On Sunday, June 3rd, Gregory R. Tate, 60, died after a brief struggle with lung cancer, at the Cancer Treatment Center in Zion, Illinois. Tate was a commanding presence in Hartford and its theater scene. Together with Julia Rosenblatt and Steve Ginsburg, he founded HartBeat Ensemble. Their mission – to write and perform theater that asks questions, raises public consciousness, and rouses audiences into action – was something that Tate lived every day. He strove to record the joys, beauty, suffering, and injustices in the city; and then shape that into public performance. Click here to read his full obituary.
HartBeat Ensemble will perform a staged reading of our newest play in development, Project: Turnpike at 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 20th at Hartford Public Library, Center for Contemporary Culture Auditorium.
Based on the 2007 landmark federal trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris, which took place here in Hartford, Project: Turnpike presents 72 hours in the life of four exploited sex workers in a motel room on the Berlin Turnpike. In addition to personal interviews with people affected by the industry, HartBeat is working with Raymond Bechard, author of The Berlin Turnpike, in order to create this new play.
“Where do you live?”
I get that question a lot as I’ve been getting to know the people of the Hartbeat Ensemble and their wider circle of talented friends and collaborators. They’re developing a theatrical production called, “Project Turnpike,” partly based on a book I wrote. As we discuss the schedule of upcoming meetings and rehearsals, someone is curious about how far I’ll have to travel to their studios on Pearl Street in Hartford.