Interview with Matthew Lopez by CT Critics Member Bessy Reyna

For many years, Matthew Lopez has been a Latino playwright whose many plays were produced in Hartford Stage and TheaterWorks. Each time one of his plays is presented, he has been generous enough with his time to grant me an interview or to meet with me. Hartford, in particular, has nurtured his talent, not only producing his plays but also having received the support of the Aetna Playwrights program in 2012, providing him with a residency to continue working on his plays. Both the Aetna Playwrights program in 2012, and productions of his play, have, according to Lopez, given him… read more

Young Critics Mentor Program – Nancy Sasso Janis (reprinted from The Waterbury-Republican)

The program is structured to train college students to become theater critics. It partners a current member of the Critics Circle with a college student who is interested in learning to write professional-quality theater reviews. Mentoring young critics was the brainchild of Dr. Brooks Appelbaum, a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle since 2015, who now teaches in the First Year Writing Program, the First Year Seminar Program and the Drama Program at Quinnipiac University. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Cornell. Two purposes of the program are to usher… read more

Berkshire Stages Offer Live Theatre – Tom Holehan

Live theatre? Remember that? As venues across the country struggle to reopen for in-person performances, I was delighted by a recent trip to the Berkshires where some of the area theatres are currently welcoming audiences back. A day trip to nearby Massachusetts is not only scenic but a cultural oasis! After a 15 month delay how great that the first live performance I managed to catch was a revival of one of my favorite plays of all time. Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, is always worth a visit even when it’s under the lesser… read more

Hartford Stage Announces In-Person 2021-2022 Season

Melia Bensussen, Artistic Director of Hartford Stage, announced plans to reopen the theatre to in-person performances for the 2021/2022 Season beginning in October 2021. The theater will produce a 5-play Mainstage season plus a holiday performance. “I am thrilled to be able to welcome our community back to Hartford Stage to a season filled with joy and theatricality. Our intermission is over! There is much to celebrate as we raise the curtain and invite everyone to join us for a season of plays that will re-connect us to each other. I cannot wait to see everyone in person again. ¡Me… read more

Latino Playwrights Taking Over Hartford In June! – by Bessy Reyna

Get ready for a Latino cultural invasion when both TheaterWorks and Hartford Stage present “works in progress” by Latino playwrights as part of their upcoming programs. At TheaterWorks, we will have the opportunity to watch “Moonlighters” a new and very exciting work by Hartford’s Cindy Martinez. It is streaming now through June 25. The show is directed by Jenn Thompson, who directed the hit “Bye, Bye Birdie ” at Goodspeed Musicals in 2016 and The Call and A Doll’s House Part 2 at TheaterWorks. Martinez’s play is the fourth one selected as part of the series to be presented as… read more

CT Critics Circle 2021-2022 Mentor Program

The purpose of this program is to: 1. bring young perspectives and voices into the CCC 2. bring in young critics from a broad range of ethnicities and backgrounds. Criteria to apply: Applicants must be currently matriculated undergraduates at a Connecticut college/university. Applicants need to have some experience writing reviews or essays, which could include theater-related writing, a book review or critical essay, a piece on popular culture, or music (concert or album review). 1. The CCC Mentor program is structured to train currently matriculated college students to become theater critics. Interested students complete the attached application, with June 1st… read more

New Theatre to Open in Branford – Article by Karen Isaacs

A new theater is about to open in the Stony Creek section of Branford. Legacy Theatre has been in the works since 2011 when Keely Baisden Knudsen and Stephanie Stiefel Williams incorporated the Legacy Theatre. But it wasn’t until 2013 that it purchased what is usually referred to as the Puppet House Theatre in Stony Creek. Now, the new theater is about to open its doors, though it has been offering some limited productions and presentations at other venues. Of course, in the midst of the construction, Covid 19 arrived. According to Knudsen, who is the artistic director, there was… read more

Bushnell Sets Dates for 10 B’way Shows

Spring is in the air and vaccination shots are in the arm. Could this mean a touch of normalcy is in the offing? Yes, as Hartford’s Bushnell Theater Broadway series has just announced a season of shows starting this fall. “Escape to Margaritaville” – To shake off the dust of quarantine, what better medicine could you get than a visit to the Caribbean sunshine with that tropical favorite Jimmy Buffett and his enticing “Escape to Margaritaville” from October 12 to 17, 2021. Don a flowered shirt and flip-flops and dip your margarita glass in rainbow sprinkles, orange zest and sugar,… read more

What Plays and Musicals Would You Like to See Revived in CT

This month’s Connecticut Critics Roundtable, asked the critics two questions: Which five plays would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive? Which five musicals would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive? Participants were: Brooks Applebaum, Stuart Brown, Bonnie Goldberg, Tom Holehan, Karen Isaacs, Nancy Sasso Janis, Tim Leininger, Zander Opper, Frank Rizzo. Which five plays would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive? Nancy Sasso Janis The Night of the Iguana Our Town Othello The Tempest A View From the Bridge Frank Rizzo Luv – by Murray Schisgal I saw the original production. Reread it. Holds… read more