Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance

Gold Star Families

Source: Wikipedia,, The Stratford Veterans Museum, VFW Post 9460 Raymond T Goldbach Post, Department of Defense

Memorial Day is an American federal holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Memorial Day is more than picnics and going to the beach, Memorial Day has special meaning for Gold Star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others who’s loved one died in service to our nation – and are a vital part of our country’s military community and history.

How did the term gold star originate? During World War I, families displayed small banners with a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces. If their service member died in service, the family replaced the blue star with a gold star. The gold star let the community know that their service member died or was killed while serving their country.

Today, the nation recognizes gold star survivors in several ways to show its deep gratitude, including:

  • Designating the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day
  • Recognizing April 5th as Gold Star Spouses Day
  • Authorizing the Gold Star Lapel Button

According to a 2019 USO official site article, there have been more than 16,000 American troops who died in non-combat circumstances, and some 7,000 “died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars alone” since 9/11 as well as thousands of Gold Star Families who lost loved ones in both world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other conflicts.

The official Army site has a page dedicated to these families, reminding the rest of the military community and their loved ones, “The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.”

One of the earliest organizations to honor families who lost a son or daughter who was a member of the United States Armed Forces, is the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM) a private nonprofit organization of American mothers originally formed in 1928 for mothers of those lost in World War I.

Today, membership in American Gold Star Mothers is open to any woman who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S. or its Territories or Insular Possessions at the time their child (or adopted child) was inducted into military service and whose child (or adopted child) has died or has become missing in action while in the United States Armed Forces (or died later as the result of such service).

Membership is not contingent on whether the child was killed in action or on the theater of operation or the time period of the service (which differs from distinctions made by the Department of Defense, which confers special status to service in particular periods of time and particular hostile operations). Non-adoptive stepmothers are also eligible, as is husbands and children of Gold Star Mothers.  Honorary membership is available to mothers who were not citizens or legal residents at the time their child was inducted.

Gold Star Mothers has worked on behalf of Gold Star families since 1928. Gold Star Mothers have a mission to educate, remember, and inspire.  Their mission includes education, remembrance, inspiring “true allegiance to the United States of America”, and most importantly for many, offering “needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendants”.

Just as when it was founded, AGSM continues to concentrate on providing emotional support to its members, doing volunteer work with veterans in general and veterans’ hospitals in particular, and generally fostering a sense of patriotism and respect for members of the Armed Forces.

Stratford has also stepped up to honor all those in town who have served.  The Stratford Veterans Museum, located in Boothe Memorial Park, has the mission of honoring veterans from Stratford who have served our country honorably in war and in peace and to act as a repository for their stories.

The Stratford Veterans Museum is in the process of collecting information on our town’s veterans (any man or woman who served in the Armed Forces, was honorably discharged, and are (or were) residents of Stratford).  They are interviewing our town’s veterans (and their relatives) to get their stories. If you would like to schedule an interview, please email

They are also interested in artifacts to add to their collection (both physical and online) to help tell our veterans stories. Photos, drawings, letters, journals are welcome. They are also selectively collecting items such as uniforms, insignia, patches, medals and other items. If you have items you would like to loan or donate, please contact us at or at

A new Department of Defense online memorial honors service members who died while serving honorably on active duty since 1985, including peacetime deaths. Survivors may submit names for inclusion.  For further information, or to view your loved one go to:

VAX Facts

Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19 In Stratford As Of Today

The Stratford Health Department and State Department of Public Health have confirmed 11,647 COVID-19 cases in Stratford, and 1,986 probable cases as of this evening, for a total of 13,633 cases. This represents an increase of 135 confirmed cases and a decrease of 2 probable cases since our last report of May 16, 2022. The Health Department continues to monitor these trends. There have been 201 deaths to date

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of May 18th, 2022, 79.73% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose. Positive results for home testing is not included in their statistics.

The FDA and CDC now recommend a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for certain immunocompromised individuals 12 or older and all people over the age of 50. This second mRNA booster should be administered at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, adults who received a primary J&J vaccine and booster dose of J&J COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago should now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Data continue to show the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect individuals both from infection and from severe outcomes of COVID-19.

The FDA has approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the second COVID-19 vaccine to gain full approval. The vaccine will now be marketed as “Spikevax” for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 18 years of age and older.

