Student Matinees

Student Matinees

Student Performance Series

Bring your students to see a play at Hartford Stage! Each Student Performance Series ticket includes access to our online study guides, curriculum guides and the opportunity to stay for a talkback hosted by an Education Staff member.

Student Matinee Policies and Pricing Information

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The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey


All tickets $15 when you reserve by February 28!

Written and Performed by James Lecesne

Directed by Tony Speciale

Original Music by Duncan Sheik

‘Absolute Brightness’ is about the disappearance of Leonard Pelkey, a flamboyant 14-year-old who has been bullied by his peers. Critically-acclaimed actor and writer James Lecesne (I Am My Own Wife at Hartford Stage, the writer of the Academy Award-winning Trevor) portrays a tough New Jersey detective, a withdrawn teenage girl, a brusque yet gentle hairdresser and a dozen other intriguing characters as they join forces to solve a mystery that will forever change their lives. The New Yorker called it, "A whodunit with a heart of gold.”

Best enjoyed by ages 14 and up.

Themes & Topics for discussion:

Death, loss, identity, LGBT themes, bullying, solo performance

(contains bullying, violence and strong language)

Performance Dates (all performances are at 10:30 am)

  • March 29
  • March 31
  • April 5
  • April 19
  • April 20

August Wilson's The Piano Lesson


By August Wilson

Directed by Jade King Carroll

In August Wilson's powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, a fractured family comes together to consider the legacy of their father, as his grown son and daughter argue over the heirloom he left behind.  A ghost story with traditional African-American songs, The Piano Lesson exposes the family's struggles as they attempt to exorcise the demons of the past and bring forth a new hope for the future.

Best enjoyed by ages 12 and up.

Themes & Topics for discussion:

The Great Migration, inheritance, family dynamics, 1930s America, gender roles, legacy

(contains strong racial language, some suggestive content, and supernatural activity)

Performance Dates (all performances are at 10:30 am)

  • October 26
  • October 27
  • November 1
  • November 2
  • November 3




By Charles Dickens

Adapted and originally directed by Michael Wilson

Directed by Rachel Alderman

The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 18th season. Come see Connecticut’s favorite family holiday tradition and spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they bring A Christmas Carol to life on stage. It’s perfect holiday entertainment!

Best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Themes & Topics for discussion:

Dickens, adaptation of literature, the Industrial Revolution, greed and generosity, responsibility to Others

(contains spooky characters and images that may be frightening for very young audience members)

Performance Dates (all performances are at 10:30 am)

  • November 29
  • November 30
  • December 1
  • December 2
  • December 6
  • December 7
  • December 8
  • December 9
  • December 13
  • December 14
  • December 15
  • December 20
  • December 21

The Comedy of Errors


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Darko Tresnjak

From the director of our highly praised productions of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and Twelfth Night comes Shakespeare's zaniest comedy in which two sets of twins separated at birth find themselves in the same city on the same day. Each pair is unaware the other is nearby. This leads to a string of mistaken identities, which explode into outrageous slapstick, false accusations, crackling word play and even demonic possession. A rollicking farce of Shakespearean proportion!

Best enjoyed by ages 12 and up.

Themes & Topics for discussion:

Shakespeare, family, mistaken identity, social status

(contains bullying, demonic possession and some sexuality)

Performance Dates (all performances are at 10:30 am)

  • February 1
  • February 7
  • February 8
  • February 9
  • February 10