The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
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|Former names||Bushnell Memorial Hall|
|Address||166 Capitol Street|
|Type||Performing arts center|
|Capacity||Mortensen Hall: 2,800
Belding Theater: 906
|Architect||Corbett, Harrison and MacMurray|
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts (formerly known as Bushnell Memorial Hall), or simply, The Bushnell //, is a performing arts venue at 166 Capitol Street in Hartford, Connecticut. Managed by a non-profit organization, it claims to be Connecticut's premier presenter of the performing arts.
The Bushnell was built in 1930 by Dotha Bushnell Hillyer as a "living memorial" to her father, the Reverend Dr. Horace Bushnell (1802–1876), a Hartford minister, theologian, philosopher and civic leader.
The original theater building, Mortensen Hall, seats 2800 and was designed by the architectural firm of Corbett, Harrison and MacMurray, designers of New York's Radio City Music Hall. It was built with a traditional Georgian Revival exterior and rich Art Deco interior.
Named in honor of William H. Mortensen, The Bushnell's first managing director. Drama, the largest hand-painted ceiling mural of its type in the United States, is suspended from the Hall's roof by numerous metal supports. Painted by Barry Faulkner, the painting cost $50,000 to create in 1929.
The Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater
This 906-seat theater, is named in honor of long -time trustee, Maxwell Belding and his family. A beautiful, state-of-the-art theater designed by Wilson, Butler, Lodge, "The Belding" was opened in 2002.
The space houses a cafe, a gift shop, classroom space and more rest rooms. In addition, there are private dining and entertainment suites and reception spaces.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra performs at the center on a regular basis.
Elephant Eye Theatrical
In 2005, The Bushnell joined four other nationally-renowned performing arts organizations – Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Association in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – in forming the producing consortium Five Cent Productions, LLC. Following this formation, Five Cent Productions joined former Disney Theatrical Productions Executive Vice President Stuart Oken and Tony Award-winning producer Michael Leavitt as a producing partner in Elephant Eye Theatrical.
Elephant Eye Theatrical is a theatrical development and production company that creates new book musicals for Broadway and beyond. The company finds and initiates projects, assembles creative teams, funds the genesis and ongoing evolution of the projects, and serves as lead producer when the projects are fully staged.
Elephant Eye Productions include Saved!, The Addams Family and An American in Paris, set to open on Broadway in April 2015.
Independent Presenters Network
The Independent Presenter’s Network (IPN) is a consortium of 40 of the leading Broadway presenters, theaters and performing arts centers, including The Bushnell. Its members bring Broadway productions to more than 110 cities throughout North America and Japan. The IPN has produced several shows on Broadway including Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Sutton Foster, The Color Purple, and Legally Blonde.