The Connecticut company will also present the holiday staging of A Christmas Carol in addition to its six-play subscription 2004-2005 series.
Regina Taylor's Crowns makes its New England premiere to kick off the season at Hartford. The stagework based on the best-selling book by Michael Cunnigham and Craig Mayberry centers on the celebration of African-American women and the fashion of church hats. Taylor directs her own work in the co production with Arena Stage.
Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson (Enchanted April) will direct the Hare's drama set in a museum gallery in Leningrad in 1956 which revolves around an attempt to authenticate the suspect title painting. The Bay at Nice will star Parsons — director of the recent Broadway staging of Salome and actress known as the mother on "Roseanne." Last seen at Hartford Stage in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days in 1998, she has also played on Broadway in Morning's at Seven and won an Academy Award for "Bonnie and Clyde."
Director Wilson next takes on his adaptation of the Dickens' classic with A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas. The music-filled staging will be in its seventh year of presenting the tale to Connecticut audiences.
Busy Wilson then kicks off the new year with his staging of Joe Orton's play What the Butler Saw, the story of a doctor who is attempting some extramarital activity when his wife unexpectedly arrives from a sexual misadventure of her own. Cuban-American playwright Eduardo Machado brings his story of a woman working in the kitchen in the mansion of a rich Cuban family when Castro comes into power. The regime change causes the lady of the house to flee to New York, leaving the cook to care for the family, home and husband and deal with the eventual return of the lady's daughter who comes back to claim her childhood home. Michael John Gárces, who staged the work last season at New York's Intar 53 Theatre, returns to direct the work.
Hartford Stage revisits its first production — over 40 years ago — as the company once again present Shakespeare's Othello. Part of the National Endowment for the Arts' "Shakespeare for a New Generation" initiative, Karin Coonrod directs the classic Bard tale of a Moor coerced into believing his love is unfaithful to him by his plotting colleague.
The company also continues its commitment to the work of playwright Tennessee Williams as Hartford Stage presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Michael Wilson directs the play which finds a former football hero drowning in his grief after losing his best friend while his desirous wife longs to produce an heir to the family fortune in danger of going to his older, fruitful brother as their ailing father condition worsens.
The complete 2004-2005 season lineup (subject to change) is as follows:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (May 26-June 26, 2005) Subscriptions to the new season at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford, CT will be available by calling (860) 527-5151 . For more information, visit www.hartfordstage.org.