TheaterWorks Hartford, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, is proud to present the New England Premiere of QUEEN OF BASEL by Hilary Bettis. Directed by Cristina Angeles, Queen of Basel is a bold adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie set within the Latinx community during Miami’s Art Basel. Featuring an all Latinx cast and creative team, Queen of Basel runs February 3–26, 2023 at TheaterWorks Hartford’s historic home, located at 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT. It will stream on demand February 19–26. Tickets are now on sale at twhartford.org.
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 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 examines the timelessness of love and betrayal in this bold new play.
Director Cristina Angeles remarked, “Queen of Basel is a fast paced, language and character driven play about class and colorism within the latinx community. I couldn’t be more excited to make my TheaterWorks Hartford debut with a play showcasing such vivid, flawed, and imperfect characters with a dynamic, female protagonist at its core. Latinx stories are rarely seen on stage, and I hope this is just the beginning of a much longer conversation surrounding our varied, lived experiences, and the art that is created as a result.”
Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero commented, “Queen of Basel is a play that has excited me since I first read it a couple of years ago. When planning the 2022-2023 season, I felt it was essential to include a story that speaks to our Latin community. What I find compelling, however, is not the political or social issues at its core, but, as always, I love the relationships, and this particular dance of power, passion, seduction, temptation, and impulse that can easily become destructive or self-destructive. It’s human, it’s raw, it’s completely compelling — and it’s in that engagement that we are also provoked into important conversations about privilege, race, power, and color.”
The cast for Queen of Basel includes Silvia Dionicio as Christine, Kelvin Grullon as John, and Christine Spang as Julie.
The creative team includes Rodrigo Escalante (Set Design), Harry Nadal (Costume Design), Emma Deane (Lighting Design), Germán Martínez (Sound Design), Lauren Kiele DeLeon (Intimacy Director | she/her), Iris Marcelina Zacarías (Assoc. Sound Design), Cynthia Santos DeCure (Dialect Coach), and Victor Vazquez, CSA (Casting Director),
Performances of Queen of Basel will take place February 3–26, 2023 at TheaterWorks Hartford’s beloved home, located at 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT. Critics are welcome starting Thursday, February 9 for an opening on Friday, February 10. The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm with no 2:30pm performance on October 15. In-person tickets are priced at $25–$65. All tickets can be purchased online at twhartford.org or by calling 860.527.7838.
Queen of Basel contains strong language and adult content. It is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. The running time is 80 minutes with no intermission.
TheaterWorks Hartford no longer requires proof of vaccination. The theater’s full Covid Policy can be found here.
Please visit twhartford.org for more information.
About the Artists
Hilary Bettis (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, Egerton 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 Writer’s 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 Amanda Seyfried, and Amazon’s Rodeo Queens starring Dakota Johnson and Fred Armisen. She’s an alumnus 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. hilarybettiswriter.com
Cristina Angeles (Director) is an Afrolatina director, writer, and theater maker who develops new plays, musicals, and socially conscious adaptations of classics that place women of color at the forefront. She has been awarded the 2020-2021 Drama League Directing Fellowship, the 2019-2020 Roundabout Directing Fellowship, and has been an associate director on and off Broadway. Today, 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 their stories. Recent credits include Into The Woods (Pace University) and Suzan-Lori Parks’s In The Blood (NYU’s Tisch). Up next, Angeles will be directing Sophocles’s Antigone, translated by Anne Carson, at Pace University and overseeing the national tour of Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play, directed by Keny Leon. cristinaangeles.com
About the Cast
Silvia Dionicio (Christine) is excited to make her TheaterWorks’ debut as Christine. In 2016 the Dominican government granted her a unique scholarship to study acting in New York City. Since she’s performed all around the country, including the Off-Broadway shows: Fandango for Butterflies & Coyotes (La Jolla Playhouse / LaMaMa Theater), Black Panther Women (NYTW), The last Jew of Boyle Heights (The actors Temple), I & You (Bristol Riverside), among others. Dionicio is quickly making a name for herself on Film/TV with a recurring role in Chicago PD (NBC), and supporting roles in Legacy (Sundance), New Amsterdam (NBC), Wu-Tang (HULU), Grave’s Mysteries (ID), & In Pursuit (TLC).
Kelvin Grullon (John) is a Dominican American actor from Washington Heights with a passion for storytelling, often working as an actor, filmmaker, producer, spoken word performer, and DJ under the moniker CHICO BEMBÉ. Projects include theater (She Hates Coffee, Room28 Comedy), film (La Tierra, No More Lonely People), voice over (Corner Wolves, Michelle Rojas is Not Okay), and new media works (Guap, DominicanYork).
Christine Spang (Julie) New York Theater: Anna in the Tropics (Bay Street Theatre), Lucky (Off-Broadway, 59E59), The Drunken City (Kraine Theatre). Film: The Zombie Wedding, Wicked Games, Out of Breath, The Light of the Moon, Fort Tilden (SXSW Grand Jury Award, Narrative Feature). Television: Lucy on HBO’s Succession, FBI: Most Wanted, Law & Order: SVU, The Changeling, Love Life, Lisey’s Story, The Blacklist and When They See Us.
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 150 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.