Hartford Stage
Location50 Church Street
Hartford, Connecticut
United States
Coordinates41°46′11″N 72°40′28″W / 41.76959°N 72.6745°W / 41.76959; -72.6745Coordinates: 41°46′11″N 72°40′28″W / 41.76959°N 72.6745°W / 41.76959; -72.6745
OwnerHartford Stage Company
ArchitectRobert Venturi

Hartford Stage is an American 501(c)(3) non-profit regional theatre company located on Church Street in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. Since its founding in 1963, Hartford Stage has won the Regional Theatre Tony Award (1989) and many Connecticut Critics Circle and other awards.[1][2]


Founded in 1963 by Jacques Cartier, the company performed in a former supermarket until it moved to its current home at the 489-seat John W. Huntington Theatre, designed by Robert Venturi, in 1968.[3] Jacques Cartier (1963–1968), Paul Weidner (1968–1980), Mark Lamos (1981–1998), Michael Wilson (1998–2011), Darko Tresnjak (2011–2019), and Melia Bensussen (2019–present) have served as the Stage's artistic directors.[4]

Hartford Stage has produced over 80 world and North American premieres, including the new musical Anastasia, which enjoyed a two-year run on Broadway; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical; and Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[3][5] Kevin Bacon starred in the Stage's adaptation of Rear Window.[6]

Hartford Stage gained national recognition under Lamos, who shook up the theatre's traditional repertoire with bolder contemporary dramas and spectacular productions of Shakespeare and classics such as Peer Gynt and The Greeks, a cycle of ancient Greek dramas. Productions that ended up on Broadway included Marvin's Room, Our Country's Good, Tiny Alice, Tea at Five, The Carpetbagger's Children, and Enchanted April.[1]

Under artistic director Wilson, the Stage reemphasized modern American classics from Tennessee Williams and Amiri Baraka.[7] Tresnjak deepened the Stage's commitment to Shakespeare and new American theatre and successfully launched musical theatre as a new programming priority.[8] Bensussen was hired to enhance the Stage's community engagement and education initiatives and diversify its repertoire.[4]


  1. ^ a b Bordman, Gerald; Hischak, Thomas S. (2004), "Hartford Stage", The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780195169867.001.0001/acref-9780195169867-e-1376, ISBN 978-0-19-516986-7, retrieved 2021-08-26
  2. ^ "'Anastasia' Takes Home 7 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards". AMERICAN THEATRE. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2021-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Hartford Stage. Retrieved 2021-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b "Melia Bensussen Named Artistic Director of Hartford Stage". American Theatre. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2021-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Darko Tresnjak to Step Down as Artistic Director of Hartford Stage in June 2019". OnStage Blog. Retrieved 2021-08-26.
  6. ^ Rizzo, Frank (2015-11-01). "Connecticut Theater Review: Kevin Bacon in 'Rear Window'". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Osborn, M. Elizabeth (2010), "Hartford Stage", The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre, Continuum, doi:10.1093/acref/9780199754724.001.0001/acref-9780199754724-e-1175, ISBN 978-0-19-975472-4, retrieved 2021-08-26
  8. ^ Arnott, Christopher (2016-12-18). "Tresnjak Extends At Hartford Stage; 'Moonlight' Playwright Hired At Yale". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2021-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)