We Can't Reach You, Hartford

 

The true story of the Hartford Circus Fire of July 6th, 1944. One month after D-Day, the Hartford Circus Fire — which killed 168 circus-goers, mostly women and children — seemed a small tragedy. But the story of the fire that destroyed “The Greatest Show on Earth” raises the most fundamental questions about the loss of a city’s innocence, a missing girl who becomes the object of obsession and a search for the truth in a piece of history that no one can reach.

 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2006. 2006 FRINGE FIRST NOMINEE

 

Directed By Jess Chayes
Text by Stephen Aubrey
Scenic Design Nick Benacerraf
Lighting Design Greg Malen
Costume Design Erin Smith

Sound Design and Original Music by Scott Elmegreen
Producer Katey Rich

Cast: Edward Bauer, Annie Bodel, Mike James, Elissa Kozlov, Hayley Stokar

The painful story that was in danger of being lost to history is brought to life by a lyrical, well-researched script, slick performances by the cast and Jess Chayes’s imaginative direction…As the innocent pleasure of the matinee turns to terror, the choreography of the characters who move from dancing to dying while the circus orchestra plays on is impeccable, beautiful and touching. Despite the brevity of the play, each is brought sharply to life to tell not only the story of that fateful day, but also of wider American society.”

The Scotsman (4/5 stars) on WE CAN'T REACH YOU, HARTFORD

 

 

Wesleyan University, Spring 2007

 

Directed By Jess Chayes
Text by Stephen Aubrey and Jess Chayes
Scenic Design Nick Benacerraf
Lighting Design Greg Malen
Costume Design Andrea Lipsky-Karasz
Stage Manager Annie Paladino
Assistant Stage Manager Miriam Krent
Co-produced by the Wesleyan University Theater Department

Cast: Tori Amoscato (Little Miss 1565), Edward Bauer (The Ghost of Barnum), Elissa Kozlov (Jennie Heiser), Kieran Kredell (Emmett Kelly), Zach Leclair (Thomas Barber), Gregory Silver (Robert Dale Segee) Hansel Tan (Merle Evans), Randa Tawil (May Kovar)