Long Wharf Theatre will kick off its 2019–2020 season this fall with the world premiere of On the Grounds of Belonging, a new play by Ricardo Pérez González about two men who fall in love in Houston during the height of Jim Crow. Leading the cast will be Jeremiah Clapp and Calvin Leon Smith, as Thomas and Russell, respectively.
In On the Grounds of Belonging, Russell and Thomas' chance encounter at the local Blacks-only Gold Room leads to a forbidden romance that could destroy them both.
The world premiere is directed by David Mendizábal and will begin performances October 9 for a limited run through November 3.
The cast also features Craig Bockhorn as Mooney Fitzpatrick, Tracey Conyer Lee as Tanya Starr, Blake Morris as Henry Stanfield, and Thomas Silcott as Hugh Williams.
“I first learned of this play a few years ago while it was early in its development. I am delighted that Long Wharf is able to produce the world premiere.” says Artistic Director Jacob Padrón. “It is an old-fashioned love story about two men, led by love, who are having to navigate the perils of 1950’s Jim Crow-era Texas. We see them endeavoring to come together despite the giant obstacles they must face due to race, racism, and homophobia. Ricardo is truly a star on the rise, who is building a body of work that is the future of American theatre.”
The production will feature set design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, lighting design by Cha See and sound design by Mauricio Escamilla. Unkledave's Fight-House serves as fight/intimacy director, Bianca Hooi serves as production stage manager, Amy Patricia Stern as assistant stage manager, and casting is by Calleri Casting.