Hartford Stage's 50th Season Will Make a Star of Aesop in New Musical; Shakespeare, Coward and More Planned

By Kenneth Jones
22 Mar 2013

Priscilla Lopez with playwright Matthew Lopez
Priscilla Lopez with playwright Matthew Lopez
Photo by Henry DiRocco

The 50th-anniversary season at Hartford Stage will offer classics and new works, including a world-premiere musical, the East Coast premiere of Matthew Lopez's new play and more, artistic director Darko Tresnjak and managing director Michael Stotts announced on March 22.

In a reference to the past, the 2013-14 season will open with one cast performing two plays in rotating rep, the way it was done when Hartford Stage opened its doors in 1963. Marivaux's comedy, La Dispute (adapted by Tresnjak and Elizabeth Williamson, senior dramaturg/director of New Play Development, from a translation by Williamson) and Shakespeare's dark Macbeth will run together under Tresnjak's direction, Sept. 12-Nov. 10. Kate Forbes (The Crucible and The Cover of Life at Hartford Stage) will play Lady Macbeth.

The new musical, closing the season May 22-June 15, 2014, is called Love and Other Fables, with book by Jay Jeffries and John McMahon, lyrics by Jay Jeffries and music by John McMahon. John Rando (Tony Award winner for Urinetown) will direct the "reimagining" of the life of ancient fabulist Aesop.

Also planned in 2013-14:



The 15th anniversary of Brand:NEW Fall Festival of New Works, Oct. 24-27, 2013.

The Underpants by Steve Martin, adapted from the play by Carl Sternheim, directed by Gordon Edelstein in a co-production with Long Wharf Theatre, Jan. 9-Feb. 2, 2014.

The rarely produced A Song at Twilight, Noël Coward's elegant and bittersweet comedy, marking the return of former artistic director Mark Lamos for the first time since 2002, Feb. 20-March 16, 2014, in a co-production with Westport Country Playhouse, where Lamos currently serves as artistic director.

The Whipping Man playwright Matthew Lopez's dance-filled family drama, Somewhere, directed by Giovanna Sardelli and featuring Lopez's aunt, Tony winner Priscilla Lopez, in its East Coast Premiere, April 3-27, 2014. Writer Lopez is currently an Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage.

A "full rejuvenation" of the annual production of A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens, adapted and originally directed by former artistic director Michael Wilson, who will return this season to collaborate with director Maxwell Williams on the updated version, Nov. 29-Dec. 28, 2013. Expect "sparkling new life to the vast set, costumes and special effects that have thrilled more than 200,000 families for the past 15 years."

On Nov. 3, all five of the theatre's artistic directors — founding artistic director Jacques Cartier, Paul Weidner, Mark Lamos, Michael Wilson and Darko Tresnjak — will unite for the first time for a panel discussion at the theatre. On Nov. 4, the artistic directors, former artists, staff, board members, and members of the community will gather for a special benefit performance and party celebrating milestone events of the theatre's 50-year history.

The season will also include a collaboration with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Hartford Stage and HSO will present four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with text by Shakespeare and music by Mendelssohn. HSO music director Carolyn Kuan will serve as conductor, Darko Tresnjak will direct. This special event will only perform Jan. 9-12, 2014.

For more information about the acclaimed Connecticut resident theatre, visit hartfordstage.org.