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ANASTASIA Musical to Make World Premiere at Hartford Stage Next Summer; Darko Tresnjak to Direct!

ANASTASIA Musical to Make World Premiere at Hartford Stage Next Summer; Darko Tresnjak to Direct!Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak, the Tony Award winner for Best Director of a Musical for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, will anchor Hartford Stage's 2015-16 season from May 12-June 5, 2016, with the world premiere of a new musical, Anastasia, inspired by the real life Royal Anastasia Romanov and the enduring mystery of her true identity.

Directed by Tresnjak next spring, Anastasia reunites the Tony Award-winning writers of the Broadway classic Ragtime: book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty.

From the twilight of the Russian monarchy to Jazz Age Paris in the 1920s, the new musical Anastasia is the romantic and rousing story of one brave young woman attempting to discover the mystery of her past while finding a place for herself in the rapidly changing world of a new century. With a rich and sweeping musical score that evokes the opulence of Russian aristocracy and the energy of Paris street life, Anastasia is the ultimate journey of a woman caught between the pull of the past and the promise of the future.

In addition to Ragtime, for which they both received Tony Awards, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written several of Broadway's most popular musicals, including Once on This Island, Seussical, My Favorite Year, and most recently, Rocky. The songwriting team was nominated for the Academy Award for "Journey to the Past" from the film Anastasia.

Four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally, will be writing the musical's book. His many credits include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and most recently, Mothers and Sons, as well as the books for the musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full Monty, and now on Broadway, The Visit.

The new musical Anastasia is inspired by the 1956 and 1997 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Pictures.

Hartford Stage's 52nd season lineup also will include the world premieres of An Opening in Time by Christopher Shinn, directed by Oliver Butler, from September 17-October 11, and Rear Window, adapted for the stage by Keith Reddin, based upon the story "Rear Window" by Cornell Woolrich, directed by Tresnjak, October 22-November 15. The year will close with the 18th annual production of A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas, directed by Maxwell Williams, November 27-December 26.

After the holidays, the season continues with The Body of an American by Dan O'Brien, directed by Jo Bonney, in a co-production with Primary Stages, January 7-31; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Tresnjak, February 11-March 6; and Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years by Emily Mann, Adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, directed by Jade King Carroll, in a co-production with Long Wharf Theatre, March 31-April 24.

The six-play MainStage Season is on sale now, and subscriptions start at $125, a substantial savings over the cost of individual tickets. Order online at www.hartfordstage.org/subscribe or call the Box Office at 860-527-5151.

Single tickets for all shows will go on sale to the general public in July. However, group seats are available now for all shows via www.hartfordstage.org/group-sales or Theresa MacNaughton at (860) 520-7114.

Now in our 51st year, Hartford Stage is one of the nation's leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches more than 20,000 students annually.

In 2011, Darko Tresnjak became only the fifth artistic director to lead Hartford Stage. Since then 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 Darko; Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; and Big Dance Theatre's Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Hartford Stage, under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Stotts, has earned many of the nation's most prestigious awards, including its first Tony Award in 1988 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.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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