An Interview with the Director of Tick, Tick...Boom!

Director Victoria Davidjohn shares her thoughts on Tick, Tick...Boom!  

Davidjohn_Headshot.jpg

What is the show about to you? "As an audience, Jonathan Larson means a lot to us. He revolutionized what music genres Broadway could handle, he opened the door to hard and ignored subjects, he gave many underrepresented stories a voice. Before that happened, however, he was an unsuccessful, frustrated, and anxious human (and artist). Tick, Tick, Boom...! is the story of life before success, and a reminder of what the combination of hard work, determination, and a dream can accomplish." 

 

What about the show resonates most with you? "I want to pursue a career in theater post graduation, and the question I get most often from adults in my life and teachers in my university is "are you sure you want to be doing this?" To me, I felt like all of the experiences I have garnered throughout my life could be put to use most effectively in a rehearsal room, so the answer is always "Yes!" Even so, its emotionally tasking to have everyone around you doubt your choices. Tick, Tick, Boom...! has and keeps serving as a blueprint for what life might be like for the next five, ten years -- it is always a comfort and a gift to hear the hard stories of those whom we respect for their contribution to theater." 

What do you like most about working on this production and with the cast? "My cast is truly incredible. They are some of the most imaginative, open, unafraid and willing human beings I have ever met. They are fearless in the best way, and that energy is exuded every time they take on these characters. I'm so lucky."

Princeton Summer Theater's 2018 Season

Princeton Summer Theater (PST) is happy to invite Central Jersey residents to join us for our 2018 Season. We are proud to present performances of four riveting and extraordinary pieces of theatre, running from June 21st through August 19th at the Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton University’s campus.

Since its founding in 1968, PST has been a fixture of the New Jersey theatre community providing patrons with high quality summer entertainment and artistry from some of the bright stars of tomorrow. We are proud to announce that our last season won the 2018 JerseyArts.com People's Choice Award for “Best Small Theater” and we look forward to continuing in PST’s proud tradition of bringing excellent theater to our community.     

This summer's season explores self-discovery, as seen through critical turning points in our characters' lives. Whether facing graduation, middle age, an unexpected diagnosis, or a scandal, the challenges these characters face test them and help each one find out what truly matters. With four brilliant takes on responding to adversity and change, these plays push us to closely examine our lives, to dream big, and to fight for those we care about.  We are looking forward to you joining us this summer!

 

Tick, Tick...Boom

by Jonathan Larson

June 21st-24th, June 27th-July 1st, and July 5th-8th

Directed by Victoria Davidjohn

From the genius mind behind Rent, Tick, Tick…Boom! tells the autobiographical story of a composer searching for his big break. Fueled by Jonathan Larson’s brilliant rock and pop score, this intimate show pulls back the curtain on the man whose breakthrough would change American musical theater forever in an inspiring appeal to follow your dreams.

 

Uncommon Women and Others

by Wendy Wasserstein

July 12th-15th and July 18th-22nd

Directed by Daniel Krane

Wendy Wasserstein’s watershed debut play follows a group of graduates from Mount Holyoke College at the dawn of second-wave feminism as they make new friendships, fall in and out of love, and imagine a brighter future for themselves. This comedy tackles what it means to dare to be an Uncommon Woman in a world that constantly tells women to accept less.

 

The Children's Hour

by Lillian Hellman

July 26th-29th and August 1st-5th

Directed by Maeli Goren

In The Children’s Hour, one child's lie throws a girls’ boarding school into chaos. This fiery American classic by Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes) depicts a world where rules are rigid, rumors fly faster than truth, and the hint of scandal is enough to bring two schoolteachers’ lives crashing down.

 

The Baltimore Waltz

by Paula Vogel August 9th-12th and August 15th-19th

Directed by Nico Krell

The Baltimore Waltz follows Anna and Carl through Europe on a film-noir inspired trip, filled with mysterious detectives, devious doctors, and alluring men as they search for a cure for Anna’s disease. This comedic fantasy, written by Paula Vogel in response to the AIDS crisis, is a fierce portrait of two siblings’ love and a call to live life to the fullest.

 

Performances:

Thursday-Saturday at 8pm

Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm

(New!) Select Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Coming Soon:

Our Annual Family Show!

