Hartford Stage
Hartford Stage
Ah, Wilderness
Single Tickets on Sale Now

Dear Friends of Hartford Stage,

We are back! A week ago we began rehearsals in person, in our beautiful theater, for Ah, Wilderness!— our first play of the 2021/2022 season, and our first in-person production since we were forced to close in March of 2020. The joy on our first day back was so palpable, and I wasn’t alone in welling up while welcoming this amazing company of artists into our space. Originally scheduled for Spring of 2020, Ah, Wilderness! feels even more appropriate to this moment, with its hopefulness and determination.

The cast of Ah, Wilderness!

The cast of Ah, Wilderness!

Eugene O’Neill wrote his only comedy in 1932, in the midst of the Depression, at a time of crisis when optimism and lightness were needed in the theatre. The play captures a romantic vision of the spirit of America—O’Neill said it was a “wishing aloud” play for him—and we are adding to that romantic notion with live music and a more contemporary sense of the idealized American family. Hearing our actors sing songs from the turn of the last century, while incorporating their own histories and voices into the work—it’s a true celebration of all that theatre and community can give us.

The play is filled with a love for theatre and poetry, in particular the romantic poetry of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, and the play’s title comes from this particular verse:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

It is for us “paradise enow (enough)” to be able to gather together and create this production for you. O’Neill once said of himself, “I am far from being a pessimist...On the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life!” We cannot wait to welcome you back to your theatre, for you to meet this extraordinary company, and to experience the giddiness of a romantic vision of life and love.

Tickets for Ah, Wilderness! are on sale now. I hope you will join us at the theatre this Fall as we bring back live performances to our community! 


Scene and Heard: LIVE! returns September 29 @ 7 pm

Join us on Zoom for a conversation about Ah, Wilderness!

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