The Yale Repertory Theatre will stage the world premiere of “The House that will not Stand” as its next offering. The play, which runs April 19-May 10, is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
The play by Marcus Gardley is set in New Orleans in 1836. Following the death of her white lover, Beartrice Albans, a free woman of color, imposes a six-month period of mourning on herself and her three daughters. But as the summer heat intensifies, a handsome bachelor comes calling, a family secret is revealed, and the foundation of her household is rocked to its core. The play was performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this winter.
Gardley has been described by the New Yorker as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello, and Tennessee Williams.” He is the 2011 Pen/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Playwright in Midcareer and a Mellon Foundation grantee for playwriting residency with Victory Gardens in Chicago. His play “The Box: A Black Comedy” is being presented this spring at The Foundry Theatre in New York. His work “dance of the holy ghosts” had its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2006 and recently played at Center Stage in Baltimore. His other plays include the trilogy “The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry,” about the migration of African-American and indigenous people from Florida to Oklahoma, and “Every Tongue Confess,” which had its world premiere at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad. It was nominated for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics New Play Award and the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. Gardley holds an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama.
Directing “The House that will not Stand” is Patricia McGregor, who is making her Yale Rep debut. A Harlem-based director, writer, and deviser of new work, her recent credits include “The Winter’s Tale” and “Spunk” at California Shakespeare Theater and the world premiere of “Hurt Village” at Signature Theatre Company. She has worked on Broadway and at venues including New York’s Shakespeare in the Park, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Second Stage Theatre, The Public Theater, the Kitchen, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and Nuyorican Poets Café, among others. McGregor co-founded Angela’s Pulse with her sister, Paloma McGregor, who is the choreographer for “The House that will not Stand.” Angela’s Pulse creates choreoplays and fosters collaboration among artists, educators, organizers, academics, and other diverse communities in order to illuminate undertold stories, infuse meaning into the audience experience, and animate progress through the arts. Patricia McGregor is a graduate of Yale School of Drama, where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and artistic director of the Yale Cabaret.
The cast includes Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Harriett D. Foy, Lizan Mitchell, Petronia Paley, Flor De Liz Perez, Jocelyn Pleasant, Ray Reinhardt, and Tiffany Rachelle Stewart.
Other members of the creative team include Antje Ellermann (scenic design), Katherine O’Neill (costume design), Russell H. Champa (lighting design), Keith Townsend Obadike (sound design and original compositions), and James Mountcastle (production stage manager).
Performances at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with one 8 p.m. performance on Monday, April 21. Additional 2 p.m. matinee performances are offered on Saturday, April 26 (followed by Talk Back with members of the artistic team); Wednesday, April 30 (preceded by a senior reception at 1 p.m.); Saturday, May 3 (an open-captioned performance that will be followed by Talk Back); and Saturday, May 10 (which will be audio described). Tickets for the performances April 21-23 are $20. Tickets for other shows are $20-$98 and are available online, by phone at 203-432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep box office, 1120 Chapel St. Student, senior, and group rates are also available.
Production support for “The House that will not Stand” is provided by Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.