Celebrating its 52nd anniversary, The Hartford Stage Company is one is one of the nation’s leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and acclaimed new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres. In 2014, the Stage presented the Broadway premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which won four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical. While rightly proud of its past and more recent successes, the Hartford Stage’s aging infrastructure has limited the types of productions it can launch.
In response to these issues, The Hartford Stage has been working to expand its productions to update its facility and bring it up to code. To that end, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has awarded a $200,000 grant to Stage to leverage a $2.5 million challenge grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. In addition to the Foundation and state funding, the Stage has raised approximately $2 million in cash or pledges and has $404,961 from a previous endowment campaign to pay for the renovation project.
“In order to ensure that the Hartford Stage maintains its place as one of our region’s most significant arts institutions, it must ensure that its facilities allow it to expand its offerings and its audience,” said Dawn Grant, program officer at the Hartford Foundation. “This major renovation effort will ensure that its facilities are not only in compliance with all regulations but also provide Hartford Stage’s audiences with a truly first class theatrical experience for many years to come.”
Improvements made to the theatre include:
“This phase of renovations included several features that will make the theatre more accessible to patrons with disabilities, including the addition of an elevator which provides access to the upper lobby and accessible seat locations in the upper auditorium, as well as ADA-accessible features at the box office, in the courtyard and doorways, and at the lower level bar,” said Mike Stotts, the theatre’s managing director. “Overall, we anticipate patrons having a richer theatre-going experience given all of the upgrades that have taken place since 2010.”
About the Hartford Foundation
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrates 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $620 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.