Spreading Absolute Brightness
By Erin Rose, Education Enrollment & Marketing Coordinator
In March and April, approximately 1,250 students attended student matinee performances of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. While standard student matinee performances include a complimentary talkback with the cast, these students also had the opportunity to participate in a special post-show workshop, thanks to a generous grant from the Greater Hartford Arts Council. In all, 420 students opted to participate in the workshops, which were led by both Hartford Stage teaching artists and Leonard Pelkey creator and star James Lecesne himself. These workshops explored themes of the play – in particular, the feelings of alienation and loneliness that Leonard may have felt, and with which many of our student attendees identified.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey explored the ways in which one young man, considered an outsider by some of his peers, positively touched the lives of so many around him. While many of the young people attending student matinee performances may be at a point in their lives where they’re questioning their own places in the world, it is the hope of Hartford Stage that they will take the message of the play and go forth to spread a bit of that same absolute brightness in their own communities.