Hartford Stage Company
10/10/10 Anniversary Fundraiser
Monday, November 10, 2008
Hartford, CT

Photo by Hartford Stage

Kate backstage before the event.
Kate Mulgrew and Edward Albee were the Honorary Chairs of Hartford Stage Company's 10/10/10 Anniversary Fundraiser. 
Press Release

Hartford Courant Article

Plays Read by Kate

The Shape Of The River
By Horton Foote
Directed by Michael Wilson

Sam...........................Robert Hannon Davis
Livy.......................... Kate Mulgrew
Susy...........................Celia Keenan-Bolger
Katy...........................Bridget Antoininett Evans
Roger/Captain...........Tom Liponate

'The Shape Of The River' told a story from the life of Samuel Clemens, his wife Livy and daughter Susy. Of couse Samuel Clemens is better known as Mark Twain. 

Art Appreciation
By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen

Miss Paula..................Kate Mulgrew

Many thanks to Hartford Stage for the photos. 

Photo by Hartford Stage

Photo by Hartford Stage
Report by Joni 
Many Thanks to Joni for the report!

This trip was bittersweet for me.  After returning home on Thursday from my brother’s funeral, I seriously contemplated not going to Hartford.  I decided I had already paid the money for the trip and needed something pleasant to get my mind off of things, so I decided to go ahead and go.

I arrived at the Hartford airport and decided to take the adventure of the bus, vs. a forty dollar cab ride into town.   The wait for the bus seemed to take forever, but once on it, we seemed to be setting bus speed records.  I met up with a friend downtown, at our hotel, and we decided to explore Hartford.  We walked around and noticed that it wasn’t very lively on Sunday evening.  We did stop at an old cemetery, and looked at the headstones dating back to 1764.  Some of them had obviously been repaired, but there were a few that appeared to be in original condition.

In the evening, we decided to go see a reading of a new play about the discoverer of anesthesia, called “The Ether Dome”.  It was sort of odd and in very rough form.  It was an experience and for the five dollar ticket, one we were willing to forgo at the intermission.  By that time, the town had pretty much rolled up its sidewalks, so we went back to our hotel.

Monday morning we started our adventure.  We had a lovely breakfast, and then went out exploring.  We started out by taking the Star Shuttle to see what we could find.  It took us around town and to the Convention Center, and then returned us just a short walk from our hotel.  The bus driver couldn’t believe that anyone would come to Hartford for just a play.  He obviously didn’t know our obsession for all things Kate.  We started walking around town again, and decided to go through Bushnell Park.  It was a lovely fall morning, crisp, cool and the sun was shining.  What more could a girl ask for?  The park had a lovely pond with sculpture in it, several statues, a carousel (which was closed) and the Capitol building.  We made our way to Union Station and decided to be cheapskates and take the bus to see Mark Twain’s house.  It was right next to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house, but her house wasn’t open on Mondays.  We toured Mark Twain’s house and got the local lore about him.  It is a lovely impressive house with Tiffany stenciling all around the main floor.  The furniture included many beautiful antiques and a pool table on the top floor.  After perusing the gift shop for a last minute chance to spend our money, we returned to town.  Lunch was at a nice downtown restaurant, and then I needed a nap to prepare for the evening event.

We arrived at the Hartford Stage at about 5:30 pm.  There was a short line waiting in the vestibule to enter, and we met up with friends from the area.  We were given programs and sent in to the house lobby to sample various food stands from local restaurants.  I enjoyed sampling the food and beverages, and chatting with people from the area.  This was a fundraiser for the Hartford Stage’s program of sponsoring new plays and playwrights.  Eventually we made our way down to our seats.  There was an area on the floor of about ten tables with four chairs, and then the regular theater seating.  Our local friends had seats in the table section, and we were seated in the front row of theater seating.  As I was looking around, I noticed a gentleman sitting at the table in front of me that looked vaguely familiar.  I didn’t really think too much about it, but when I returned from my last minute trip to the ladies room, I looked at him and he looked up at me and I realized it was Kate’s husband, Tim Hagan.  I was too embarrassed to say anything, so I just smiled and went to my seat. 

The evening’s entertainment was a set of 10 ten minute plays, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of supporting new plays done on their stage.  After the introductions, we were treated to ten very interesting short plays.  Edward Albee was in the audience, and one of his plays was being premiered that evening.  I enjoyed all of the plays, but some were more to my liking than others.  The actors all did a terrific job, and Kate was awesome as usual.  She actually did two of the plays.  One was of Mark Twain and the other was about art appreciation.  The second one, she did solo.  For those of you who love the little details, Kate was wearing a black suit with a white blouse and high healed black shoes.  Her hair was down, with a little of it pulled back, and she had a silver necklace and earrings.  Sorry that is the extent of my fashion sense, so you will have to wait for any official pictures for the rest.

At the end of the plays, Kate gave a champagne toast, told Tim to meet her in the lobby and made her way out.  She was on her way back to New York, to work the next day so she had little time for meeting and greeting, but she did shake my hand and thank me for coming.  I may never wash that hand again (lol).  We parted with our local friends and made our way back to the hotel to relive the evening in conversation.

The next day, it was back to the airport and home again.  If anyone knows me, they know that I usually have nightmarish travel any time I go to see Kate, but someone must have been watching over me, because it was smooth sailing the entire weekend.

Now I just have to sit around waiting for the next opportunity to go see Kate, since it is extremely unlikely she will come to see me. :-)