The Last Ship, the only revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music opp. Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury, Impressionism with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, the first revival of Les Miserables (Drama Desk Nom.) and Lincoln Center’s The Light in the Piazza (also Live on PBS). TV arcs: The Strain for FX, Quantico for ABC, Girl Meets World for Disney. Some films: Warner Bros.’ This is Where I Leave You, Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Warner Bros.’ J. Edgar and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. Concerts include: Company with the New York Philharmonic, South Pacific at The Hollywood Bowl, Carousel with the Boston Pops, the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, the NSO at the Kennedy Center, and the Jerusalem Symphony at Masada. Other recent credits include A24’s film Everything Everywhere All at Once, PBS’ tribute to Lerner and Lowe with The American Pops, and critically acclaimed concert ‘All For You’ with two- time Tony Award nominee, Kate Baldwin. BA Duke University. MFA Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. www.aaronlazar.com
Myles Low (Christian) is in the 8th grade at the Montessori School of Greater Hartford. In his free time, he enjoys acting, singing, playing piano, basketball and skiing. Regional: Ah, Wilderness! (Hartford Stage). Commercial: Hungryroot; Amazon Prime Video “The Earth Needs More Elf Fans”. Education: Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Cabaret (Hartford Stage Junior Productions).
Skylar Lynn Matthews (Small Alison) is from Cape May, NJ and has been acting, singing, and dancing since she could walk and talk! Skylar is represented by both Carson/Adler and Innovative Artists talent agencies and is managed by Jody Prusan, NY. Skylar’s most recent credits include Ocean City Theatre Company’s professional performance of The Sound of Music (Marta) and being featured in a national commercial for LL Bean. skylarmatthews.com
Julia Nightingale (Medium Alison) is very happy to be here. Broadway: The Ferryman. New York: Generation Me (NYMF), The 8th (The Secret Theatre). Regional: Bridges of Madison County, Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theatre). Film & TV: Evil (CBS), Master (Amazon Prime Video), Misty Button. She would like to thank her Mom & Dad, Penny, and Griffin. IG: @julianightingale
Christiane Noll (Helen) received TONY and Drama Desk Award nominations and won a Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Mother in the Kennedy Center Revival of Ragtime on Broadway. She starred in the record-breaking First National Tour of Dear Evan Hanson (BWWLA award) and took over the role of Cynthia Murphy in the Broadway Company before and after the Broadway pandemic shutdown. She made her Broadway debut creating the role of Emma in Jekyll & Hyde, receiving a FANY award for Best actress in a musical. Ms. Noll received her second Drama Desk nomination for her
work in Chaplin on Broadway. She has been seen perennially as Sister Margaretta in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood and she supplied the singing-voice of Anna in the Warner Brothers animated feature The King and I. She has also enjoyed starring in Broadway productions of Elf (at Madison Square Garden), It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues and on tour in Urinetown (Ovation Award), The Mambo Kings, Grease!, Miss Saigon and City of Angels. TheaterWorks Hartford audiences remember her from her starring role in 2017’s Next To Normal (Connecticut Critics’ Circle award). TV appearances include Law & Order; Organized Crime, Law & Order; SVU, Evil, Madam Secretary, among others. Noll has performed her solo shows in cabaret all over NYC and across the country as well as appearing in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series. Along with many cast albums and compilation recordings, she has released five solo CD’s. Noll is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Sarah Beth Pfeifer (Alison) is an actor and writer based in New York City. Broadway: The Lightning Thief. National Tours: The Lightning Thief, Legally Blonde. Off Broadway: The Lightning Thief, Goldstein. A prolific voice over artist, SB has voiced many national commercials and audiobooks. www.sarahbethpfeifer.com
Cameron Silliman (Joan) is making her TheaterWorks HArtford debut. Cameron Silliman (they/she) is a NYC based actor and singer in their band Granite Garden. NY theatre: Twelfth Night (The Center at West Park). Developmental: The Killing Fields (NY Classical Theatre); R&B, Lying (The Tank); Cafe Society Swing (McKittrick Hotel). Regional: Ghost the Musical (Winnipesaukee Playhouse), Hair, Avenue Q. TV: “New Amsterdam.” BA in theatre/Spanish from Muhlenberg College. Reps: Take3 Talent. Instagram: @sillyman106 and @granitegardenmusic.
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
SUPPORT: 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, Hartford Steam Boiler, 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.