What’s Going on Outside?

Renovations at Hartford Stage

Exterior Architect Rendering
Exterior Rendering from JCJ Architecture.

The fences and tools outside mark the start of the third phase of Hartford Stage renovations.

This will be the most eye-popping and transformative phase.  We will completely reconfigure the theatre’s entrance and main public spaces, mostly notably with the addition of a passenger elevator, which will be a soaring structure of glass and steel. Other renovations will include the refurbishment of the lower lobby and the bar/food service areas, as well as improvements to the exterior of the building, including roof repairs, the installation of a new digital marquee, new lighting, signage and landscaping.

The renovations will begin on the exterior of the building while our productions of The Pianist of Willesden Lane and Kiss Me, Kate are running and continue throughout the summer with completion expected to be around Labor Day, just before we open our 52nd season.  While the patio area right outside the theatre will be under construction during the season, there will still be access to the theatre and box office from the current entrance.  We do not anticipate any impact on the shows or our audiences during this time. 

The total cost of this phase will be approximately $5 million. Hartford Stage received a grant of $2.5 million from the State Department of Economic and Community Development for this project.

At a cost of just under $800,000, last summer’s renovations — which completed the second phase of the multi-year project — included the replacement of all of the theatre’s 484 seats; an expansion of accessible seating to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; an upgrade of the backstage HVAC; and a complete remodeling of the theatre’s upper lobby, including the bar, kitchen and exhibition space.

Managing Director Michael Stotts and Hartford Stage Production Manager Bryan Holcombe continue to manage the project, with the assistance of Construction Solutions Group. The architect is JCJ Architecture, and the contractor is Bartlett, Brainard, and Eacott. The 50 Church Street location has been home to Hartford Stage since 1977.