Scene and Heard

Dear Friends of Hartford Stage:

In these last few weeks, both in our written communications and in last week’s Scene and Heard: LIVE!, we at Hartford Stage have focused on the importance of theatre as a civic institution that helps embolden and nourish its community. With partnerships like ours with Capital Community College, and Christ Church Cathedral, we can support our city and our region in innovative ways.  Our civic engagement goes side by side, cheek by jowl, you could say, with our artistic contributions.    

To quote James Lescene, theatre artist and activist, founder of the Trevor Project:

“I’m a big believer in the power of stories to transform the world; theatre can not only transform the attitudes and opinions of an audience but can also change the conversation and inspire change in a generation. Who wouldn’t want to do that – or at least try?” 

Throughout its history, Hartford Stage has featured stories of the LGBTQ+ community on our stage (some performances you may remember include Reverberation, I Am My Own Wife, March of the Falsettos, Lisa Kron's 2.5 Minute Ride and Lescene’s own The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey). Many queer artists have come to Hartford to share their work – and the impact of their legacy not only on Hartford Stage, but across the industry, has been monumental. 

Even though the city of Hartford officially celebrates Pride in September, we wanted to take this opportunity in June to discuss how the arts, and a theatre like Hartford Stage, can continue to create a space that shares the stories of and empowers members of the LGBTQ+ community. As Lescene points out, these stories have the power “to inspire change,” and can therefore support and transform the next generation.

This coming Wednesday please join me for a conversation with James Lecesne and my co-host for the episode, University of Hartford student Jerry Hamilton, who worked with James through Hartford Stage’s Project Transform program, and is an alumni of the popular Breakdancing Shakespeare program where he played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and a most memorable Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

We will also be joined by other local artists in the LGBTQ+ community, and together with this extraordinary group we will learn more about the work that is happening in Hartford now, and discuss how Hartford Stage can help support the LGBTQ+ community moving forward.

Theatre matters, and now more than ever we need to give voice to members of our community working towards justice and equity for all. Theatre has the ability to bring us together through the power of communal storytelling: listening together helps us see each other (and ourselves) more clearly, and more generously.

Join us this Wednesday to hear stories, and to have the opportunity to know each other better.



The cast of Falsettos (1992). Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Lisa Kron in 2.5 Minute Ride (2002).

James Lecesne in I Am My Own Wife (2007). Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Carl Lundstedt and Luke Macfarlane in Reverberation (2015). Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

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