The Children and Rain Will Be Part of Hartford's Brand:NEW Festival

News   The Children and Rain Will Be Part of Hartford's Brand:NEW Festival
Michael Elyanow's The Children and Regina Taylor's Rain will be among the works seen in Hartford Stage's Brand:NEW festival of fresh works for the stage.

As previously reported, Brand:NEW kicks off Nov. 6 at 7:30 PM with Elliott, A Soldier's Fugue by Quiara Hudes, and directed by Hana Sharif. "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."

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."

Newly added is The Children, by Michael Elyanow, 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."

Daniel Beatty's Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes follows on Nov. 8 at 2 PM. Jeremy B. Cohen directs Beaty 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."

Also added to the line-up is Regina Taylor's Rain, on Nov. 8 at 4:30 PM. Timothy Douglass directs the piece where "Iris 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." 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 Wilson directs the final offering, which will be Elizabeth Egloff's The Ether Dome on 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."

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

The centerpiece of Brand:NEW will be 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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