Scene and Heard

Dear Friends,

It is now three weeks since we've closed our doors and I miss you. I miss our offices and seeing our staff and more than anything being in our theatre. If you're like me some days are just much harder than others, and there are moments when it is simply overwhelming to dwell on what we are missing and losing.

What a joy then, and how grateful I am to all of you, for your support of our Scene and Heard: LIVE! Wednesday "broadcasts."  This experiment, which sprung from a need to connect with you and keep our conversations about all things theatre, has become for us at Hartford Stage a pleasure to plan and execute.

Each week is more surprising than the last in the quality and range of guests who share their insights with us and their passion for this craft: last Wednesday we had the pleasure of chatting with Martín Zimmerman, Jill Rafson, Melinda Lopez, Nadine Malouf, Laura Linney, Willis Sparks and Marin Ireland. An inspiring group of theatre makers that whetted my appetite for next season.

For this coming Wednesday, April 15th, let's visit my production of Ah, Wilderness! It should have been in rehearsals at this time, and instead of wallowing in absence I want to look ahead to when we will see that show together! I'll share with you a scene from that remarkable comedy of O'Neill's, and talk about how the production will look and sound when we see it on our stage. And of course I'll be joined once again by wonderful mystery guests, so do please join—and we're back to 5 pm for our virtual cocktail hour!

Make no mistake, we at Hartford Stage know that seeing a scene on Zoom is not at all like being in the theatre. Nor do we aspire to replicate that extraordinary experience, but it is a great pleasure to talk about all that we have made and will make. For more on the importance of seeing performances LIVE I've made a Melia's Pick this week Peter Gelb's articulate op ed from Sunday's New York Times.  

I've also included a little play written precisely for this moment—starring Dylan and Becky Baker, an actual married couple playing a married couple… See if you can figure out the connection of this piece to Hartford Stage history. (hint, it's not the actors - yet!)

And lastly—a bit of a reminder from a great American theatre artist about the challenges and potential possibilities at this time.

And let me end here with a promise. Yes it's been three weeks and we all know that we do NOT know how much longer it will be, but Hartford Stage is not going anywhere. We are committed to weathering this storm and emerging on the other side of it as engaged and creative and vital as ever. You can count on us delivering on that promise. 

But in order to do so, we need your help. We know how tough this time is, and how we are all in the process of evaluating what truly matters to each of us. I can tell you without reservation: you matter to Hartford Stage. When this pandemic passes, we are all going to need places to come together and celebrate our shared humanity. Hartford Stage will continue be that special place… for you and so many. So please, make a gift to help ensure the theatre’s financial health so that we can be here for you on the other side of all this. And remember, your donations will be doubled with our $50,000 match. Please go to make a gift today!

Warmly and gratefully,


PS: Don't forget—join us Wednesday, April 15th for Scene and Heard: LIVE!, our virtual happy hour via Zoom with Melia at 5:00 PM EST. RSVP at See you then.


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