Scene and Heard

Hello Friends,

Last week's Scene and Heard: LIVE! became our own version of opening day. What a treat to talk about those two great American pastimes, baseball and musical theatre. Sincere thanks to the Johnny Baseball team who joined us—Rob and Willie Reale, Richard Dresser—and our special guests Mark Linn-Baker, Gina Milo, Betsy Morgan and Kirsten Wyatt. And, finally, a shout-out to our neighbor, Tim Restall, President of the Hartford Yard Goats—thanks for playing along in our own little exhibition game.

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to "what comes next."  Six weeks and Scene and Heard: LIVE! has become our new normal, and a gift to the week's routine.  But I'm wondering, as I'm sure you are, when the situation will change and how Hartford Stage and Scene and Heard: LIVE! will change with it. This excerpt of an essay by the writer Arundhati Roy has been meaningful to me as we plan for future seasons (emphasis mine):

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.  We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

I'm trying to imagine what the next world will be for all of us at Hartford Stage, and will look forward to finding ways for all of us to share our visions of what we wish for as we emerge—as we must—from this pandemic.

The community that has formed Hartford Stage will be the community that shapes its future as well. We're so grateful to have so many of your faces in mind as we look forward. (See the screen capture below to get a taste of what we mean!) This coming week we will celebrate and hear from one constituency of that community:  its volunteer ushers. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that the only true gift is "a portion of thyself." Certainly these folks, who number 300 or more in any given season, are always giving us this gift. Join us this Wednesday, May 6 at 5 pm to hear their stories and to share your own. 

Lastly, an enormous thank you to all who participated in our Heart of Connecticut Ball Online Auction. We are so grateful for those who made donations and bid on all the exciting items, together we raised over $230,000.

This generosity will help make it possible for Hartford Stage to "walk through... into another world", and to keep faith with one of the most vital tenants of the theatre, that the show must go on.

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.