Short Takes

Jane Eyre

Short Takes: News from Hartford Stage

A Look at our Lobby – A Celebration of Adaptation: A Retrospective of Literary Classics on Stage

Hartford Stage has been home to many literary adaptations over the years – from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel; to Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, adapted by Lydia Diamond; to, more recently, The Age of Innocence, adapted by Douglas McGrath. Visit our Upper Lobby gallery to celebrate these beloved titles and many others, as we premiere Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, adapted and directed by Elizabeth Williamson.

Lobby display

A Trip to the Huntington for We All Fall Down

On Sunday, January 26, 30 donors visited the Huntington Theatre in Boston to see a matinee performance of Lila Rose Kaplan’s We All Fall Down, directed by Hartford Stage Artistic Director Melia Bensussen. Guests enjoyed a delicious brunch and a lively pre-show discussion with Bensussen. Following the performance, guests were invited to attend an informative post-show talkback with Bensussen and artists from the play. There are still a few spots available for the trip to the Humana Festival of New Plays in Louisville, April 2-5.  To learn more, contact Kati-Liss Hensel, Major Gifts and Planned Giving Manager, at or (860) 520-7243.

Melia Bensussen

Education Classes for All Ages

Spring Vacation Week is approaching fast! Students, ages 5-16, can join Musical Theatre Jam: Bright Lights, Big City to perform music from shows focused on fabulous New York City. Register now for Adult Studio spring classes –Intro to Improvisation, Scene Study Acting, and Acting for the Camera. School will rock this year at Hartford Stage’s Summer Youth Studio kicking off July 6 at our new location at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at the Learning Corridor. Young artists ages 8 to 18 will act, sing and dance in the popular productions, includingSchoolhouse Rock Kids, High School Musical, Jr. and Legally Blonde.  For more information, and to register for classes, visit

Summer Studio

Get Ready for the Hartford Stage Gala on April 18

Join us for The Heart of Connecticut Ball, presented by Travelers, on Saturday, April 18, to celebrate Hartford Stage’s cultural and economic contributions to our community and our region. The raw spaces of our Scene & Paint shops will be transformed to astound you with theatrical flair! And of course, you’ll enjoy an exceptional evening of auctions, gourmet cuisine, and live music. This year, we are excited to bestow the first Hartford Stage Inspiration Award to Hartford Public Library in recognition of its inspiration and support in helping us further our growth as a community partner. Tickets are available online at

Heart of CT Ball

2020/2021 Season Announcement…Coming Soon!

At Hartford Stage, we strive to create an artistic experience that entertains and engages our audience; and since her arrival last summer, Artistic Director Melia Bensussen has challenged our team—from artists on the stage to the artisans backstage—to reach new heights of artistic excellence each and every time we put on a show. At the helm of next year’s play selection process, Bensussen is crafting a 2020/2021 season that will continue to make Hartford Stage a marquee destination for theatre in Connecticut. If you are a current subscriber, watch your mailbox in the coming weeks for more information about renewing your subscription. And if you are not a subscriber, join our email list to receive our season announcement.

Valentine Volunteers

Carol Scoville and Hans Walser are two of Hartford Stage’s longtime volunteer ushers. They were first introduced in 1958, when Hans and Carol’s first husband worked together at IBM. Along with their spouses, they would play Bridge together and developed a great friendship over the years. Years later, both widowed and having shared a similar love of life, they reconnected at Hartford Stage as volunteer ushers. The two would attend Open Technical Rehearsals, first as friends – but then their relationship grew. Carol and Hans enjoy keeping busy, and they continue to volunteer their time as ushers for Hartford Stage and Playhouse on Park. Both are looking forward to the work Melia Bensussen will direct at Hartford Stage. Photo courtesy of Carol Scoville.

Carol Scoville and Hans Walser

PlayDate Returns

PlayDate, the pilot babysitting program jointly developed by Hartford Stage and Christ Church Cathedral last year, will extend through the remainder of the 2019/2020 season. PlayDate provides free convenient, reliable babysitting to parents and caregivers of children ages 2 to 10 who are eager to relax and enjoy a live theatre performance. The service will be offered on the following 2 p.m. Saturday matinees: Jane Eyre on February 22; The King’s Speech on March 28; Ah, Wilderness! on May 16; andThe Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) on June 13. Learn more and arrange for a PlayDate.

Up Next:  The King’s Speech (March 19-April 19)

With international war looming, England’s King George V dies, leaving the Crown and the crisis to his youngest son Bertie. Shy, fragile and afflicted with a profound stammer, Bertie is ill-equipped to inspire and lead a people now instantaneously informed by a new invention: the wireless radio. He seeks help from a Harley Street doctor, Lionel Logue, and finds an unexpected friendship. But can Logue actually cure the King? Their success or failure as therapist and patient will seal their destiny, the destiny of England and, perhaps, the world. The King’s Speech premiered at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in the UK before debuting on the West End. The film that followed the play won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler. Former Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson directs.

The King's Speech