Scene and Heard

Dear Friends of Hartford Stage,

Art is political. The decision last Wednesday to postpone Scene and Heard: LIVE! was not made easily, but was to give us time to reflect and participate in the national conversations about police brutality and race in our country.

Art is political. At the beginning of every production process, I ask the question: “why this play now?” This question has led me to dedicate my career to directing new plays by unknown writers, to re-envisioning “classics” with non-traditional casting and editing, and to working with colleagues—designers and actors and dramaturgs—who continue to push the boundaries of my thinking. I acknowledge there is much more to be done, the last couple of weeks have reminded us all of the urgency of engaging with the politics of what we make and how we make it. I am committed to examining and improving the ways we can make work and be in dialogue with our community, our city, and our country.

We are challenged by the loss of our stage as our primary platform, due to the public health crisis, and we’re all missing the place where we collaborate and create together, artist with audience, stories that speak in a rich and subtle and evocative vocabulary. So, I’ve taken to writing all of you weekly, and to creating our Scene and Heard: LIVE! gatherings together with our committed staff. All of us at Hartford Stage believe that we, as a theatre, need to stay engaged in the work of our country and our city. The theatre has been a place for examining a community’s identity and its history across all cultures and continents, and because art is political, the theatre is always a civic and intellectual center for its city.

Today I am inviting you to join me in seeing this moment, this time, as a vital opportunity. Now is our chance to think about what this theatre means, and what it could mean, to all of us. We at Hartford Stage believe in the craft of the theatre, and the power of community and conversation. We believe in reflecting, thinking, and caring deeply about each other – these are values essential to Hartford Stage. It is now up to us all to transform and grow this theatre to meet this moment. To ask, “Why this theatre, now?”

Join us this coming Wednesday to continue the conversation with our partners in this work, Dr. Duncan Harris, CEO of Capital Community College, The Very Reverend Dean Miguelina Howell of Christ Church Cathedral, and Sara Bronin, Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission with the City of Hartford.

We have great opportunities ahead together. 


Building the Block:
Our Guests Next Week on Scene and Heard: LIVE!

Hartt School Alum Steve French in The 39 Steps (2010)

Dr. Duncan Harris (CEO of Capital Community College)

The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell (Christ Church Cathedral)

The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell (Christ Church Cathedral)

Sara Bronin (Chair of Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission)

Sara Bronin (Chair of Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission)

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