The 33-year-old landmark building, located in downtown Hartford, will undergo a series of building improvements, which will focus on production capabilities and the public's experience.
The first phase of construction will break ground in June for a mid-September completion, with the second phase to begin in 2010. Hartford Stage is aiming to complete the entire project by fall of 2013, in time for the company's 50th anniversary season.
As part of the renovation, the deck of the stage will be raised, making handicap seating more accessible, and a new stage-level dressing room will be constructed. The theatre will be equipped with new lighting, a new audio system and an expanded trap system so that the auditorium may convert from proscenium to thrust stages.
Patrons will benefit from relocated and expanded restroom facilities, enlarged and renovated lobby areas, as well as a new elevator. The theatre's roof and electrical equipment will also be upgraded. Approximately $10.5 million has been raised for the project, $4 million of which will go to construction, while $2 million was spent on the planning with remaining funds for the theatre's endowment and future endeavors.
"We are so thrilled to be breaking ground this June, after years of extensive planning," said Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson in a statement. "Our community, loyal audiences, and extraordinary artists deserve to work in a theatre that is accessible and provides the modern facilities needed to make their experience at Hartford Stage as uplifting and inspiring as possible." Visit www.hartfordstage.org.