Test to Treat Now Open

The CT Department of Public Health has announced the opening of more than 40 “Test to Treat” sites in Connecticut, which will allow individuals to access COVID-19 treatment immediately after testing positive.

Through the newly launched nationwide Test to Treat initiative, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – fill a prescription from a health care provider, all in one location. Test to Treat sites, located at select pharmacies, urgent care centers, and federally qualified health centers.

DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD states, “In order for COVID-19 treatments to work, they must be started early, within five days of when your symptoms start. The Test to Treat initiative provides eligible patients faster, easier access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

A web-based site locator is now available to make it easier to find Test to Treat locations.

Those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support locating a Test to Treat site can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8am to midnight ET, seven days a week.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9am to 8pm ET or email

Get Vaccinated and Boosted.

Gun Violence

CARE Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, June 1st, 7 p.m.
Meeting Open To All

It is prescient that CARE began to focus on the issue of gun violence.

The horrific mass shootings that have fallen predominately on black and brown communities, most recently the murders of 10 souls in Buffalo, NY and this week in Texas with the murder of children and two teachers while attending their elementary school.

We at CARE want to bring in experts to provide us with information about gun violence in Connecticut and the status of gun violence in our town so that we can individually determine how we can seek answers and take action.

We anticipate that there will be many who will join our meeting on Wednesday June 1st to share their frustrations and anxieties and to learn how a community can offer comfort and support to create safe spaces for our children and our citizens. Please invite whomever you believe can benefit from our discussions.

We will discuss gun violence and prevention programs that work, and our guest speakers will be Lt Jason Amato from the Bridgeport Police Department Youth Gang/Gun Violence and the Stratford Police Department.

Please join us! Below is the Zoom meeting link.

Meeting ID: 833 2476 7853

Passcode: 115958

Meeting Call in Number: 1-929-205-6099

Letters to the Editor

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

In almost half a year, more than 200 mass shootings have occurred in the United States. It is unthinkable that our country and communities continue to mourn the loss of innocent lives – children, elderly, worshippers, shoppers at supermarkets and malls – to senseless mass shootings.

My heart goes out to the Uvalde, Texas community, families, and friends, as they mourn the tragic loss of 19 precious children and 2 adults who were heartlessly taken by gun violence. Our thoughts and prayers are not enough to prevent these tragedies. We need Congress to act.

While each mass shooting may be different, there is one thread that binds all of them together – the ease with which individuals can purchase and obtain weapons and ammunition solely meant for war as early as 18 years of age.

Please join me by calling upon our lawmakers in Washington to demand bolder gun laws NOW – which the vast majority of Americans support.

Following the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, we took steps here in Connecticut to ensure it never happened again. In recent years we implemented more gun safety reforms to reduce mass shootings (in addition to accidents and suicides in which guns are involved). These measures work, but we must demand Congress to act. We need the collective will to implement national policies – like red flag laws and expanding background checks – to protect lives and make sure these tragedies never happen again.

As your state representative, I commit to keep actively participating in the conversations to stop gun violence in our communities. Let’s work together to make those solutions a reality.

Contact your Connecticut Federal Delegation.

Phil Young

• Blumenthal, Richard — Democrat
• Murphy, Chris — Democrat

• Larson, John B. — Democrat: 1st Congressional District
• Courtney, Joe — Democrat: 2nd Congressional District
• DeLauro, Rosa L. — Democrat: 3rd Congressional District
• Himes, Jim — Democrat: 4th Congressional District
• Hayes, Jahana — Democrat: 5th Congressional District

90 Years of Service and Better than Ever!!

Sterling House Community Center

Sterling House Community Center kicks off their celebration of 90 years of service at the June 4th Main Street Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Their Birthday Bash will have family fun, refreshments, carnival games, a bounce house, and contests.

On Saturday, June 11th,  SHCC will be rocking out and dancin’ into 90 with music by Band Centraol, who will beplayig music from the 60s,70s, and 80s.  The event will be on the Shakespeare Grounds, 1850 Elm Street, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets ($50 a ticket) are on sale now.

Production Company to Film at Sterling House

Artists Ensemble Productions
May 27th, 28th, and 29th

Artists’ Ensemble Productions will be shooting TESTIMONIAL, a short film about a professor in the early stages of Alzheimer’s on May 27th, 28th, and 29th at Sterling House Community Center and in Boothe Park.