By Annika Bennett

 

Family Show Performances:

Fridays and Saturdays at 11am, from July 6th-July 29th

Princeton Summer Theater Returns in 2018

 (PRINCETON, NJ) -- Princeton Summer Theater is pleased to announce that Daniel Krane and Hannah Semmelhack will serve as the company’s new leadership team for the 2018 season. Daniel Krane, originally from Brookline, MA, will serve as PST’s Artistic Director, with Princeton native Hannah Semmelhack as Executive Director. Both are Theater certificate students at Princeton University.

"Daniel and Hannah have been delighting winter audiences with incredible productions on the Princeton campus,” said Geoff Rich, the President of the Board of Trustees of PST. “I know they'll carry forward the great tradition of presenting a compelling summer of great theater for the Princeton community."

Since 1968, Princeton Summer Theater has provided the Mercer County community with high-quality works of theater produced by young artists, and continues to be dedicated to training and fostering the talent of the up-and-coming leaders of the theater world. In March PST was awarded the JerseyArt’s People’s Choice award for “Favorite Small Theatre” and this summer marks the company’s 49thseason.

Krane and Semmelhack are leaders on the boards of Princeton Shakespeare Company and Theatre Intime, and both have recently worked on productions with the Lewis Center for the Arts. 

Krane and Semmelhack said, “We cannot be more delighted to bring a season of exciting and timely theater to life this summer.” 

Daniel Krane is thrilled to serve as Artistic Director for the upcoming season of Princeton Summer Theater. He is currently a senior at Princeton University, studying Spanish and Portuguese, with a certificate in Theater. A director and writer from Brookline, MA, his directing credits at Hamilton Murray Theater include The Flick by Annie Baker and Blue Heartby Caryl Churchill. At the Lewis Center for the Arts, he directed a piece with Theatre for One for the opening Festival of the Arts, a workshop production of an original opera by Andrew Lovett, and worked on a production of We are Proud to Present…by Jackie Sibblies Drury for his theater thesis. Daniel spent his last summer working as an intern for The Public Theater’s Public Works program, helping with their production of As You Like It,and is the current Artistic Director of the Princeton Shakespeare Company. 

Hannah Semmelhack is flattered to have been chosen as Princeton Summer Theater’s Executive Director for the 2018 season. She is currently a sophomore at Princeton University, majoring in Classics with certificates in Theater and Musical Theater. On campus, she is involved with student theater groups as well as the Lewis Center for the Arts. Her experience is primarily in stage management, most recently Theater Intime’s She Kills Monsters; but she is also interested in lighting design, most recently the Lewis Center for the Art’s Letters and Dreams. While Hannah is very involved with technical theater, she is also interested in theater management with her role as Theatre Intime’s Production Manager. She will be stage managing an upcoming student-written thesis production, Trailing Rhiannon, for the Lewis Center this May. 

Preparations are currently underway for PST’s 2018 season. More information regarding specific productions, directors, and ticketing will be announced later this spring. Performances will run from June 21 to August 19.

Princeton Summer Theater's 2017 Season


We are thrilled to announce Princeton Summer Theater's 2017 season! This summer’s season explores the interplay between the past and the present. The four diverse selections reflect the challenges posed to us today by a society that is divided over whether it is better to look to the past for inspiration or to move in the direction of future progress. The characters in each play demonstrate vastly different ways of dealing with their individual histories, and are made stronger by facing this adversity. We look forward to sharing these stories with you!

  • PIPPIN with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson, directed by Sam Weisberg

A multiple Tony Award-winning musical, Pippin is a mystical coming of age tale of adventure. A mysterious troupe, spearheaded by the enigmatic Leading Player, follows a young prince as he sets out to discover his purpose in the world. Schwartz’s iconic music establishes Pippin as a breathtaking story that explores what it means to live a truly extraordinary life.

Dates: June 22nd-25th, June 29th-July 2nd, and July 6th-9th

 

  • SPIDER'S WEB by Agatha Christie, directed by C. Luke Soucy

World-renowned crime novelist and playwright Agatha Christie brilliantly blends the genres of mystery, comedy, thriller in this fantasia on her typical whodunit work. Spider’s Web follows eccentric socialite Clarissa, who discovers a man murdered in her drawing room, having spent years spinning extraordinary tales of mystery to anyone who would listen. Drenched in suspense with surprising moments of levity and wit, Spider’s Web offers a unique and rewarding departure from the usual Christie canon.

