World Premiere of SIMONA'S SEARCH, FRANKENSTEIN, and More Announced for Hartford Stage 2020/2021 Season

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World Premiere of SIMONA'S SEARCH, FRANKENSTEIN, and More Announced for Hartford Stage 2020/2021 Season

Hartford Stage has announced its 2020/2021 season.

Four unique stories guaranteed to entertain and inspire audiences - a beloved romantic Shakespeare comedy; a world premiere drama about an enigmatic father and his inquisitive daughter; a wryly funny take on bridging generational differences; and a chilling reimagining of a literary classic - highlight Hartford Stage's 2020/2021 season. It will be the first full season selected by Obie Award-winning Artistic Director Melia Bensussen.

Bensussen, together with Managing Director Cynthia Rider, announced today four of the plays comprising the Tony Award-winning theatre's 2020/2021 Mainstage - As You Like It by William Shakespeare; the world premiere of Simona's Search by Martín Zimmerman; Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous by Pearl Cleage; and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by David Catlin. Two additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks.

"At this moment of uncertainty and fear, it is easy to lose sight of all the good that undoubtedly lies ahead. Hartford Stage is determined to welcome its patrons back to the theatre we all cherish: for next season, more than ever, we will need stories that are theatrical adventures, and we'll be hungry for the opportunity to sit and laugh and enjoy theatre together. It's about entertainment... it's about community... and most of all, it's about you. Each play contains within it an aspiration for a better connection to each other and a longing for a kinder and more generous world in these unsettled times," Bensussen said. "Whether through wit or poetry or thrills and chills, these plays will give us the opportunity to share the wonder of great storytelling with our community."

"All the world's a stage..." Bensussen will direct As You Like It, William Shakespeare's beloved romantic comedy. This exuberant, gender-bending theatrical journey features one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, Rosalind, who is banished from the court of Duke Frederick and escapes to the enchanted Forest of Arden - a fantastical place where all are welcomed and embraced. As You Like It will be Bensussen's first Shakespeare production at Hartford Stage. Bensussen is the recipient of the Obie Award for Outstanding Direction and the Princess Grace Foundation, USA Statue Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing.

Bensussen will also direct the world premiere of Simona's Search from Martín Zimmerman, a writer and producer of Netflix's Ozark and the showrunner and creator of the streaming service's crime thriller, Puerta 7. Simona's Search is a moving, poetic look at the bond between fathers and daughters. Curious about her father's life in Latin America before moving to the United States, Simona obsesses over his secrets, and her thoughts and dreams become haunted by the mystery that is his past. Zimmerman has received numerous playwriting awards, including the Terrence McNally New Play Award and the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation. His plays, including Seven Spots on the Sunand On the Exhale, have been produced at theatres across the country.

Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous, the latest work from celebrated playwright and bestselling author Pearl Cleage, follows Anne and Betty - best friends who return to the United States to participate in an arts festival after 25 years of living abroad in creative exile. Drawing on a life of art and activism, Cleage explores the current political landscape and the generational differences among African-American women with her signature wry humor. Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeousis produced in association with Denver Center Theatre Company and Arena Stage. Susan V. Booth, Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre, directs.

In David Catlin's imaginative retelling of Mary Shelley's horror classic Frankenstein, an eerie evening of ghost stories get spun as the author herself breathes new life into her tale of the infamous Victor Frankenstein and his unholy experiment. Shelley's own personal torments emerge to add to the classic gothic tale of love and horror in this terrifying theatrical spectacle. Catlin - a founding ensemble member, actor, writer, director, and former Artistic Director of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company - will direct. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein debuted last year at Lookingglass to rave reviews from audiences and critics.

A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas will return for its 23rd year in November. The beloved Charles Dickens tale, originally adapted and directed by former Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson, is directed by Hartford Stage Artistic Associate Rachel Alderman.

Subscriptions for the six-play mainstage season are now on sale. Visit https://www.hartfordstage.org/show/subscribe, or call the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151. Please note that titles and artists are subject to change. The on-sale date for single ticket and group sales will be announced shortly.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas are currently on sale to subscribers only. It is not part of a subscription series.



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