Writer and producer Jack Rushen, a Stratford native will be helming the production, directed by Dan Karlock, creator of many feature films and episodic television.

Sterling House Executive Director, Amanda Meeson, commented, “We are honored that Jack and his team at TESTIMONIAL will utilize our beautiful, historic building for their film. For the last 90 years, Sterling House has continued to welcome and celebrate our arts community!”

TESTIMONIAL concerns a discouraged professor in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and the former student who visits him at his testimonial dinner. Through her kind words and actions, he finds his elusive self-worth.

Playing professor James Hilliard is Ted Yudain, a well-known community actor from Stamford. Ted has been seen in recent productions of “On Golden Pond,” and “My Fair Lady.

Playing student Allison Healy is Dana Dicerto, who has been seen in many films and area theater productions, recently playing in “Born Yesterday” at the Powerhouse Theater in New Canaan.

TESTIMONIAL serves as a dramatic presentation film as well as an awareness piece concerning the effects of Alzheimer’s and the importance of self-esteem of the people who suffer from it.

“It is a very sensitive piece,” says Rushen, who wrote the film as a short play while in the Theatre Artists’ Workshop some time ago. “We look deep into the soul of two needy people and find that peace of mind is not impossible to obtain.”

The play version of the film has been produced across the country and has won the “Standing Ovation Award,” which led to publication in “The Best Short Plays of 2019, published by Smith and Kraus.”

The film will be distributed to various schools and libraries across the country, as well as many film festivals.

A “Go Fund Me” campaign has been launched for production and distribution expenses and can be accessed by going to:

Clean Energy for Connecticut

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Prior to the start of the 2022 legislative session, I made it a priority as House Chair of the Environment Committee and member of the Energy Committee to support policies and bills that would help cut our carbon footprint, increase our reliance on clean energy sources, and protect the health of Connecticut residents.

I’m happy to report that two of these bills – S.B.10 and S.B.176 – have officially been signed into law!

S.B.176, An Act Concerning Clean Energy Tariff Programs (which I was proud to co-sponsor) looks to increase commercial reliance on rooftop solar energy by modifying existing energy caps involving shared clean energy facilities and expanding the Non-Residential Energy Solutions (NRES) and the Shared Cleaner Energy Facilities (SCEF) programs.

S.B.10, An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation requires Connecticut to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions produced by the state’s electric grid by January 1, 2040. After the transportation sector, our electric grid (essentially, how energy is supplied and consumed) is the second highest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the state. This law seeks to change that by setting giving utility companies and suppliers the necessary push to find cleaner, zero-carbon ways to provide consumers with energy.

While more remains to be done, these new laws represent significant steps forward for Connecticut in increasing our reliance on clean energy sources and protecting our environment for ourselves and for future generations.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email me at

Henrick’s Bully Pulpit

Board of Education Election Official Behaving Badly

Editor’s Note: After multiple calls and emails to the Stratford Crier regarding Mike Henrick’s “behavior” at both the Town Council meeting on Monday, May 9th, and the Board of Education meeting on May 23rd the Stratford Crier has determined that Stratford residents should make their own determination if his behavior is appropriate as a member of the Board of Education.  The following is a word for word transcription on Henrick’s interaction with the Stratford Superintendent of Schools Dr. Osunde.  The Stratford Crier agrees with those who have contacted us that Henrick’s behavior is egregious and unbecoming of an elected official.  As a publication with a goal to inform with facts and truth, we are especially disturbed by Henrick badgering Superintendent Dr. Osunde without having any facts or information to back it up.

The Crier is calling for Mike Henrick, as well as all town political leaders, to adapt a civil tone.  The BOE should reign in dialog to a civil tone as it is a poor reflection on our town.

After the Superintendent’s Report at the BOE Board meeting of May 23rd, when BOE Chair asked if there were any questions, BOE Member Mike Henrick started again:

Henrick: “So, um, recently at I believe in Stratford High there was an attempted stabbing. I know we’ve talked quite a bit about discipline in the schools and, um, just concerned that these incidents continue to escalate and, what kind of policies, what it is we’re doing to implement, um, new discipline, um, as I talked to teachers throughout the district, one of their biggest concerns is discipline in the classroom, discipline in the schools and, just, you know, it’s been an ongoing topic of conversation in our meetings and I’d like to know what, what we’re doing to address those issues.”