Dates: July 13th-16th and July 20th-23rd

 

  • THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller, directed by Nico Krell

Regarded as a one of the foremost classics of American theatre, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible uses the proceedings of the Salem witch trials to examine the manic effects of mass hysteria in society. As an increasing number of upstanding townspeople are accused of witchcraft, Miller emphasizes the contagious nature of fear and the elusiveness of truth. The 1953 Tony Award-winning play invites us to question the importance of upholding morality in times of hardship.

Dates: July 27th-30th and August 3rd-6th

 

  • APPROPRIATE by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Tatiana Pandiani

Members of the fragmented Lafayette family reconnect to settle their father’s affairs, but soon discover that they must first tackle their unresolved issues with each other. The Obie Award-winning play incorporates shocking reveals coupled with absurdist undertones that expose what it means to be part of a family, culture, and nation built upon a troubled past. A vivid and original take on the household drama, Appropriate takes its place in the American canon as an incomparable masterpiece.

Dates: August 10th-13th and August 17th-20th


Performances:

  • Thursday-Saturday at 8pm
  • Saturday & Sunday at 2pm

 

Coming Soon: Our Annual Family Show!

Dates: July 6th-July 29th, Thursday-Saturday at 11am

 

Subscribe & Save:

Become a subscriber and save over 30% off our regular ticket price! For just $79, you receive one ticket to each of our four mainstage shows, based on availability. Subscribe today by visiting www.princetonsummertheater.org/tickets or calling 732-997-0205!

 

Support PST by becoming a Patron:

By including a suggested donation of $10 or more with your subscription purchase, you can play a valuable role in helping PST offer exciting theatrical seasons for years to come. For your patronage, you’ll receive a special listing in the playbill and an invitation to our 2017 Season Gala. Every donation helps!

Stoppard’s Dazzling "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” Delivers Wit, Wordplay, Wisdom at Princeton Summer Theater

Our third production of the season opened to glowing reviews!

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead feels as fresh and inventive as it must have fifty years ago...the occasionally baffling, always hilarious play is currently receiving a superb staging by Princeton Summer Theater, a semiprofessional company that proves with this production to be the equal of a professional regional theater operating in New Jersey.
— Cameron Kelsall, Talkin' Broadway

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a "funny, philosophical, verbally dazzling production...high production values, creative, intelligent staging, and thoroughly professional performances characterize this group and guarantee the rewards of an evening at PST." - Don Gilpin, Town Topics

 

It is "dazzling in its intricacy and its invention...it rewards close attention." - Tim Dunleavy, DC Metro Theater Arts
 

"You are seldom going to have the opportunity to see a finer mounting of the play." - Stu Duncan, U.S. 1

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern may be dead, but Princeton Summer Theater is alive.
— Cameron Kelsall, Talkin' Broadway

The production is "performed with brilliant precision...Mr. Stoppard has fun upending expectations. As do the entire cast, who are splendid in this seriously amusing romp." - Bob Brown, TIME OFF Central Jersey

RG14.jpg

"Billy Cohen as the ingenuous Rosencrantz and Jake McCready as the skeptical, philosophical Guildenstern contrast and complement each other brilliantly." - Don Gilpin, Town Topics

 

"The ditzy Rosencrantz is played with a sweet irresistibility by Billy Cohen, while the more philosophical Guildenstern is sharply etched by Jake McCready...The tragedians function as a perfectly choreographed unit, led with verbal and physical dexterity by Olivia Nice's Leading Player. Casting a woman in this role, usually performed by a man, is a stroke of genius; Nice foregrounds a sexual energy that permeates the text." - Cameron Kelsall, Talkin' Broadway

God of Carnage: "A Sharp and Illuminating Comedy"

See what the critics had to say about our second production of the season!

