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

Seder: A Jewish ritual service and ceremonial dinner for
the first night or first two nights of Passover.

Hartford Stage to Present the World Premiere of Sarah Gancher’s Seder

HARTFORD, CT — September 20, 2017 — Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for the World Premiere of Sarah Gancher’s Seder, an intimate tale of survival and freedom, which will perform at Hartford Stage October 19 through November 12. Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson will direct.

Set in Budapest in 2002, Seder is a visceral family drama that weaves together a mother’s mysterious past working for the Hungarian KGB with a daughter’s unexpected homecoming. As the family attempts to celebrate its first Passover Seder, a lifetime of dark secrets is revealed. The play is based on a true story.

In addition to Seder, Sarah Gancher has two other world premieres coming up this season: I’ll Get You Back Again in October at Round House Theatre, directed by Rachel Chavkin, and The Lucky Ones, a new musical with the Bengsons next spring at Ars Nova, directed by Anne Kauffman. Another musical with the Bengsons, Hundred Days, premiered at Under the Radar this year and will be produced this winter by New York Theatre Workshop. Gancher’s writing has been seen on stages across the United States and internationally, including London’s National Theatre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Steppenwolf, and The Flea. Seder is part of her 7th cycle of plays set in Budapest, where she lived for several years.

“In Seder, Sarah tackles a less well-known period of 20th Century Jewish history, post-WWII in Communist Eastern Europe,” Williamson said. “It’s a compelling and thought-provoking play, which asks what I believe are vital questions: What responsibility does a secretary for the Hungarian KGB bear for the atrocities committed by her bosses? And can her children, growing up in a democratic era, actually make more moral choices than she has? What does the right choice look like?”

The cast of Seder includes Liam Craig (The Scene, Hartford Stage; The Killer, Theatre for a New Audience) as Tamas; Mia Dillon (Cloud 9 and A Song at Twilight, Hartford Stage; Our Town, Broadway) as Erzsike; Birgit Huppuch (The Moors, Yale Repertory and The Playwrights Realm; Men on Boats, Playwrights Horizons) as Judit; Dustin Ingram (Crimes of the Heart, McCarter Theatre Center; True Blood) as Laci; Steven Rattazzi (Indecent, Broadway; Marie Antoinette, Yale Repertory) as David; Julia Sirna-Frest (Welcome to the Gun Show, Ars Nova; [Porto], The Bushwick Starr) as Margit; and Jeremy Webb (The Visit, Broadway; The Glorious Ones, Lincoln Center Theater) as Attila.

Seder follows Williamson’s Hartford Stage directorial debut, Cloud 9, last season. Before her appointment as Associate Artistic Director in 2015, Williamson was Hartford Stage’s Senior Dramaturg & Director of New Play Development for three years. She helped launch the Hartford Stage world premieres of the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case; Matthew Lopez’s Reverberation; Christopher Shinn’s An Opening in Time; and the new musical Anastasia, currently on Broadway. A dramaturg, director, producer, and translator, Williamson has also worked with the American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Pioneer Theatre, Steppenwolf, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

In addition to Williamson, the creative team is comprised of Set Designer Nick Vaughan (Cloud 9, Hartford Stage; The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater); Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi (Cloud 9 and Romeo & Juliet at Hartford Stage); Lighting Designer Marcus Dilliard (Refugia, The Guthrie Theatre; Tartuffe, South Coast Rep/Berkeley Rep/Shakespeare Theater); Sound Designer Jane Shaw (Heartbreak House and La Dispute, Hartford Stage); and Script Consultant Jocelyn Clarke (Sundance Theatre Lab, SITI Company).

Lori Ann Zepp (August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and The Body of An American at Hartford Stage) will serve as Production Stage Manager, with Merrick A.B. Williams (Somebody’s Daughter, Second Stage Theatre; Damn Yankees, The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse) as Assistant Stage Manager.

The Executive Sponsor for Seder is The Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.

The Community Partnership Sponsor is the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.

Additional support provided by Federman, Lally & Remis.

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

Special Dates
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 19
Opening Night: 8 p.m., Friday, October 27
Closes: 2 p.m., Sunday, November 12

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 November 1 only.
Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit 

Tickets for all shows start at $25. Student tickets: $18.

For group discounts (10 or more), email or call 860-520-7114.

For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit

Follow Hartford Stage

Special Events

  • Sunday Afternoon Discussion, October 29. Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. Free
  • AfterWords Discussion—Tuesday, October 31 and November 1 & 7. 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, November 5, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss — free service with admission.
  • Audio Described Performance—Saturday, November 11, 2 p.m. For patrons who are blind or have low vision — free service with admission.
Sarah Gancher

Sarah Gancher

Elizabeth Williamson

Elizabeth Williamson


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 20,000 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.

The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage’s offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.