Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Hartford Stage to Present the World Premiere of Sarah Gancher's SEDER


Hartford Stage to Present the World Premiere of Sarah Gancher's SEDER

Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for the World Premiere of Sarah Gancher's Seder, an intimate tale of survival and freedom, which will perform at Hartford Stage October 19 through November 12. Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director ElizaBeth Williamson will direct.

Set in Budapest in 2002, Seder is a visceral family drama that weaves together a mother's mysterious past working for the Hungarian KGB with a daughter's unexpected homecoming. As the family attempts to celebrate its first Passover Seder, a lifetime of dark secrets is revealed. The play is based on a true story.

In addition to Seder, Sarah Gancher has two other world premieres coming up this season: I'll Get You Back Again in October at Round House Theatre, directed by Rachel Chavkin, and The Lucky Ones, a new musical with The Bengsons next spring at Ars Nova, directed by Anne Kauffman. Another musical with The Bengsons, Hundred Days, premiered at Under the Radar this year and will be produced this winter by New York Theatre Workshop. Gancher's writing has been seen on stages across the United States and internationally, including London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Steppenwolf, and The Flea. Seder is part of her 7th cycle of plays set in Budapest, where she lived for several years.

"In Seder, Sarah tackles a less well-known period of 20th Century Jewish history, post-WWII in Communist Eastern Europe," Williamson said. "It's a compelling and thought-provoking play, which asks what I believe are vital questions: What responsibility does a secretary for the Hungarian KGB bear for the atrocities committed by her bosses? And can her children, growing up in a democratic era, actually make more moral choices than she has? What does the right choice look like?"

The cast of Seder includes Liam Craig (The Scene, Hartford Stage; The Killer, Theatre for a New Audience) as Tamas; Mia Dillon (Cloud 9 and A Song at Twilight, Hartford Stage; Our Town, Broadway) as Erzsike; Birgit Huppuch (The Moors, Yale Repertory and The Playwrights Realm; Men on Boats, Playwrights Horizons) as Judit; Dustin Ingram (Crimes of the Heart, McCarter Theatre Center; True Blood) as Laci; Steven Rattazzi (Indecent, Broadway; Marie Antoinette, Yale Repertory) as David; Julia Sirna-Frest (Welcome to the Gun Show, Ars Nova; [Porto], The Bushwick Starr) as Margit; and Jeremy Webb (The Visit, Broadway; The Glorious Ones, Lincoln Center Theater) as Attila.

Seder follows Williamson's Hartford Stage directorial debut, Cloud 9, last season. Before her appointment as Associate Artistic Director in 2015, Williamson was Hartford Stage's Senior Dramaturg & Director of New Play Development for three years. She helped launch the Hartford Stage world premieres of the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder; Big Dance Theatre's Man in a Case; Matthew Lopez's Reverberation; Christopher Shinn's An Opening in Time; and the new musical Anastasia, currently on Broadway. A dramaturg, director, producer, and translator, Williamson has also worked with the American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Pioneer Theatre, Steppenwolf, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

In addition to Williamson, the creative team is comprised of Set Designer Nick Vaughan (Cloud 9, Hartford Stage; The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater); Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi (Cloud 9 and Romeo & Juliet at Hartford Stage); Lighting Designer Marcus Dilliard (Refugia, The Guthrie Theatre; Tartuffe, South Coast Rep/Berkeley Rep/Shakespeare Theater); Sound Designer Jane Shaw (Heartbreak House and La Dispute, Hartford Stage); and Script Consultant Jocelyn Clarke (Sundance Theatre Lab, Siti Company).

Lori Ann Zepp (August Wilson's The Piano Lesson and The Body of An American at Hartford Stage) will serve as Production Stage Manager, with Merrick A.B. Williams (Somebody's Daughter, Second Stage Theatre; Damn Yankees, The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse) as Assistant Stage Manager.

The Executive Sponsor for Seder is The Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.

The Community Partnership Sponsor is the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.

Additional support provided by Federman, Lally & Remis.

The 2017-18 Season is also sponsored by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

Special Dates
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 19
Opening Night: 8 p.m., Friday, October 27
Closes: 2 p.m., Sunday, November 12

Tickets & Performances
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun at 7:30 p.m.-Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.-Sat, Sun at 2 p.m.
Wed matinee at 2 p.m. on November 1 only.
Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit

Tickets for all shows start at $25. Student tickets: $18.

For group discounts (10 or more), email or call 860-520-7114.

For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit

Related Articles View More Connecticut Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You