For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
office: 860-520-7114
Contact: Don Wilson,
Office: 860-695-6282    

Hartford Stage Forms Ongoing Community Partnership with the Hartford Public Library 

(L-R): Elizabeth Williamson, Associate Artistic Director, Hartford Stage; Sharon Washington, Writer and Performer of Feeding the Dragon; Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director, Hartford Stage; Bridget Quinn-Carey, Chief Executive Officer, Hartford Public Library; Margaret Patricelli, The Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation; Michael Stotts, Managing Director, Hartford Stage.

Hartford, CT, December 15, 2017 – Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, together with Hartford Public Library Chief Executive Officer Bridget Quinn-Carey, today announced a new community partnership that will deepen engagement and increase access to live theatre for residents of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

The multi-tiered partnership includes:

  • A Library Pass program providing the opportunity for Hartford Public Library card holders at all branches to check out and reserve complimentary theatre tickets to all Hartford Stage productions. The passes will be available at each library branch. Two tickets for each public performance will be set aside for each library branch, making approximately 4,000 tickets available to Hartford residents.
  • A Neighborhood Ambassador Program enabling residents nominated by their library branches to represent their communities at Hartford Stage to discuss how themes of upcoming productions intersect with current civic or social issues in Hartford.
  • Book displays at all Hartford Public Library branches will feature curated reading selections hand-picked by the Hartford Stage Artistic team and librarians which correlate to themes and ideas presented in the theatre’s productions. Custom Hartford Stage bookmarks and additional collateral accompany each display.
  • HPL @ Hartford Stage - a Hartford Public Library kiosk branch at Hartford Stage - will enable theatre patrons with Hartford and Connecticut library cards to check out book titles directly related to each production to deepen their experience to the art presented onstage. Patrons who live in-state may also sign up for library cards at the theatre.

The Hartford Stage-Hartford Public Library partnership is made possible, in part, through a generous grant from the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation. The Foundation is the lead funder of the partnership.

“The goal of these programs is to provide access to Hartford Stage productions to all residents of Hartford,” said Michael Stotts, Managing Director of Hartford Stage. “Partnering with the Hartford Public Library branches will ensure fair distribution of tickets across all neighborhoods, and the Ambassador Program will deepen civic engagement with our programs and productions. We are delighted that the Library embraced this idea and joined us as a partner; and we are grateful to the Patricellis for their generous support, which will subsidize the cost of the tickets.”

Bridget Quinn-Carey, Chief Executive Officer of the Hartford Public Library, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Hartford Stage in making world class theatre accessible to all Hartford residents and to fostering community conversations and literary explorations through the new Ambassador Program and kiosk library at Hartford Stage.”

“It is our Foundation’s great pleasure to support these vital community programs,” said Margaret Patricelli. “Hartford has a constellation of nationally-recognized arts and cultural assets. It makes good sense to support innovative partnership programs, such as those created by Hartford Stage and the Hartford Public Library, which will enrich the lives of Hartford’s residents.”

The partnership was announced during a press conference held earlier today at Hartford Stage. Sharon Washington, who in January brings the play Feeding the Dragon – her own true story of growing up in the custodial apartment of a New York public library – to Hartford Stage, was a guest speaker. Hartford community leaders and representatives from the Hartford Public Library and Neighborhood Ambassador Program were also in attendance.


Now in its 54th season, Hartford Stage’s mission is to enlighten, entertain, and educate by creating theatrical works of the highest caliber that have a transformative impact on audiences, the community, and its field. Led by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, Hartford Stage is renowned for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals – including over 70 world and American premieres – as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches approximately 21,000 students annually.

Since Tresnjak’s appointment in 2011, Hartford Stage has presented the world premieres of the new musical Anastasia by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens – currently on Broadway; Rear Window with Kevin Bacon; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Tresnjak; and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans' Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger's Children; and Tea at Five.


Hartford Public Library is a place like no other. It is more than just pages. It is the window to knowledge and understanding of the world – through literacy programs, adult basic education classes, language learning classes, access to community health care and legal information, job seeking services, access to technology and computers, cultural and civic engagement programs and exhibits, the Hartford History Center, resources for non-English speakers, guidance for pathways to citizenship, and passports. Hartford Public Library is committed to creating meaningful and impactful learning experiences for children and young people from preschoolers through teens and college or career ready young adults. It is a leader in redefining the urban public library in the 21st century as an innovative and stimulating place where all people can learn and discover, explore their passions, and find all these resources that contribute to a full life.