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Sunday, April 25, 2010



Media Contact: Julia Pistell, (908) 418-7357 (cell)

HartBeat Ensemble to Perform FlipSide as a Work-in-Progress at Manchester Community College.

HARTFORD, CT. – HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford’s local professional theater ensemble, will perform a workshop version of their newest original work, FlipSide on April 30th, May 1st, 7th, and 8th at 7:30pm at the Manchester Community College Auditorium (MCC). The work is the culmination of hundreds of hours of interviews with the community about the War on Drugs. HartBeat Ensemble will use audience feedback and talk-back discussions to finalize the production for its official premier next year.

Using rhythmic choreography and spoken word poetry from local poets MIRA and MIND EVOLUTION, FlipSide tells the story of two drug warriors on opposite sides of the drug war. FlipSide is a story that uses spoken word, addicting rhythm sticks and

potent characters to portray the war on drugs. To write the play, HartBeat conducted a huge range of interviews and says, “we are excited to present a well-rounded, deeply thought play that will help us all examine this all-to-familiar topic in a new way. We invite the audience to be the final contributors to our new work.”

FlipSide is being work-shopped as part of HartBeat’s New Play Institute in collaboration with Manchester Community College. While conducting the Institute, HartBeat works for a period “in residence” while also teaching MCC theater students to create their own original work on the same topic. The final outcome of the partnership is the debut of a new play in development. The New Play Institute fosters an environment of experimentation and creativity for both the Ensemble and MCC students and offers audiences the chance to experience new theatrical work in its early stages. Admission is $5 general admission and free for students with student identification. Each performance will be followed by a discussion of the play.

During the research phase of this project, HartBeat worked with Dr. Robert Painter of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy to accumulate empirical information on the topic of drug policy. During this time HartBeat also conducted interviews with many people who have themselves been involved in some way with the underground drug economy. HartBeat interviewed ex-offenders, ex-addicts, health workers, law enforcement, drug counselors, and policy makers. This interview process aimed to create performances that were complex and true to real life.

The performance will be held at the Manchester Community College Auditorium (Great Path, Manchester, CT) at 7:30 on April 30th, May 1st, May 7th, and May 8th.

Reservations can be made by emailing
The mission of HartBeat Ensemble is to create original, professional theater based on stories from the people of our community. Through Mainstage plays, Open-Air performances, and Education programs, HartBeat Ensemble makes theater accessible beyond the barriers of class, race, and gender. Their last major production was Ebeneeza: A Hartford Holiday Carol, which traveled through four of Hartford’s neighborhoods and drew in new and diverse audiences.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rev Cornell Lewish is on the Hartbeat Board