Backstage Costume Shop, Dressing Rooms, and Green Room Slated for Remodel this Summer
HARTFORD, CT — April 5, 2018 — Hartford Stage will embark upon the final phase of a $14 million, multi-year plan to transform the 50 Church Street theatre’s functionality, comfort and accessibility. The remaining renovations, slated to begin at the close of the 2017-18 season, will include a refurbishment of guest artist dressing rooms, fully remodeled green room, and a state-of-the-art costume shop.
“It has been a long process, but we are finally coming to the end of this renovation project. By the time we are done, almost every square inch of the theatre complex will have been upgraded,” said Michael Stotts, Hartford Stage Managing Director. “Since starting the project in 2010, we have transformed the theatre-going experience for our audiences and made vast improvements in artistic and technical capabilities for directors, designers and technicians. This final phase will at last improve the work environment for actors, our backstage crews, and the costume shop staff.”
The projected cost for this summer’s renovations is $1.45 million. In addition to new HVAC, lighting and flooring, the costume shop will feature a dedicated wig area, expanded fitting rooms, new windows and upgraded work spaces to accommodate specialty projects. The green room will include an updated kitchen and new furnishings. Restrooms and dressing rooms will also be upgraded to become fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Work is expected to be completed prior to the start of the 2018-19 season in late August.
In addition to the generous support of individual donors, Hartford Stage received grants from Stanley Black & Decker, The Larsen Fund, and The Richard P. Garmany Fund to finance the final phase of the renovation.
Initial planning for the Hartford Stage renovation project and capital campaign began in 2006. Due to the economic recession in 2008, the original plan was downsized and phased over a multi-year period. Throughout the entirety of the renovation, Bartlett, Brainard and Eacott has led as the construction manager on the project.
Mitchell Kurtz Architects designed the first phase of renovations, which began in 2010 and included expansions to the lower lobby and restrooms, in addition to improvements to the stage floor to allow for increased production design opportunities.
In 2014, JCJ Architecture was hired to design and complete the project. Phase two included the replacement of all 484 seats in the theatre; an expansion of accessible seating to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); an upgrade of the backstage HVAC; and a complete remodeling of the upper lobby, including the bar, kitchen and exhibition space.
The latest renovations in 2015 included the exterior’s glass façade and digital marquee; remodeled box office and lower lobby/bar area; digital monitors; outdoor courtyard and landscaping; roof repairs; and a new house manager’s office. Further improvements to Hartford Stage’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC were also made. A new passenger elevator was also installed.
Now in our 54th season, Hartford Stage is under the leadership of Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts. One of the nation’s leading resident theatres, Hartford Stage is known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 73 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches close to 21,000 students annually.
Since Tresnjak’s appointment in 2011 the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Tresnjak; Rear Window with Kevin Bacon; the new musical Anastasia by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; and Reverberation by Matthew Lopez.
Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans’ Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger’s Children; and Tea at Five.
The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage’s offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.