Dr. Osunde: “Um, I can answer that pretty simply. The case that you are putting on the table, I don’t think anybody is aware of. That has not been brought to building leaders’ attention and you standing here right now and sharing that is the first time it’s touched my ears. I will say it’s very, very rare that a case of such significant profile would happen in our schools and nobody know about it, so I guess my question for you is ‘who is your source’ and ‘who is giving you this  information.’”

Henrick: I’ll get you the information

Dr. Osunde: “Do you have it now?”

Henrick: “I do and I’ll get it to you at the appropriate time.”

Dr. Osunde: “You’re unwilling to share that information now?

Henrick: “Not at the moment, no.”

Dr. Osunde: “Okay.”

Henrick: “But, I’ll, uh, I’ll get clearance from the people I spoke with and I’ll forward it over to  you.”

Dr. Osunde: “Sure, so in, in that sense, it’s hard for me to answer that question around that  specific example because we have not had that case investigated.”

Henrick: “It’s my understanding that he was arrested but, I will, uh, get you further information on it….”

Dr. Osunde: “Please.”

Henrick: “…but the, uh, but discipline is an issue in the schools and we’ve talked about it on numerous occasions um, I had it well, I wanted to, a female student brought up a significant issue  to me as well, but um, what are we doing about discipline in the schools?”

Dr. Osunde: “Please give me a specific example of what discipline you’re referring to.”

Henrick: “Student control within our school systems.”

Dr. Osunde: “We have seventy some hundred kids, including out of district kids…

. Henrick: “Yeah”

Dr. Osunde: “…in our district we have 6 to 800 kids …

” Henrick: “Yup.”

Dr. Osunde: “…if you are trying to cast a dispersion to represent the entire student body…”

Henrick: “I am absolutely not trying to cast the dispersion that represent the entire student  body.”

Dr. Osunde: “You’re giving me the generalization, so we have 13 schools and discipline in every    school looks different. If you’re talking about systemic approach to doing something like that I would, I would need a little bit more detail but as of right now, you’re giving me a general response and you’re also using examples that are cases that none of us have heard anything about. So, if you do have sources that are giving you data or information about things that are happening, what I would encourage you as a board member is to leverage the process that we discussed when you joined the Board which is to follow a chain of command and make sure you redirect that to the principal who might have a better and intimate knowledge of what’s happening at their schools and will be better positioned to respond to some of those disciplinary issues.

Henrick: “Well, I’m bringing it to you because you are the head of the schools.”

Dr. Osunde: “You’re right, but what I’m saying is that all the things that you’re putting on the table right now are not to my knowledge.  Okay.”

Henrick: “Well, I think it probably should be but…alright. So, moving on, um, we’ve also talked about vandalism in the schools and I got the latest report from the Town which, the vandalism continues, um, and again, what are we doing to curb the vandalism and mostly in the  bathrooms, toilets being knocked loose, things being knocked loose, three toilets used loose, urinals clogged, missing toilet seats, soap dispensers ripped off the walls. This is just the month  of May up till today’s date but I wasn’t able to obtain the report from February to the beginning  of May…”

Andrea Corcoran: “Going forward, Mr. Henrick, can you make sure that the whole Board receives these reports of vandalism so that when they are discussed at the meetings, we all have seen…”

Henrick: “Well, I think maybe we want to put it on the agenda as an ongoing item and since Dr. Osunde has access to that information, he should forward it to us..”

Dr. Osunde: “I actually do not have access to that information…”

Henrick: “the Mayor has made you accessible to the information. She’s made it, uh, available to  you..”

Dr. Osunde: “When?”

Henrick: “Uh, probably about three or four months ago, she put you on the list so you could  obtain this information.”

Dr. Osunde: “I received ONE email from public works…”

Henrick: “Yeah..”

Dr. Osunde: “…that was it.”

Henrick: “Well, you have to, you have to go on and look for it or ask for it and, and that’s how I get it, I go on and look for it, and ask for it.”

Dr. Osunde: “So, I wasn’t aware that the Mayor was making assignments for me.”

Henrick: “She wasn’t making assignments for you but that….when the Town gets called to the schools to repair the damage, it’s done by the Town’s public works department and so my reasoning for asking is this, this situation continues to take place, it costs a significant amount of       money to make these repairs and we had talked about this back in February based on the TikTok  issues and the other threats and the continued vandalism which I continue to say creates an unsafe environment for our school children, gives them a feeling of not being safe and my answer is how do we address this and what are we doing to deal with it. The same thing I asked  back in February and this continues to be an issue.”

