Long Wharf Theatre today announced the launch of a new partnership with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), formalizing a more than 30-year-long relationship between the two institutions. This collaboration embodies Long Wharf Theatre’s core pillar of kaleidoscopic community partnerships, and will jointly strengthen both institutions, both of which have deep roots in New Haven. The partnership will see the formation of a new paid internship program, special student discounts to future Long Wharf productions and the collaboration on Long Wharf Theatre’s benefit event featuring The Crucible at SCSU’s John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts in spring 2023.
“Long Wharf Theatre deeply values strong community partnerships and advancing educational opportunities, and we look forward to building on our longstanding relationship with an esteemed local institution like Southern Connecticut State University,” said Kit Ingui, Managing Director, Long Wharf Theatre. “As our company continues to evolve to be more inclusive, innovative and reflective of our surrounding community, the expansion of our learning programming remains a high priority so that we can share the knowledge of theatre-making with the next generation. SCSU has been an unparalleled leader for New Haven and we are so grateful for the chance to work with their faculty, students and alumni even more closely.”
The partnership will offer SCSU students up to five paid internships, which will benefit students in the theatre program and Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy (AAC) minor program as an entry to the industry. All SCSU students will be provided with the opportunity to purchase $10 tickets to Long Wharf Theatre productions, and all SCSU faculty will be able to purchase tickets at a 20% discounted rate. In addition, an allotment of free student tickets to all Long Wharf Theatre productions held at Southern will be available through the Dean of Arts and Sciences office.
“We are thrilled to formalize a 30-plus-year informal partnership with Long Wharf Theatre, where over the years many of our graduates have begun their professional careers,” said Mike Skinner, SCSU Theatre Department chair. “With our goal of diversifying the future workforce of professional theatre, we proudly share Long Wharf Theatre’s mission and belief that ‘theatre is for everyone’ in helping to continue adding to the vibrancy and longevity of New Haven’s arts community.”
“One of the goals of the new Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy minor is to give our students a hands-on introduction to the wide variety of creative and professional roles individuals play behind the scenes within an arts organization. Long Wharf Theatre’s partnership with Southern makes that training even more hands-on, as the back-stage and classroom on campus become one,” said Joel Dodson, co-coordinator of the AAC program. “As part of this partnership, Southern students will have unparalleled access to new kinds of internships, both in theatre management and other career experiences – from development to communication – of interest to students across the arts and humanities.”
In February 2022, Long Wharf Theatre announced that it will be leaving 222 Sargent Drive to start an exciting new chapter of creating theatre, without barriers, in spaces and stages across Greater New Haven. Over the next few years, the company will produce in-person and virtual programming in partnership with local civic, cultural, and public institutions. A one-night benefit event featuring The Crucible, Long Wharf Theatre’s inaugural play produced in 1965, will be staged at SCSU’s John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts as a celebration of the theatre’s legacy and a reflection of the new model of producing shows in partnership with the community. The partnership also involves the presentation of a second public event, still yet to be named, to be held on SCSU’s campus.
Interested students also have the opportunity to partake in Long Wharf’s regularly-scheduled annual auditions. Long Wharf Theatre professionals (including actors, technical staff, production staff, and guest artists) will work with SCSU to organize on-campus workshops, lectures and demonstrations.
“Education has always been an important aspect of Long Wharf Theatre’s mission and we believe strongly in nurturing the next generation of artists, especially those in our near-and-dear New Haven community,” said Rachel Alderman, Associate Artistic Director, Long Wharf Theatre. “The opportunity to formally partner with Southern Connecticut State University meaningfully builds on this deep-held tradition here at Long Wharf and we look forward to continuing to develop and foster New Haven’s future arts leaders.”
“We all know the transformative effect access to the arts has on students and we are so fortunate to share a community with one of the most renowned theatre companies in the country,” said Craig Hlavac, associate dean of liberal arts at Southern. “Long Wharf Theatre’s production staff can work collaboratively here at Southern, allowing for increased opportunities for our students and staff to interact and learn from their knowledge and expertise. We look forward to training up the next generation of arts leaders for years to come.”
Southern also has a partnership with another local theater company, Elm Shakespeare Company, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra is in residence at the university this year.
About Long Wharf Theatre
Founded in 1965, Long Wharf Theatre (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director; Kit Ingui, Managing Director) is a Tony Award-winning company of international renown. It was founded with the mission of creating an accessible theatre culture unique to the Greater New Haven community. Recognized for a historic commitment to commissioning, developing, and producing new plays to expand the legacy of storytelling in the American theatre, more than 30 of its productions have transferred to successful Broadway or Off-Broadway runs and countless others have inspired audiences at theatres across the country. Guided by three core pillars of artistic innovation, radical inclusion, and kaleidoscopic partnerships, Long Wharf Theatre creates art by, for, and with the community. The company is entering a bold new chapter, moving beyond its home for nearly 60 years to activate venues, neighborhoods, and public spaces throughout Greater New Haven, underscoring its commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging in every aspect of its work.
About Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven’s urban public university, Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) is a comprehensive regional public university located in New Haven, Connecticut, that serves approximately 8,700 students across its undergraduate and graduate programs. First established in 1893 as a state teachers college, Southern has a time-honored mission of building communities and empowering lives through a commitment to access, affordability and social justice. The university prioritizes student access to excellent educators with practical experience and expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, extensive alumni connections, and students’ achievement of successful and meaningful careers. Each year dozens of student actors, directors, designers, and dramaturgs compete at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) regional festival, and in recent years, several have earned top honors at the regional level and have moved on to the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.