Audiences at Hartford Stage this fall will be less than six degrees from Kevin Bacon, to name check the game that shows how closely actors and celebrities are connected. In fact, they’ll be up close and personal.
Interest in Hartford Stage’s upcoming 2015-2016 season got a significant boost this week when it was announced that noted actor Kevin Bacon (“Footloose”) would take the starring role in the second play of the company’s season, a theatrical version of the short story that inspired the classic Hitchcock film, “Rear Window,” in a world premiere adaptation by playwright Keith Reddin, scheduled to run from October 22 through November 15.
As a result, reports the company’s Director of Marketing and Communications David Henderson, Hartford Stage enjoyed the largest one day sale of single tickets in its history, with nearly all performances for the run of “Rear Window” sold out, with seats remaining only for season ticket holders, season ticket exchanges and marketing purposes.
The production will be directed by Darko Tresnjak, Hartford Stage’s Artistic Director, who explained, “I read Cornell Woolrich’s classic crime story ‘Rear Window’ in high school, and it made a lasting impression. I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to direct a stage version 30 years later, when the issues of surveillance and voyeurism have become even more pertinent. Keith Reddin’s taut adaptation takes place inside of a sweltering, claustrophobic apartment, very much like the addled brain of the leading character, who will be played by Kevin Bacon. I can’t imagine finer collaborators than Kevin and Keith in exploring the terrifying psychological landscape of this timeless thriller.” Hitchcock’s 1954 film, which starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly, was also based on the Woolrich short story.
Bacon, a Golden Globe winner and Emmy Award nominee, has starred in many motion pictures including “A Few Good Men,” “Murder in the First,” and “The River Wild,” and appeared on Broadway in several plays including “An Almost Perfect Person” and “Slab Boys.” He stars in the current release “Cop Car” and in the upcoming “Black Mass,” about James “Whitey” Bulger. This will mark his first appearance at Hartford Stage. Additional casting and creative staff are expected to be announced shortly.
Reddin is the author of such plays as “Rum and Coke” and “All the Rage,” as well as the adaptor of Bulgakov’s “Black Snow” and Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid.” As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway and in such films as “Revolutionary Road.”
The production of “Rear Window” will follow the world premiere of Wethersfield-native Christopher Shinn’s new play, “An Opening in Time,” which will run from September 17 through October 11. The central Connecticut setting of the play is inspired by Shinn’s hometown. Shinn was a Pulizer Prize finalist for “Dying City,” which was also staged several years ago at Hartford Stage. His other plays include “Four,” which was staged at Theaterworks Hartford and made into a critically acclaimed film, “Now or Later,” and “What Didn’t Happen.” His play, “Teddy Ferrera,” is scheduled to open on October 1 at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
In “An Opening in Time,” Anne, a retired schoolteacher, moves back to the suburban town in central Connecticut which she left years before. She finds a number of things have been changed. Dunkin’ Donuts franchises are everywhere; the local high school is putting on a production of Rent; and a long-lost friendship suddenly appears in a new guise in this subtle and moving play about finding connections in a shifting world.
The production is being directed by Oliver Butler, founder and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society in New York, who directed “Bad Jews” at the Long Wharf Theatre this past Spring in New Haven and “Legacy” earlier this Summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The rest of the Hartford Stage season includes the company’s annual presentation of Michael Wilson’s adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” plus “The Body of an American” by Dan O’Brien, directed by Jo Bonney; “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, directed by Tresnjak; “Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years” by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delaney and A. Elizabeth Delaney with Amy Hill Hearth; and “Anastasia, A New Musical,” with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahern, inspired by the Twentieth Century Fox Motion Pictures, also to be directed by Tresnjak.
For individual tickets, season subscription packages and additional information, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org. Because of ongoing renovations at Hartrford Stage, the Box Office itself will not open for walk-up, window business until after Labor Day. All ticket orders can only currently be made by telephone or online.