An Important Message from Long Wharf Theatre

February 28, 2022 Long Wharf Theatre Leadership

We are writing to share some exciting and groundbreaking news. Long Wharf Theatre, after 57 years at the New Haven Food Terminal, will be leaving its current home to usher in a new chapter in its storied history. We will continue to produce theatre, and we are committed to creating an institution that belongs to you, the community.

The pandemic, through its many exhaustions, has given Long Wharf Theatre the rare opportunity to reflect, regroup, and reassess. Since the shutdown, we have tried our very best to stay connected by telling stories and sharing experiences that have something to say about the world around us. We have done this virtually and, more recently, in person on the Claire Tow Stage. As you can imagine, we have learned so much during this unthinkable time. One such powerful lesson: people and relationships, rather than bricks and mortar, make for a beloved regional theatre. Together, we have built a company with an extraordinary legacy—first-rate productions, stunning designs, and mesmerizing performances.

We will take the best parts of our treasured past as the bridge to our boundary-breaking future. Long Wharf Theatre has always been a place for visionary thinking, both big and small. When the company was founded in 1965 by Jon Jory, Harlan Kleiman, Ruth Lord, Betty Kubler, and Newt Schenck, there was a spirit of imagination and possibility that propelled the work forward. That will always stay with us; they will always be with us. Even as we say goodbye to our home at 222 Sargent Drive, which may be met with mixed emotions, we will build on all that has come before. So, what comes next?

 We will continue to produce our 2021/22 season at 222 Sargent Drive.

Beginning in fall of 2023–following an in-depth, community-driven strategic planning phase–the new model will enable Long Wharf Theatre productions to be presented throughout Greater New Haven, embedding the company within the City, and no longer anchoring performances to our current space. Long Wharf Theatre will be able to serve its artists in ways that are tailor-made for each project while making our work more accessible to the entire New Haven community. We will also use this time to listen, to learn, and to build co-created partnerships with our artists, supporters, and local partners to better understand the unique role Long Wharf Theatre could play in the dynamic civic life of our city, which may include a new permanent home in the future. We will continue to share updates with you on our bold new programming and partnerships as these conversations unfold in the coming months.

In March, we will host several in-person and virtual Town Hall events to gather in community with you about the exciting future of Long Wharf Theatre. Those dates are:

  • Wednesday, March 9 at 7-8pm (Virtual)
  • Thursday, March 24 at 7-8pm (Virtual)
  • Saturday, April 2 at 2-3pm (NHFPL Mitchell Branch, 37 Harrison Street, New Haven)
  • Thursday, April 7 at 7-8pm (Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven)

Information on how to sign up for Town Halls will be shared in the coming weeks.

Long Wharf Theatre—guided by the core pillars of artistic innovation, radical inclusion, and kaleidoscopic partnerships—will continue to produce dynamic and fully staged productions, incubate new plays and musicals, support the best voices working in the American theatre, deliver meaningful virtual and in-person opportunities to engage with our artists, and provide community programming for learners of all ages. Our Theatre will remain an unparalleled hub for creative excellence and an artistic home for a new generation of great storytellers. In the meantime, we hope to see you at our upcoming shows and events—and stay tuned for more information to come.

As a stalwart supporter of our institution, we imagine you have questions about this evolution, and we welcome your thoughts and questions. While we hope you will join us at a Town Hall, you can also reach us at lwt@longwharf.org or leave a message at (203) 772-8265 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

May that spirit of possibility our company was seeded with guide us into the future, and beyond. As we continue writing the story of Long Wharf Theatre, we hope you will join us for this joyful and historic journey.

Nancy Alexander                       Jacob G. Padrón                        Kit Ingui
Board Chair                                Artistic Director                           Managing Director