New drama examines the closeted life of a pioneering LGBT preservationist.
July 13 - August 5 at HERE

Buy tickets HERE.

New Dog | StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance will present the World Premiere of THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS by Dean Gray. Directed by Joseph Megel, previews begin July 13 at HERE. Opening is slated for Friday, July 20.

Starting in 1935, Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum began restoring dilapidated Cornish limestone homes in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Their efforts saved this 19th century lead mining town from certain extinction. Upon their retirement in 1970, the Wisconsin Historical Society began operating the restoration as a historic site interpreting the history of Cornish settlement in the US.

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS is a fictionalized look at the quiet life of Edgar Hellum, a man in his nineties who did pioneering work in historical preservation in a small, mid-western town. A man who just happened to be gay in an era long before Stonewall and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The play deals with contemporary gay identity issues through the eyes of a man who spent his life in the closet.

The play is adapted and fictionalized from interviews conducted with Edgar Hellum in 1997 by Will Fellows as part of the research for his book A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture.

“There is a deep satisfaction in the opportunity to present this particular story, right now,” says StreetSigns artistic director Joseph Megel, who also directs. “Dean has done a masterful job crafting a nuanced piece of work for the stage that offers an intimate look at often overlooked movements in cultural history in ‘flyover country.’ It is a relief to enter this quieter world where the issues are not battled out by outrage junkies screaming for and against political correctness and identity politics. We need this conversation.”

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS stars Lawrence Merritt (Pippin, Applause, Dear World and more on Broadway) as the nonagenarian Edgar, with additional casting TBA. The production team includes Daniel Ettinger (sets), Joseph Amodei (lighting and video design); Gail Cooper-Hecht (costumes), and Ruth Gersh (stage manager).  It is presented at HERE as part of SubletSeries@HERE, a curated rental program providing artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS runs July 13 – August 5, Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm with matinees on Sundays July 29 & August 5 at 2pm. HERE is located at 145 6th Avenue (enter on Dominic Street, one block south of Spring Street – accessible from the C/E trains to Spring Street or 1 train to Canal).  Tickets are $25, available at 212-352-3101 or


Dean Gray (playwright) is the author of Uncle, presented Off-Off Broadway by Blue Heron in 2007, directed by Wayne Maugans, and by River District Theatre, Wausau, WI in 2012. His screenplay version of the play, also called Uncle, adapted with James Heatherly, was a 2011 Quarter-Finalist in the International Blue Cat Screenplay Competition. His Farm Boys, co-written with Amy Fox and adapted from Will Fellows’ book of oral histories, Farm Boys – Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest, was presented by: Blue Heron, Off-Off Broadway 2004, directed by Jim Pelegano; Great American History Theatre, St. Paul 2006, directed by John Miller-Stephany, Associate Artistic Director, The Guthrie; and at The New Conservatory Theatre 2007, San Francisco, directed by Dennis Lickteig. He is also developing Gay Bar ’55, co-written with Will Fellows. Dean’s directing credits include: New York premieres of Jim Grimsley’s Math & Aftermath and The Borderland; Regional productions of Eleemosynary at Michigan Ensemble Theatre (co-directed with Maggie Lally); Drawer Boy, LuCille Tack Center for the Arts; The Amish Project and Farmscape¸ Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts. He was production stage manager at Michigan Ensemble Theatre (Traverse City, MI) for: A My Name Is Alice, The Boys Next Door, What the Butler Saw, The Fantasticks; at Bay Street Theatre Festival Sag Harbor for Swingtime Canteen; and at Signature Theatre, for NYC premieres of plays by Lee Blessing, Romulus Linney, and the world premiere of the winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Young Man from Atlanta by Horton Foote. He has designed sound for numerous plays Off and Off-Off Broadway.

Joseph Megel (director, artistic director of StreetSigns) is artist in residence in Performance Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Communication Studies where he runs the Process Series: New Works in Development. He is Co-Executive Director of Harland’s Creek Productions, producer of new plays, screenplays, and short films. Directorial credits include: Guillermo Reyes’s Men on the Verge of a Hispanic Breakdown in its Off-Broadway production (Outer Critics Circle Award) and in Los Angeles (Best Director Ovation Award nomination, Best Production Award winner); Jennifer Maisel’s The Last Seder at EST West in Los Angeles, Theatre J in Washington, D.C., The Organic Theatre in Chicago (winner of the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Grant); Elisabeth Lewis Corley’s adaptation of The Miser at Duke University; and Derek Goldman’s adaptation of Studs Terkel’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken in Chapel Hill and Washington, D.C. (starring David Strathairn, Theodore Bikel, and Kathleen Chalfant). With Christine Evans and Jared Mezzocchi, he developed Christine Evans’s You Are Dead. You Are Here., directing its first workshop production at HERE and a North Carolina production for StreetSigns under its new title Closer Than They Appear. For Manbites Dog, in Durham, NC, Megel directed A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, The Best of Enemies, The Brothers Size, The Goat, and Nixon's Nixon. Recent direction for StreetSigns includes: Closer Than They Appear, Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green, Trojan Barbie, Blood Knot, Poetic Portraits of a Revolution, Dream Boy, and White People.

Lawrence Merritt appeared on Broadway (as Larry Merritt) in No Strings, Nowhere To Go But Up, Golden Rainbow, Dear World, Applause, On The Town, Pippin, and Evita. His film, television, and cabaret work includes appearances with Ann-Margret, Raquel Welch, Liza Minnelli, Anne Bancroft, Lucille Ball, and Ginger Rodgers. Some of his favorite roles include John of Gaunt in Richard II; the Twins in Love! Valour! Compassion; G. B. Shaw in Dear Liar; Grandpa Martin Vanderhof in You Can't Take It With You; and George Hay in Moon Over Buffalo. Merritt studied at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford, with John Barton, Fiona Shaw, Debra Warner, David Leveaux, and Maria Aitken.

Will Fellows (author of underlying material): Growing up on a Wisconsin farm, Will Fellows first visited the Pendarvis historic site as a child. He is the author of three books that examine the gay male experience: Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest; A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture; and Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s. In 2007, after Wisconsin voters approved an amendment to the state constitution barring legal recognition of same-sex marriages, Fellows collaborated with a photographer to create a traveling exhibit, video, and book titled Shall Not Be Recognized: Portraits of Same-Sex Couples. He has provided research, editorial, and publishing assistance to many other writers.

StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance is an award winning professional performing arts and educational center based in Chatham County, North Carolina. Founded in Chicago in 1992, StreetSigns has presented nearly fifty productions in its twenty-year history. StreetSigns has worked in partnership with Northwestern University, the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University, always dedicated to the development and presentation of new literary adaptations, company-created theatrical works, innovative new plays, and bold re-imaginings of classics. StreetSigns is committed to celebrating its region’s rich oral and written traditions and to engaging cultural and political issues through performance.

New Dog Theatre introduces theatre raised and praised elsewhere to a New York audience. New Dog is all about new theatre. Founded in 2013, New Dog's first production was Chris Clavelli's solo-show, A Little More Than You Wanted to Spend and most recent was Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green by Howard L. Craft. New Dog believes good theatre developed elsewhere deserves a chance to be seen in New York. It is ever on the look-out for new voices speaking to and capturing the American experience.