For Immediate Release

Contact: Todd Brandt,, 860-520-7240

Hartford Stage cancels all onstage performances scheduled through June 2021

Virtual artistic and education programs continue this Fall

Hartford, CT – July 29, 2020 – In response to the ongoing public safety concerns and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartford Stage announced today that it will cancel all onstage performances scheduled through June 2021. This includes the previously postponed productions of The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) and Ah Wilderness!, the annual production of A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas, and the entire six-play season scheduled to begin January 2021.

“Having to cancel our final weekend of Jane Eyre this past March, the entire run of The King’s Speech, and the productions of Ah, Wilderness! and The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) has created a serious financial hardship for the theatre,” said Managing Director Cynthia Rider. “Canceling our 2020/2021 season as well is such a painful but necessary decision to ensure the safety of our audiences and staff and the long-term survival of Hartford Stage.”

The theatre has also reduced its employee workforce from a pre-pandemic staffing level of 200 employees and guest artists down to 21. In addition, both the Hartford Stage Managing Director and its Artistic Director are taking a salary reduction.

The ability to reopen in the fall of 2021 as now planned is highly dependent on the success of the new Raise the Curtain fundraising campaign Hartford Stage just launched. Hartford Stage will rely on its patrons, community members, and corporate partners to donate generously to sustain the theatre during this difficult time. Ticket holders of canceled performances are also highly encouraged to donate their tickets back to the theatre.

During this time, Hartford Stage will continue to build on its online artistic and education programming — including its virtual community conversations series, Scene and Heard: LIVE! hosted by Artistic Director, Melia Bensussen – which have filled a real need for connection and creativity among people of all ages. The fall schedule of education classes will be announced at a later date.

“Although I will deeply miss the joy of collaborating in our theatre with our artistic guests and staff, I am excited by the new ways we are finding to connect with our audiences, and make entertaining and meaningful work,” said Artistic Director Melia Bensussen. “Our virtual season this fall gives us an opportunity to further build our community partnerships, highlight our education work, and contribute to a meaningful dialogue with our city and region. We need the theatre and our artists more than ever to help us make sense of this challenging time, and to help us envision the future.”

The theater’s virtual fall season — New Season, New Vision: Fall Online With Hartford Stage — will feature four events, two of which are exclusive for patrons who donate their tickets back to the theatre. The events include:

  • The Not-So-Complete History of Comedy (Online) — Exclusive ticket donor event (Thursday, September 17). The Reduced Remote Shakespeare Company (RSC) will host an exclusive virtual evening of stories and material including from our canceled production of A Complete History of Comedy (Abridged). 
  • A Broadway Evening with Hartford Stage Exclusive ticket donor event (Friday, October 9). An intimate evening of Hartford Stage in your home, co-hosted by Broadway power couple Adam Heller (Hartford Stage’s The Flamingo Kid and Falsettos) and Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel (The Prom on Broadway) alongside Artistic Director, Melia Bensussen.
  • New Works FestivalTicket donors can receive a Festival Pass (November, dates TBD). Three plays over three weeks will be workshopped virtually with a public reading at the end of each week. With a Festival Pass, patrons will receive access to all three presentations.  
  • A Community Carol. (December, dates TBD) — The spirit of A Christmas Carol and the holidays will live online through A Community Carol a collaborative performance created by Hartford Stage, artists and local community partners. This new virtual celebration will bring much needed light into our homes during the darkest nights of the year. 

For the convenience of our patrons, paid subscription packages for the 2020/2021 season will be transferred automatically to the 2021/2022 season which is yet to be announced. Subscribers will be contacted by the Hartford Stage Box Office with additional details.

For further information or to make a donation to Hartford Stage, please visit


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