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‘Sweat’ Performances Will Include Conversations About Power and Poverty

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Capital Classics Theatre Company will confront social issues of power and poverty with a unique theater experience in West Hartford combining a full-length play and conversations.

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The Capital Classics Theatre Company continues its popular “Contemporary Classics Conversations” series with a full-length production of “Sweat,” the 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by American playwright Lynn Nottage, combined with moderated conversations during the show about the related issues of power and poverty.

Performances will be held Jan. 27-30, 2022, at the Autorino Center for the Arts at the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue in West Hartford.

What makes this a one-of-a-kind theater experience is that it combines moderated conversations before, during, and after a fully staged production of “Sweat” – complete with actors, lights, sets, and costumes. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play is a collision of power and poverty, where co-workers find their friendships tested when layoffs in a Rust Belt factory chip away at their trust. This compelling examination of the human cost of business decisions is as timely now as ever – and will lead to important conversations with the audience.

“We’re excited to bring our ‘Contemporary Classics Conversations’ program to the live stage for our second season,” says co-founder Geoffrey Sheehan. “Sweat” is an impactful and moving piece of contemporary theater that provides great insights to today’s America. It is the perfect springboard for the conversations on power and poverty that we will have with our fellow community members.

The full-length production of “Sweat” will be performed by Eddie Cruz, Jr. (Oscar), Mark Dean (Stan), Joshua Eaddy (Evan/Brucie), Becky Ellis (Jessie), Josh Karam (Jason), Lisa McCree (Cynthia), Christopher Rowe (Chris), and Laura Sheehan (Tracey). “Sweat” is directed by Geoffrey Sheehan.

Conversations will be moderated by Saulo Colón (Associate Professor of Sociology at Housatonic Community College), Madeline Pérez De Jesús (Associate Professor of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph), Tiana Victoria Hercules (Criminal Defense Attorney, State of Connecticut), and
Geoffrey Sheehan (Capital Classics Co-Founder, “Sweat” Director, and Professor of Theater at Housatonic Community College).

The “Contemporary Classics Conversations” program uses the medium of theater as a springboard to explore topical and timeless social issues. In 2020-2021, Capital Classics performed scene readings from Athol Fugard’s one-act play, “Victory,” in a series of Zoom programs for online book clubs, theaters, social groups, libraries, and schools to examine the long-term effects of institutionalized racism.

The 2022 “Contemporary Classics Conversations” program is funded in part by Connecticut Humanities; the Connecticut Office of the Arts, with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development; and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Performances of and conversations about “Sweat,” as part of the “Contemporary Classics Conversations” program, will be held on Jan. 27-30, 2022 (Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.) at the Autorino Center of the Arts at the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Tickets will be sold online at www.USJ.edu/arts. Tickets are $20 for adults, $14 for students/seniors, and $14 for groups of 10 or more and for “Let’s GO Arts!” members.

Seating will be limited for audience safety. The Town of West Hartford has issued a mask advisory, and the University of Saint Joseph requires masks to be worn indoors. The play includes some adult language.

Learn more about the Capital Classics Theatre Company and the “Contemporary Classics Conversations” program www.CapitalClassics.org and www.USJ.edu/arts.

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