Dr. Osunde: “It’s not an issue because it’s not coming to my attention. I’ll share with you what        we did in the Winter.  Okay, the same way I described …”

Henrick: “It hasn’t come to your attention? Well, because the Town has to go out and fix these  things. These are reports…”

Andrea Corcoran: “As I suggested, perhaps the Mayor could add us all to this list and we can all     see it and then we could have it…”

Henrick: “But it should be the schools…”

Dr. Osunde: “These are reports that for whatever reason are coming exclusively to you, right..”

Henrick: “Not coming exclusive to me. They’re coming because I asked for them because I’m  following up on it.”

Dr. Osunde: “There’s nobody else on the Board…”

Henrick: “I shouldn’t be the one following up on it because I’m not the one…”.

Dr. Osunde: “Well, you are

Henrick: “at the Board of Ed

Dr. Osunde: “But you are..”

Henrick: “But I am asking, right, because I was elected to oversee this position and that’s what  I’ll continue to do. But I should not be the one who has to ask these questions.”

Dr. Osunde: “You’re asking those questions.”

Henrick: “I am asking.”

Dr. Osunde: “What I’m saying is your asking these questions based on some unsubstantiated  data or information that no one else has access to.”:

Henrick: “Here’s a report, all you got to do is ask and you can get it too.”

Dr. Osunde: “I would happily receive the report if you would have it forwarded to my office…”

Henrick: “I shouldn’t be the one forwarding it to you, you should be the one forwarding it to  me.”

Dr. Osunde: “Mr. Henrick, with all due respect, again, this is a back and forth and we can do this all day long, um, ultimately what you’re trying to do, and I understand what you’re trying to  do because I saw you do it on the 9th, right, you’re trying to establish positionality and what I’m trying to say …”

Henrick: “Establish what?”

Dr. Osunde: “Positionality, this is a back and forth that you are very well-versed in what you’re  doing, okay, and this is not that platform.”

Henrick: “This is about accountability.”

Dr. Osunde: “It is about accountability

Henrick: “yeah, it is…”

Dr. Osunde: “…and I can share with you the same thing I discussed with you in February. We  have a process where I work with our principals, where they cycle safety monitors through specific bathrooms on occasions. I’ve already shared with you that we’re short. If our teachers are teaching in classrooms and our administrators are in PPTs or working with students there aren’t too many people to monitor the bathrooms. You just voted down a budget that is forcing us to reduce personnel. Personnel that might be able to be positioned to respond to some of those non-adaptive behaviors. So you’re sitting here right now, putting data on the table that you’ve not brought up in three months, and I would argue that he data that you put on the table is      completely inflamed and inaccurate and unsubstantiated. Very similar to the data…

Henrick: “It’s not…”

Dr. Osunde: “…very similar to the data that you put forth on May 9th at the Town Council which is completely baseless and untrue.”

Henrick: “None of it is baseless…:

Dr. Osunde: “So if you want to sit here and have a conversation about protocol, I’m 100% on board with protocol, but, at the end of the day you cannot sit here and tell me the things I need to ask for, particularly if the people that I work with are making the claim that these behaviors don’t happen, at least on the volume of what you’re speaking to. We have been working incredibly hard all year. If you have privy to information that you think the other six members of the Board  of Education need to have in their hands, because that’s collectively where we’re going to make a collective decision about how to respond to those things, then make sure your actions are aligned with your words. Because you voted down a budget that is forcing us to reduce positions     that can now be people who can respond to some of these challenges.

Henrick: “Over the last six years we’ve had a surplus. I didn’t vote down a budget.”

Andrea Corcoran: “Mr. Henrick…”

Henrick: “And again we’re going to have a surplus.”

Andrea Corcoran: “Mr. Henrick, out of order, I think that we need to get back to the agenda. I      appreciate your concerns.  Perhaps…”

Henrick: “Well I have another question too regarding the Alliance district.”

Dr. Osunde: “I will respectfully, if these, I’m not going to get caught up in a situation here where        you’re trying to blindside me. If you do have these things that you want to bring up in these opportunities, in order for me and my team to be adequately prepared to respond to those things, please forward that to us ahead of time. If these are things that are not to my knowledge, I’m not  going to get into this back and forth.  So, if you do have some questions…”

Henrick: “My question would be in regards to the Alliance district scoring, um, I would appreciate if you would forward the information on how our scoring fell out according to other    school districts and what the algorithms were to create that score that forced us to get into that Alliance district.

