Hartford Stage Receives SBM Charitable Foundation Grant

Hartford Stage Receives SBM Charitable Foundation Grant

A generous grant from SBM Charitable Foundation to Hartford Stage will bring the theatre's award-winning education programs to thousands of students in East Hartford, Manchester, and Vernon/Rockville over the next year.

The grant will support students through the "Student Performance Series" and "Connections," two of the Hartford Stage Education Department's many distinguished programs, which serve more than 20,000 young people statewide annually.

"SBM Charitable Foundation is proud to partner again with Hartford Stage for a tenth year to fulfill one of our most important priorities - supporting education enrichment programs for East of the River students. This funding will assist Hartford Stage in its continuation of bringing quality arts and literacy education to so many students living in some of the SBMCF's focus areas," said Doreen Downham, Executive Director.

The "Student Performance Series" will allow students from Manchester High School and Vernon/Rockville High School to travel to Hartford to see productions of Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by recent Tony Award-winner Darko Tresnjak, and The Pianist of Willesden Lane, based on the acclaimed book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, and adapted and directed by Hershey Felder. The series includes pre-show and post-show workshops with the students in the classroom.

An in-school residency program, "Connections" will use theatre techniques to build excitement about reading and to strengthen reading comprehension for 72 classes next year in East Hartford, Manchester, and Vernon/Rockville. Through improvisation, role-playing, dialogue, and other theatre techniques, students will explore the context, plot, and characters of a book selected by the school. At the end of the week-long workshop, each student will receive a copy of the book.

Hartford Stage Education programs 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. The Education Department is committed to serving students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds; nurturing the next generation of artists and theatre professionals; developing a new audience of theatregoers; and being a leader in providing in-school, theatre-based programs that promote creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

Celebrating our 51st anniversary season, 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.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation's most prestigious awards, including four 2014 Tony Awards for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko Tresnjak, and the 1988 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); and Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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