"This milestone project will bring new arts and education energy to downtown New Haven, helping to define it for years to come," said Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland. "We are proud to be continuing our investment in the future and the people of New Haven."
The company, readying its 40th season, currently resides at 222 Sargent Drive, on the outskirts of New Haven just off Interstate Highway 95, where it has since its founding in 1965. The complex includes a 484-seat mainstage and a 199-seat Stage II as well as offices and scene shop facilities. The lease at the current home expires in 2010.
"This move into downtown New Haven will help us become more a part of this wonderful city with its richly diverse communities," said Long Wharf Theatre artistic director Gordon Edelstein. "This new facility will retain the current intimacy of our performance spaces but offer our audiences much greater comfort in our building, create a safer and more worker friendly environment for our staff and offer our visiting artists a facility that is up to date and supportive of the level of artistic achievement that we have been known for these 40 years."
The new Long Wharf Theatre new facility will be situated at Church and Orange Streets near the redeveloped Ninth Square District. The former sports arena, the New Haven Coliseum, will be demolished within the next year. Future Long Wharf theatergoers will have ready access to local downtown restaurants, shops, and night life and be in walking distance from the New Haven Green and the Yale University Campus .
The regional company's upcoming 40th anniversary is expected to include Guys and Dolls, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Craig Lucas' Singing Forest, Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten and Tom Stoppard's Travesties starring Sam Waterston ("Law & Order"). For more information on the Long Wharf Theatre, visit the website at www.longwharf.org.