Dr. Osunde: “Sure, Mr. Henrick, I can provide that information.  If you go to the State website, it  gives you the entire calculation…”

Henrick: “I don’t want to go…I’d like to get it from you and your office sir.”

Dr. Osunde: “I will give it to you.”

Henrick: “Thank you.”

Dr. Osunde: “With the same resources that the State provides everybody else. It’s public knowledge.”

Henrick: “Good.”

Editor’s Note:  We have attached the YouTube video of the Board of Education meeting.  The exchange between Henrick and Dr. Osunde begins at the 1:35:18  mark..

If You Ask Me


Long Wharf Theatre

By Tom Holehan
Connecticut Critics Circle

““Queen” ” is a Perceptive Finale for Long Wharf Theatre!!

A bittersweet evening of theatre which really has nothing to do with their current offering, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre is shutting down to explore outreach community efforts.  We will miss the venerable theatre with two recently renovated stages, but wish the management luck with this new venture.

Meanwhile,“Queen”, a perceptive and provocative new play by Amadhuri Shekar, makes some kind of history as the theatre’s final offering.  It is a worthy note to end on.

Produced in partnership with the National Asian American Theatre Company and transferring to off-Broadway later in June, “Queen”  is the story of two brilliant and ambitious women, Ariel, a researcher (Stephanie Janssen) and Sanam, a statistician (Avanthika Srinivasan) who are on the brink of being published for their major scientific breakthrough about bees and the role Monsanto chemicals played in the dwindling population of the insects.  When Sanam finds a flaw in her calculations, however, the women are asked to make small changes rationalizing that their basic concepts are solid and no one will know.

“Queen” is reminiscent of “The Lifespan of a Fact”, Jeremy Kareken’s play which looked at questions of ethics and hubris in the field of journalism.  The women have worked hard for years and are so close to being recognized they are tempted to finally take the easy road.  This includes their mentor, Dr. Philip Hayes (Ben Livingston), who is in line to receive accolades for his mentorship of the women.  But at what cost is your reputation? Your values?  “Queen” could not be timelier.  The initial, talky 20 minutes of the play eventually gives way to powerful questions, lively dispute and thought-provoking drama.

A solid group of actors, which includes Keshav Moodliar as a young man who takes a shine to Sanam, mesh beautifully and each have their moments to shine under Aneesha Kudtarkar’s direction.  But the women are the main course here and Janssen and Srinivasan are never better than when engaged in passionate, heartfelt debate.

Kudtarkar’s direction, though, has unfortunately been limited by an ill-advised scenic design.  Junghyun Georgia Lee’s simple setting comprised of a pentagonal arrangement of five tables presents some obstacles resulting in rather pedestrian blocking.  And the tables, when rearranged, do not easily adapt to suggest the many other settings required.  Luckily, Yuki Nakase Link’s precise lighting and Uptown Works’ sound design and original music do most of the heavy technical lifting for the play.  I saw no reason, also, for including audience members on stage forcing a production in the round and resulting more often than not in catching the backs of actors.

But the play is still the thing in New Haven and you will have plenty to discuss in “Queen” long after those final bows.  It’s a fond farewell to the historic Long Wharf stage.  “Queen” continues at Long Wharf Theatre through June 5th.

For further information, call the box office at: 203-693-9486 or visit:

Tom Holehan is one of the founders of the Connecticut Critics Circle, a frequent contributor to WPKN Radio’s “State of the Arts” program and the Stratford Crier and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company. He welcomes comments at: His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website:

Child Tax Credits

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Applications for the Child Tax Payments that was included as part of a historic $600 million in tax cuts in our 2022 state budget will open June 1st, 2022.

Any Connecticut resident who claimed at least one dependent child under the age of 18 on their 2021 federal income tax return may be eligible to receive a maximum payment of $250 per child (for up to three children) with the following income guidelines (higher incomes may be eligible for a reduced rebate):

Anyone who is interested in seeking a payment must apply to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services with applications closing on July 31, 2022 – recipients will receive funds beginning in late August.

The Department of Revenue Services is in the process of reaching out to eligible households and I encourage you to share this information with any parents that may qualify.


Phil Young