Hartford Stage will begin construction in June on the first phase of its makeover, which will include an expansion of the lobby, including more bathroom space, into a city-owned parking area.
This will be the first physical upgrade for the theater in 17 years, and it also will mean an expanded "trap room" beneath the stage; a new ground floor dressing room; upgrades to the lighting, audio equipment and heating and air-conditioning system; and roof repairs.
The project is expected to be finished by October when the 2010-11 theater season, slightly delayed, will begin.
During construction of the $4 million first phase, the theater's SummerStage program will take place at the Roberts Theater at Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford.
Bigger changes at Hartford Stage — including a dramatically altered front of the building — are planned for the $6 million second stage of construction, which is now tentatively scheduled for 2012. The goal is to complete the entire project for its theater's 50th anniversary, during the 2013-14 season.
A public fundraising effort is under way for the second phase of the project.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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