Scene and Heard


Scene and Heard: LIVE is moving to monthly episodes! Mark your calendars for this Wednesday, July 1 and Wednesday, August 5… and stay tuned for the Fall—we’ve got some plans in store!

Dear Friends of Hartford Stage,

For the last ten days I've been grateful to be working, via zoom, on a new play with playwright Kirsten Greenidge: an adaptation for the stage of the Pulitzer prize-winning book Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas.  Common Ground deals with the Boston busing crisis in the public school system, and tells the story of three families - two white, and one black - navigating those turbulent years. The process of adapting this complex work at this particular moment has been revelatory and enlightening.  It resonates of our current crisis, as well as reminding me of how our art form can reflect the moment in a myriad of ways. 

The work on Common Ground Revisited, as our piece is called, has reminded me of the powers of adaptation and transformation – the crossing of genres and formats to make something new. Kirsten will join me for a conversation on this work this coming Wednesday, and we’ll also be joined by Octavio Solis and KJ Sanchez – the team that brought us the transformational version of Quixote Nuevo at the beginning of this season.

Twelve weeks ago we started Scene and Heard: LIVE!  as a way to stay connected through the pandemic, with no idea of how or if it would continue. And yet here we are, all these weeks later, with our new normal.  It has been an extraordinary time, and as challenging as this moment has been it has given us genuine gifts:  I'm grateful for the way I've gotten to know our community, and how Scene and Heard: LIVE!  has allowed me to speak more intimately with you, and share news of how we work at Hartford Stage, as well as all we are doing with our gifted neighbors.

But after twelve weeks it's time to acknowledge this is not temporary, and that it's time to adapt, yet again, to a new way of working and being together.  This coming Wednesday, July 1st, will be our last weekly Scene and Heard: LIVE!, as well as my last weekly visit to your inbox.  At Hartford Stage we'll be taking this time to plan, and adapt, for the months ahead.  We are not going away (our next Scene and Heard: LIVE! will be Wednesday, August 5 where we will feature our summer students in Project Transform working with the remarkable artist, Nilaja Sun), but we are looking into how to remain important to our entire community and to you in the coming months.  

We are at a threshold.  We will all be changed by these months of seclusion, by this shuttering of our communal spaces and by our country confronting its own history of injustice. But theatre has continually adapted over the centuries:  over the years as theatre-makers we've adjusted and adapted to technologies, audiences, and perspectives.  By sharing the work of specific stage adaptations, perhaps we can explore all the possibilities of this form, and think about innovative and creative ways of making theatre in this new moment.

Let's go forward together, and discover the ways in which we can adapt, adjust, transform and connect.

The cast of the Common Ground Revisited workshop at Huntington Theatre Company.

See you next Wednesday,


Our Guests Next Week on Scene and Heard: LIVE!

Kirsten Greenridge

Kirsten Greenidge

Quixote Nuevo Director KJ Sanchez

Quixote Nuevo Playwright Octavio Solis

Quixote Nuevo Director KJ Sanchez

Quixote Nuevo Director KJ Sanchez

Emilio Delgado and Gianna DiGregorio Rivera

Emilio Delgado and Gianna DiGregorio Rivera in Quixote Nuevo. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Emilio Delgado (front), Hugo E. Carbajal and the cast of Quixote Nuevo

Emilio Delgado (front), Hugo E. Carbajal and the cast of Quixote Nuevo. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

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