September 11 - October 5
By Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson
Running Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, including two 12-minute intermissions.
Recommended for mature audiences.
$25 | $39 | $55 | $70 | $85
Student Ticket Prices
All Student Seats $20.
Includes all fees. Prices subject to change without notice. Student tickets by phone only, please. Please call for Student Matinee Rates.
East Coast Premiere
A co-production with Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Huntington Theatre Company.
Surgery is pain. Torturous, gut-wrenching, terrifying pain. Until a discovery in 1846 that changed all of humankind forever—anesthesia. Ether Dome is a psychological thriller that pits three men against each other on their quest for salvation, scientific prowess and glory. In an epic battle between altruism and financial gain, personal struggles send each man into a harrowing downward spiral into despair, and even insanity. Based on the true story of Hartford’s own Dr. Horace Wells – reputedly the inspiration behind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!
The opening production of our 51st season features a cast of characters whose names may be familiar to you. Dr. Horace Wells. The Wadsworths. The Trumbulls. That is because Ether Dome is set in Hartford in 1846. It is an epic play about Dr. Wells, the discovery of ether as an anesthetic, and the ensuing battle between altruism and financial gain.
The production will coincide with Hartford’s annual Envisionfest. It is a perfect time to produce a play about the scientific discoveries that have shaped our world – and our own city – almost two centuries ago and that influence our lives to this very day.
Ether Dome is a major co-production between Hartford Stage, Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. It will be directed by Michael Wilson, our previous artistic director, whose movie version of The Trip to Bountiful, starring Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams, is currently playing on Lifetime Television. I am thrilled to welcome Michael back to Hartford Stage and to introduce our audience to the prodigious voice of our playwright, Elizabeth Egloff.
Assistant Stage Manager
Erik Christopher Bloomquist
Girl in White
Medical Student/As Cast
Medical Student/As Cast
Ether Dome is funded in part by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project
Darko’s Book Club
By Julie M. Fenster
Host: Darko Tresnjak
Guest Co-host: Elizabeth Williamson, Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development
Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
On Friday, October 16, 1846, only one operation was scheduled at Massachusetts General Hospital… That day in Boston, the operation was the routine removal of a growth from a man’s neck. But one thing would not be routine: instead of using pulleys, hooks, and belts to subdue a patient writhing in pain, this crucial operation would be the first performed under a general anesthetic. No one knew whether the secret concoction would work. Some even feared it might kill the patient. This engrossing book chronicles what happened that day and during its dramatic aftermath.
Note: To join Darko’s Book Club, you must join for the entire season. Sign up here »
The Producer’s Table
September 25, 5:45pm
Managing Director Mike Stotts hosts a pre-show dinner, where he gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a play. (Tour at 5:45 p.m. and Dinner at 6:00 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. curtain.
Please note this is an UPPER LOBBY event.
September 23, 24, 30
Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following select 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday or 2 p.m. Wednesday matinees. FREE
Sunday Afternoon Discussion
Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. FREE
Open Captioned Performances
September 28, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss. FREE
Audio Described Performances
October 4, 2:00pm
For patrons who are blind or have low vision. FREE