“A very funny play about the very worst in people. Don’t miss it.”
— Stu Duncan, U.S. 1

God of Carnage is "a very funny show with some shocking surprises...catch this provocative playwright while you still can." - Bob Brown, TimeOFF, Central Jersey

 

"...a sharp and illuminating comedy that shows just how close the line between civilization and savagery really is. And the crueler it gets, the funnier it gets." - Tim Dunleavy, DC Metro Theater Arts

 

"Ms. Bennett has directed this excellent cast with skill and insight, to reveal vividly both the bright surfaces and the ugly underlying realities...the PST Company meets the challenges, to create four credible, committed individuals and their contentious relationships." - Don Gilpin, Town Topics

 

Annika Bennett "has paced the show at break-neck speed (a must) and has moved her characters with great skill." - Stu Duncan, U.S. 1

PST's Annual Children's Programming

Dear Princeton Summer Theater community,

Our mainstage season is well underway: Assassins closed to rave reviews and God of Carnage, written by Yasmina Reza and directed by PST alum Annika Bennett opens this week!

Children's Show.png

Amidst all the excitement for this year's season, we want to make sure that you don't miss out on our annual Children's Show! This year Princeton Summer Theater is proud to present The Owl and the Pussycat, an adaptation of an Edward Lear poem written by Annika Bennett, writer of Eyes Up High in the Redwood Tree at the Lewis Center for the Arts. As a company of young artists ourselves, we are so passionate about bringing the magic of theater to young audiences. 

The Owl and the Pussycat follows an owl and a pussycat who wake up one day lost at sea in a pea-green boat and must figure out how they got there - and where might they go next? A joyful celebration of the strange and wonderful logic of nonsense worlds - The Owl and the Pussycat is sure to be great fun for all ages.


Tickets for the show are $12, free for children under 3. Shows are at 11am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from July 7-30. After each performance, actors come out to meet with children, sign their programs, and talk about the characters and the play! We're also happy to provide discounted group rates and to accommodate parties: just give us a call at 1-732-997-0205 or email us at contact@princetonsummertheater.org for more information.

"Assassins at Princeton Summer Theater Captivates!"

The reviews for our opening show of the season, Assassins, are in! 


BroadwayWorld.com raves: "Professional summer stock with a Princeton pedigree does not disappoint."

 

Assassins is "captivating...relevant to viewers not only in the context of the musical's original focus, but in the world in which we have found ourselves living today." -- Sarah Vander Schaaff, BroadwayWorld.com

 

"The current staging...is superb — theatrically as exciting as could be, technically thrilling and colorful...and the crowd scenes are among the best seen in months." -- Stu Duncan U.S. 1

 

"Director Tatiana Pandiani has staged a low-key but largely successful production of Assassins. The show contains some excellent performances." -- Tim Dunleavy, DC Metro Theater Arts

 

"This PST company — made up of recent Princeton University graduates, a couple of undergraduates, and several young New York professionals, all under the intelligent, seasoned direction of New York-based Tatiana Pandiani — is strikingly talented and capable." -- Don Gilpin, Town Topics

The 2016 Board

Princeton Summer Theater is proud to announce its executive and managing board for the 2016 season: a group of six Princeton students dedicated to making great theater for the Princeton community and beyond. We're all incredibly excited to work together to form the tight-knit community of artists that makes PST so special. Learn more about our board below!

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - OGEMDI UDE

Ogemdi is absolutely thrilled to be serving as Princeton Summer Theater’s Artistic Director for its 47th season. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University where she majored in English with certificates in Theater and Dance. She has directed multiple productions on the Hamilton Murray stage in the past including Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and John Logan’s Red. She recently completed her senior thesis production, an original dance-theater work entitled “there. remaining.” She is so looking forward to this upcoming season and to directing PST’s final show, Fool for Love.

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - DAVID CRUIKSHANK

David is delighted to be a part of PST’s 2016 season. A member of Princeton’s Class of 2017, David is a former president of the Princeton Shakespeare Company. He has acted in numerous campus productions, including Fuddy Meers and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged. He has also worked as a stage manager, production manager, run crew and director for various campus productions as well as serving as a rehearsal apprentice at the McCarter Theatre. During the summers, David has been a company management intern for the Williamstown Theater Festival and an assistant stage manager/intern for Prospect Theater Company.

