For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
office: 860-520-7114

Hartford Stage presents the McCarter Theatre Center Production of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express

Christie's Classic Murder Mystery Adapted for the Stage by Playwright Ken Ludwig; Directed by McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director Emily Mann

HARTFORD, CT — January 16, 2018 —Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, which will perform at Hartford Stage Thursday, February 15, through Sunday, March 18.

Tony-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy for You) adapted Christie's classic murder mystery for the stage. Multi-award-winning McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director Emily Mann (Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years and A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway) directs the production, which had its world premiere at the McCarter Theatre Center last March.

“With Ken Ludwig, Emily Mann, a splendid cast, and a renowned design team on board, Murder on the Orient Express is bound to be a glamorous and suspenseful train ride,” Tresnjak said. “I can’t wait to see their take on one of the supreme achievements of the mystery genre at Hartford Stage.”

Murder on the Orient Express is widely regarded as one of Agatha Christie’s greatest literary achievements. First published in 1934, the stylish, suspenseful murder mystery about an unlikely array of potential suspects (including a colonel, a princess and a countess, all with alibis) trapped aboard the luxurious Orient Express during a snow storm features one of the most iconic fictional detectives of all time – Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot. Ludwig’s stage adaptation promises fans of the mystery classic a suspenseful, thrilling ride.

Tony Award-nominated actor David Pittu (Best Featured Actor in a Musical for LoveMusik, Best Featured Actor in a Play for Is He Dead?) will portray Hercule Poirot. Pittu's theatre credits also include The Heir Apparent, Classic Stage Company; The Coast of Utopia, Lincoln Center; and What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling, Atlantic Theater Company. He has also appeared in the television series House of Cards, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Damages and the films The Invention of Lying and Men in Black 3.

Joining Pittu in the company of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express are Ian Bedford (Below the Belt, City Theater; Flags, 59E59 Theatre) as Colonel Arbuthnot/Samuel Ratchett; Veanne Cox (An American in Paris and the revival of La Cage aux Folles, Broadway) as Princess Dragomiroff; Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (The Book of Will, Round House Theatre; The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile) as Michel/Marcel; Julie Halston (revivals of On the Town and You Can't Take it With You, Broadway) as Helen Hubbard; Susannah Hoffman (The Effect, Gloucester Stage; Insignificance, Langham Place) as Mary Debenham; Leigh Ann Larkin (Gypsy and A Little Night Music, Broadway revivals) as Countess Andrenyi; Juha Sorola (The Book of Gabrielle, 65 Wilding Films; About Heroes, United Solo) as Hector MacQueen; Samantha Steinmetz (Sense & Sensibility and The Seagull, Bedlam Theatre), as Greta Ohlsson; and Evan Zes (Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre; The 39 Steps, Mile Square Theatre) as Monsieur Bouc.

Jordyn Schmidt (A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, Hartford Stage) of Glastonbury will portray Daisy Armstrong. Meghan Pratt (A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, Hartford Stage) of Glastonbury will serve as understudy.

In addition to Ludwig and Mann, the creative team is comprised of four Tony Award-winning designers including Set Designer Beowulf Boritt (Act One-Tony Award Winner; Come From Away); Costume Designer William Ivey Long (15 Tony Award nominations, 6 wins including Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and Grey Gardens); Lighting Designer Ken Billington (Chicago-Tony Award Winner, Sunday in the Park with George); and Sound Designer Darron L. West (Peter and the Starcatchers-Tony Award winner, Six Degrees of Separation).

Samantha Flint (A Christmas Carol, McCarter Theatre Center; Somewhere, Hartford Stage -Assistant Stage Manager) will serve as Production Stage Manager, with Carolyn Reich (Would You Still Love Me If..., New World Stages) as Assistant Stage Manager.

Murder on the Orient Express
Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig

Emily Mann

Emily Mann

David Pittu

David Pittu

The Lead Sponsor for Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is The Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation.

Special Dates
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, February 15
Opening Night: 8 p.m., Friday, February 23
Closes: 2 p.m., Sunday, March 18

Tickets & Performances
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun at 7:30 p.m.—Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.—Sat, Sun at 2 p.m.
Wed matinee at 2 p.m. on February 28 only.
Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit

Follow Hartford Stage

Individual Producers are Jill Adams & Bill Knight, Rick Costello & Beth Bombara, and Karen Pritzker.

Additional support provided by Homewood Suites Hartford-Downtown.

The 2017-18 Season is also sponsored by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

Tickets for all shows start at $25. Student tickets: $18.
For group discounts (10 or more), email or call 860-520-7125.
For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit

Special Events

HPL @ Hartford Stage. Hartford Public Library and Hartford Stage invite you to dig deeper into the world of the plays onstage. Check out a book today! Select books available at the theatre and at each Hartford branch library.

Pride & Plays, February 21. Free pre-show nosh and complimentary wine, soda and coffee (plus cash bar drink specials) for our LGBTQIA patrons and allies at 6 p.m. Use Promo Code LGBT25 to save 25% off seats for that evening’s 7:30 p.m. performance.

Sunday Afternoon Discussion, February 25. Enjoy a discussion with artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. Free

Market Days, Sunday, February 25. Come and join Hartford Stage for some shopping and a show. Local vendors will showcase unique items for purchase in our lobby. Doors will open before the show at 12:30 p.m. Booths will be open during intermission and after the show.

AfterWords Discussion—Tuesday, February 27, Wednesday, February 28, and Tuesday, March 6. Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following select 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday or the 2 p.m. Wednesday matinee

Open Captioned Performances—Sunday, March 4, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss — free service with admission.

Audio Described Performance—Saturday, March 10, 2 p.m. For patrons who are blind or have low vision — free service with admission.


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.