Hudes' Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue Launches Hartford's Brand:NEW Festival Nov. 6

News   Hudes' Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue Launches Hartford's Brand:NEW Festival Nov. 6
The plays of Quiara Hudes, Michael Elyanow, Christopher Shinn, Daniel Beatty, Regina Taylor, Elizabeth Egloff and Craig Wright are part of Hartford Stage's Brand:NEW festival, which begins Nov. 6.

Hudes, a Tony nominee for In the Heights, is the first playwright whose work will be featured in the 2008 festival of fresh works for the stage. Her play, Elliott, A Soldier's Fugue, directed by Hana Sharif, will be presented Nov. 6 at 7:30 PM.

In Elliot, press notes state, "Lance Corporal Elliot Ortiz is back from Iraq, with a Purple Heart pinned to his chest and anointed a hometown hero. Back from active duty and coming to terms with his experiences, the story military experiences of his father, mother and grandfather unfold, uniting three generations of Puerto-Rican soldiers and wringing love and beauty from pain and devastation."

The cast features Armando Riesco, Teddy Canez, Mateo Gomez and Yetta Gottesman.

Christopher Shinn's Now or Later, under the direction of Maxwell Williams, will be presented Nov. 7 at 7:30 PM. "It's the evening of the election, and things are looking rosy for the Democratic Party. Holed up in a hotel watching the results flood in are the likely President-elect, his wife, advisors and 20 year old son John Jr. Every speech, interview and photograph has been carefully controlled and meticulously orchestrated. But now, news is leaking on the internet that John Jr. is gay, threatening to throw the election."

The cast includes Ryan King, Jeff Biehl, Thomas Jay Ryan, Keith Langsdale, Laila Robbins and Stephanie Berry. Michael Elyanow's The Children will be directed by Leah C. Gardiner on Nov. 8 at 10 AM. "Past and present collide when the children of Medea are accidentally transported from Greek antiquity to the sleepy town of present-day Athens, Maine. A brilliant spectacle combining live theatre and puppetry, high tragedy and broad comedy, proving the path to the underworld is paved with the secrets families keep best."

Set to perform the work are Suli, Vivienne Benesch, Allyn Burrows, Pedro Pascal and Lia Aprile. Bart Roccoburton serves as puppet consultant.

Daniel Beatty's Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes follows on Nov. 8 at 2 PM. Jeremy B. Cohen directs playwright Daniel Beatty and Kecia Lewis in the Brand:NEW presentation. "He was the son of slaves, but born with a pure tenor voice. His extraordinary journey took him from plantation to palace. He lived between worlds where one day he sang for the crowned heads of Europe, and another was beaten for sitting in the 'whites only' section of a shoe store. Hear the inspirational story of Black equality pioneer Roland Hays as performed by one of the most exciting new voices in the American theatre."

Regina Taylor's Rain will be presented on Nov. 8 at 4:30 PM. Timothy Douglass directs the piece, which concerns "Iris, [who] has ended her marriage and returned to her mother's home to confront conflicted memories of her childhood. Joy and sadness abound in this heartwarming new play about living life to its very fullest."

The cast includes Novella Nelson, Rachel Leslie, Lynda Gravatt, Caroline Clay and Howard Overshown.

Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made, under the direction of Wendy C. Goldberg, will be offered Nov. 9 at 2 PM. "A day in the office life of N. Felix Artifex, an aging entrepreneur who redefines micromanagement. An atmosphere that is high stressed, out of control and no holds barred, leads to unexpected when 'all God's children' don't play nice."

Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington appear in the two-hander.

Michael Wilson directs the final offering, Elizabeth Egloff's The Ether Dome, Nov. 9 at 7:30 PM. "Horace Wells, a young dentist practicing in 1840's Hartford, was on the verge of fame. His experiments using nitrous oxide and ether as anesthesia promise to change medical practice forever, and bring him vast wealth and international acclaim. Instead, a bungled experiment leads to theft of his patent and a downward spiral into madness and tragedy."

The cast includes Neal Huff, Louisa Krause, James Waterston, Patrick Kerr, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Alvin Epstein, Sarah Goosmann, Rob Cunliffe and Tom Libonate.

Brand:NEW will also host a playwrights panel with the participating authors Nov. 9 at 11 AM.

The centerpiece of Brand:NEW is an evening of ten ten-minute plays penned by notable playwrights, including New Voices Fellows Quiara Hudes and Daniel Beaty, as well as Edward Albee, Eduardo Machado, Theresa Rebeck, Horton Foote, Susan Lori-Parks, Michael Elyanow, Eve Ensler and Luis Alfaro. The fundraiser, entitled 10/10/10, will take place Nov. 10.

Actress Kate Mulgrew has been announced to take part in Theresa Rebeck's Art Appreciation, and Maureen Anderman will appear in Edward Albee's The Perfect Marriage as part of 10/10/10.

Festival passes for the Brand:NEW readings are $25 and may be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151. Tickets for 10/10/10 are $100 and are available by calling (860) 520-7241.

Hartford Stage is located at 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford, CT. For more information visit

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