 

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER - SYDNEY BECKER

Sydney is a designer and student in the Princeton University class of 2017.  Her experience at Princeton includes lighting design for the theater department - most recently Singin' in the Rain (assist), Ballyturk, Cloud 9, and The Seagull - as well as designing many shows for Princeton's various student theater groups.  She has been on Theatre Intime's managing board for multiple semesters, and is currently serving on its executive board as Production Manager.  She is thrilled to take on the role of Production Stage Manager for the 2016 season of Princeton Summer Theater!

 

 

 

PUBLICITY DIRECTOR/BUSINESS MANAGER - ALICE TERRETT

Alice is thrilled to be joining PST for its 47th season. A member of the Princeton Class of 2016, Alice majored in psychology with certificates in jazz studies and musical performance. During her time at Princeton, she has served as music manager for Princeton University Players, ticket manager at University ticketing, and has conducted the pit bands for several shows, including The Drowsy Chaperone in Theatre Intime. Last summer Alice served both as development intern and audience services associate at Celebrity Series of Boston.

 

 

 

REHEARSAL STAGE MANAGER - SCOT TASKER

In their time at Princeton University, Scot allowed the magic of performance to fill their life via as many avenues as possible: acting, dancing, singing, directing, stage managing, and writing. Scot is so thrilled to be joining PST as the rehearsal stage manager--a perfect opportunity for creating safe space, fostering earnest professional connection, and, most importantly, making people smile.

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMAN ASSOCIATE - MEGAN BERRY

Megan is a member of Princeton's class of 2019. In her one year at Princeton so far, she has served on the board of Theatre Intime as Assistant Technical Director and has worked on numerous shows on campus. Although most of her experience is as a lighting designer, her interests are widespread, which is why she's looking forward to learning a lot more about the world of theater from working with PST this summer as freshman associate!

Our 47th Season

We could not be more thrilled to introduce PST's 47th season -- a series of four challenging, engaging, and entertaining plays.

This summer’s season explores the theme of “the Other.” Each show in our season peers into the other side of a story or character, bringing us to new depths of understanding of these multifaceted tales and beings. Theater allows us to see what people might not reveal instinctively, giving us a new perspective on what was once familiar. Each show in our season provides a powerful take on noticing and appreciating the differences in us all. We are so looking forward to you joining us!

 

  • ASSASSINS with Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, Directed by Tatiana Pandiani

Assassins is an explosive tale of the American Dream gone awry. A multiple Tony Award-winning musical, Assassins combines Sondheim’s brilliant lyricism and rich music in a revue-style tale addressing our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means taken to obtain it. Clever, original, dark, and surprisingly funny, Assassins is perhaps Sondheim’s most controversial musical.

Dates: June 16-18 & 23-25 at 8pm; June 18-19 & 25-26 at 2pm

 

After a playground fight erupts between their two young sons, two sets of parents are brought together in a meeting to resolve the matter. While they play nice at first, they soon devolve into outlandish, bickering children themselves. The 2009 Tony Award-Winner for Best Play, Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage is an energetic and hilarious triumph, showing us what is underneath the polite facade of these upper class adults.

Dates: June 30-July 2 & July 7-9 at 8pm; July 2-3 & July 9-10 at 2pm

 

Praised as Tom Stoppard’s modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a wonderfully inventive behind the scenes look into Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Told through the worm’s-eye view of the once minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard’s play takes us to a place where reality and illusion intermix. Join the protagonists on an absurdist tale of musings and misadventures as they discover their inevitable fate.

Dates: July 14-16, 21-23, & 28-30 at 8pm; July 16-17, 23-24, & 30-31 at 2pm

 

Winner of multiple Obie Awards, Sam Shepard’s dramedy unfolds in a motel room in the Mojave Desert in which we find the continuously bickering former lovers May and Eddie. There, they unravel their tangled relationship, almost tearing each other apart. A dark exploration into love and family, Fool for Love shows us how our pasts surely come back to haunt us.

Dates: August 4-6 & 11-13 at 8pm; August 6-7 & 13-14 at 2pm

 

In addition to our four main stage shows, PST also will present its annual Children's Show. Stay tuned for more information on our children's programming!