Meet the Artist
Interview with Erik Bloomquist, former Hartford Stage student and current Ether Dome cast member
by Scott Bartelson, Management Associate
As the leading provider of theater education programs in Connecticut, serving over 20,000 students annually, it is rewarding to see one of those former students return in a MainStage production. We asked Erik Bloomquist to reflect on his experience and history with Hartford Stage and the impact it had on his career in the theater.
What was your experience like as a young person with Hartford Stage? Did it influence your desire or interest to become an actor?
Since I was very young, Hartford Stage has been an incredible presence in my life. Having access to world-class theatre has been a gift. I especially loved the first performance I saw of A Christmas Carol. Interestingly, that was also the first show I performed in at Hartford Stage 10 years ago. To this day, I enjoy great relationships with many of those cast members.
What education programs have you participated in at Hartford Stage?
During winter vacation when I was a freshman in high school I took a wonderful acting intensive workshop. In addition, Hartford Stage holds an annual Career Day for students across the state of CT to visit the theatre and learn about theatre career paths. I welcomed the opportunity to perform a monologue for the visiting students and participate on the Q & A acting panel for four consecutive years.
I was also a two-time selected playwright for Write On! during the Brand:NEW Festival of New Works. The process of re-writes to experimenting with actors to bring [the play] to life was an amazing experience. It not only provided me with an important layer of education, it was an affirmation for me – encouragement to continue dreaming, acting, writing and creating. Hartford Stage has and continues to propel me in my work as an artist.
What are you most excited about for Ether Dome?
The artistic team is truly incredible. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to work with and learn from such a seasoned and talented company.
How has Hartford Stage impacted your work as an actor? Do you have any upcoming projects?
Hartford Stage has been and will always be an ongoing source of inspiration and artistic sustenance for me, both as a performer and audience member. As for current projects, I am costarring in an upcoming PBS miniseries, The Mystery of Matter. My segment is about anesthesia and my character, Robert Southey, is actually the first person ever to try laughing gas; Ether Dome is based on the true story of the discovery of anesthesia. What an interesting coincidence! I am also writing/directing/producing an upcoming film which is nearing the end of its development process.