Surpasses Raise the Curtain Fundraising goal for the 2020/2021 Season

Hartford, CT, July 13, 2021 – Hartford Stage has met the $1,000,000 Matching Challenge issued by a coalition of donors in January and has surpassed their Raise the Curtain Fundraising goal for the season. The donors who issued this challenge include long-time board leaders and pillars in the Hartford community — Jill Adams & Bill Knight, Don & Marilyn Allan, Sue Ann Collins, Rick & Beth Costello, The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Janice & David Klein, Belle K. Ribicoff, The Pryor Family, Brooke Whittemore, and Ted Whittemore.

The $1,000,000 Challenge match was a major component of the $6 million Raise the Curtain fundraising campaign established to sustain Hartford Stage during the pandemic and provide a foundation for reopening this Fall. A true community endeavor, the Raise the Curtain campaign was a success because of the support provided by 2,623 donors including corporations, government agencies, foundations, and individuals to raise $6,258,583.

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who stepped up to save Hartford Stage,” said campaign co-chair & Life Director Walter Harrison. “From subscribers who donated back their tickets to attendees of our virtual events to corporate and civic leaders who advocated for and contributed major support — people understand the value Hartford Stage brings to this region.” Campaign leadership also included Life Director Chrissie Ripple, Secretary Michael D. Nicastro, and Governing Directors Don Allan and Rick Costello.

Hartford Stage was forced to cancel performances immediately in March of 2020 at the onset of the pandemic and subsequently canceled all in-person performances for the entire 2020/2021 season, eliminating over half of its revenue base. The theatre was forced to eliminate over 70% of its staff.

“Before the pandemic, arts organizations, including Hartford Stage, were financially vulnerable as we operate on razor thin margins. It took the community and their continued attendance and philanthropic support to sustain our operations,” said Managing Director Cynthia Rider. “Now, with Raise the Curtain as a foundation, we can begin hiring staff, artists and craftspeople, welcome audiences back to the theater, and rebuild the necessary annual ticket sales and donations needed for long-term sustainability.”

Hartford Stage will reopen their doors to live in-person performances on October 14, 2021, with Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! directed by Artistic Director Melia Bensussen. The full line-up of performances for the 2021/2022 season as well as information on becoming a subscriber can be found at

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