Ether Dome

Ether Dome

September 11 – October 5

By Elizabeth Egloff

Directed by Michael Wilson

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!

Darko’s Comments…

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.

Danielle Bonanno, Michael Bakkensen, Lee SellarsL to R – Richmond Hoxie, Ken Cheeseman, William Youmans, Tom Patterson, Bill Kux, Greg Balla (seated)L to R – Ken Cheeseman, Greg Balla (seated) Richmond Hoxie, William Youmans, Tom Patterson, Bill Kux (seated)Tom PattersonL to R – Tom Patterson,Richmond Hoxie, Andrew Bryce (seated) Greg Balla, Michael BakkensenMichael Bakkensen, Amelia Pedlow L to R – Bill Kux, Richmond Hoxie, William Youmans, Salvatore Mitsou, Jacob GrannanWilliam Youmans, Tom Patterson (seated)William Youmans, Richmond HoxieL to R – Salvatore Mitsou, Erik C. Bloomquist, Greg Balla, Lee Sellars (seated), Richmond Hoxie, Andrew BryceL to R – Richmond Hoxie, Lee Sellars (seated) Greg Balla, Tom Patterson, Salvatore Mitsou, William YoumansGreg Balla, Tom Patterson, Richmond Hoxie, Lee Sellars (seated)Ken Cheeseman, Richmond Hoxie, Greg Balla, Bill KuxTom PattersonLiba Vaynberg, Tom PattersonWilliam Youmans, Richmond Hoxie

Photos by T. Charles Erickson


Michael Wilson

Shirley Fishman

Set Designer
James Youmans

Costume Designer
David Woolard

Lighting Designer
David Lander

Sound Designer
John Gromada

Stage Manager
Lori Lundquist

Assistant Stage Manager
Alex Hajjar

Associate Director
Rachel Alderman


Horace Wells
Michael Bakkensen

Greg Balla

Inman/As Cast
Erik Christopher Bloomquist

Girl in White
Danielle Bonanno

Paul/Medical Student
Andrew Bryce

Dr. Gould
Ken Cheeseman

Medical Student/As Cast
Jacob Grannan

Dr. Warren
Richmond Hoxie

Bill Kux

Medical Student/As Cast
Salvatore Mitsou

Mrs. Wadsworth
Johanna Morrison

William Morton
Tom Patterson

Elizabeth Wells
Amelia Pedlow

Dr. Colton
Lee Sellars

Lizzie Morton
Liba Vaynberg

Dr. Jackson
William Youmans


Production Sponsor

The Edward C. & Ann B. Roberts Foundation

Ether Dome is funded in part by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project