Scene and Heard

Hello Friends,

First of all, thank you for opening this email and taking time to read about Hartford Stage at this difficult time. It is new to me, even after five weeks (five weeks!), to count on email and Zoom as the only way of connecting. I fell in love early and fast with the theatre, and it was in no small part because of the feeling of togetherness and connection that one could create, inhabit, so very quickly. I am missing it greatly. This sense of loss is beautifully captured in Joel Grey's op-ed for the New York Times, which I've listed this week as a "pick".  

At Hartford Stage right now we are working on a variety of scenarios as we get ready "to return to those eventual opening nights." In this time of not-knowing and lack of certainty, I'm reminded of how important it is to dwell and celebrate the now—this difficult moment with all its challenges also brings gifts.

An enormous gift was the embarrassment of riches at last Wednesday’s Scene and Heard: LIVE! It was a joy to speak with Tony Award-nominated actress Marin Ireland (Reasons to be Pretty), Hartford Stage favorite Robert Eli (Bell, Book and Candle), Emilio Delgado (Quixote Nuevo), John-Andrew Morrison (A Strange Loop, Lucille Lortel nominee), Hartt School alum Dan Macke (Dear Evan Hansen) and surprise guest two-time Tony Award-nominated Kristine Nielsen (Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus). 

I loved our conversation, but will admit to being most moved by seeing all your faces appear at the end. Each week is a reminder of how important Hartford Stage, and its community, are to our lives. Grateful too to have had members of the library staff join for the "party", as this past week was Library Week. I love our partnership with the Hartford Public Library – and I encourage you to visit their website and new virtual programming. We were planning to honor their commitment to the community this year with our inaugural Inspiration Award at our gala. We look forward to debuting that honor to the HPL when we are once again able to gather. A big shout out to that wonderful staff, our allies who stick with us through thick and thin.

And now to this coming week—since among the things delayed and postponed is the opening day to our nation’s pastime, what better time for us to check in with the Johnny Baseball team? What is Johnny Baseball? It’s a new musical by Richard Dresser and brothers Robert and Willie Reale. The story involves circumstances relating to the Curse of the Bambino. Hartford Stage staged a reading of the musical in NYC six weeks ago—just before the health crisis took hold. It's a wonderful piece and I've invited the team to join me in talking all things musical development (they also wrote the Frog and Toad musical) and yes, baseball. There are also very special surprise guests in store once again, so do join us.

And since I'm pretty sure you're going to enjoy their company as much as I do, note the last of Melia's Picks—and go online to our Heart of Connecticut Online Auction to bid on a fabulous dinner opportunity with that team (and their BFF Lewis Black). 

And for even more baseball, check out the Tickets & Swag package from our neighbors, the Hartford Yard Goats. The auction ends on April 29th at 8 pm, so why not make a bid on something today?

Warmly and gratefully,


PS: Remember, this Wednesday, April 29th is Scene and Heard: LIVE!, our virtual happy hour via Zoom at 5 pm EST. 


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Photos, L-R: Hugo Carbajal and Emilio Delgado in Quixote Nuevo; Chandler Williams and Helen Sadler in Jane Eyre. Photos by T. Charles Erickson. • The cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare. Photo by Defining Studios.