HARTFORD — The Romanian Cultural Institute and HartBeat Ensemble are currently collaborating for a presentation of "Bee Trapped Inside the Window,"  a provocative new drama by playwright Saviana Stanescu.

The virtual play reading explores modern-day slavery’s effect on the lives of three women of different backgrounds and ethnicities in the leafy suburbs of Connecticut. Lydia Gaston plays the role of May, an Asian-American in-house domestic worker for a wealthy family with kids; Jennifer Dorr White plays Sasha, a Russian-American corporate executive with a drinking problem and Erin Lockett plays Mia, Sasha’s Black daughter, who is exploring and gradually comes to understand her own biracial identity.

Written as intercut interior monologues sliding into dialogue, the play follows Mia's coming-of-age story over the course of 15 years through her relationships with her mom and her neighbor, while offering a window into the lives of domestic workers and immigrants.  

Stanescu, in a statement, said while exploring the secret lives of three women of different backgrounds and ethnicities — their private joys, fears and desires, their daily inner monologues, their personal versions of the American Dream and American nightmare — she tried to look at "what’s hidden behind walls — real or imagined — and create a world where true communication becomes possible. I tried to open a window."

Vernice P. Miller directs the play which runs through Sunday, March 21. The play is available to view at no charge by registering at HartBeatEnsemble.org.

Founded in 2001, HartBeat Ensemble's mission is to create provocative theater that connects our community beyond traditional barriers of race, gender, class and geography. To learn more, please visit HartBeatEnsemble.org.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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