For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
office 860-520-7114, cell 203-213-4102    

Hartford Stage Awarded Grant from Connecticut Humanities to Help Support an Exhibition for Having Our Say

Hartford, CT – March 18, 2016 – A $4,995 grant to Hartford Stage, awarded by Connecticut Humanities, will help support a multi-platform intergenerational storytelling exhibition to complement its production of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, which runs March 31 through April 24.

Having Our Say is about the lives of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American sisters who were born at the end of the 19th century, and who lived through over 100 years of American history. We thought it would be great to share the stories of African-American women currently living in our community who have also experienced huge changes in our society and culture during their lifetimes,” said Michael Stotts, Managing Director of Hartford Stage. “Our exhibition, called Having Their Say – Generations in Conversation, is in many ways a continuation of how the lives of African-Americans have evolved in the years since the Delany sisters passed on.”

Having Their Say – Generations in Conversation is a captivating photography, video and narrative exploration of African-American history as told by ten senior African-American women from the Greater Hartford area. The women were interviewed by 12 young African-American females. Their conversations, covering personal histories and shared stories both historic and contemporary in nature, were recorded and photographed for the exhibition.

The women interviewed include Janet L. Jackson, Geraldine Jones, Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor, Patricia Johnson, Helga “Petie” Gordon, Elaine Mobley, Ann Jennings, Sistah Nandi aka Christine Dixon-Smith, Alyce Rawlins, and Patricia Wrice. The youth interviewed for the exhibition include Kailey Gordon, Tyra Harris, Amara McNeil, Trinity Stewart, Natalie Best, Elyece Patterson, Simone Shorter, Shelby Caballero, Nakeia Herbert, Zakiya Evans, Kamre Williams, and Miracle Hyde.

Each interview will be edited into three-to-four minute videos and will be accompanied by photography and narrative in both lobbies of the theatre for patrons to explore via tablets and visual displays. These interview segments, along with supplemental material, will also be available for viewing on the Hartford Stage website. A longer documentary piece is also being created. The Connecticut Humanities grant will assist with the costs involved with recording and creating the exhibition.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.

Having Our Say centers upon 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany, daughters of a former slave who grew up in the Jim Crow South, lived in Harlem during its renaissance, and had professional careers as a teacher and a dentist, respectively. While they make dinner to remember their father’s birthday, the two sisters tell us the story of the last century, as they lived it.

Travelers serves as Principal Sponsor for Having Our Say. Robinson & Cole is a Production Sponsor, and The Doris & Simon Konover Family Foundation is an Assisting Production Sponsor. Additional support for Having Their Say – Generations in Conversation was provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, as recommended by the Jackson-Batchelder Family Fund.

Having Our Say runs at Hartford Stage March 31 through April 24. Tickets for all shows start at $25. For group discounts (10 or more), contact Group Sales at 860-520-7114. To purchase tickets through the Hartford Stage box office, call 860-527-5151.

For additional information on Having Our Say, visit  


Now in our 52nd year, Hartford Stage is one of the nation’s leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches more than 20,000 students annually.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including four 2014 Tony Awards for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko Tresnjak, and the 1988 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); and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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