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

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"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!

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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! 

Meet Phil!

Hi there! I'm Phil, and I'm incredibly excited to be a guest artist for PST's production of The Real Inspector Hound. I graduated from Princeton in 2014. While on campus, I was very involved in student theater and was on the board of Theatre Intime. I now live in New York, where I am pursuing a career in acting and preparing for MFA acting program auditions.

The main company of PST is a lovely group, and I have very much felt like a part of the company even though I came in halfway through the season.

Rehearsal for the one acts has been insanely fun. Brad and the rest of the company made it very easy for everyone to embrace their silly side and try out daring ideas and then refine them. With such a talented and quirky cast, it wasn't uncommon at all for everyone to break out laughing in the middle of a rehearsal. 

This has been one of my favorite shows to work on, and I hope that the fun we had in the rehearsal process shows through in the final performance.

Dan Caprera on The Real Inspector Hound

Hello everyone! My name is Dan Caprera and I am delighted to be playing the eponymous Inspector Hound in PST’s upcoming production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound, directed by the inimitable Bradley Wilson. As a guest artist, I only got on campus a few weeks ago, but I quickly jumped into PST’s twelve hour rehearsal schedule with aplomb and fierce, driving ambition.

This specific play was of particular interest to me since I have been interested in the cliched, formulaic construction of “traditional” murder mysteries for many years. One of the most interesting elements about The Real Inspector Hound is the ways in which it thoroughly and handily upends the conventions of the stereotypical Agatha Christie whodunnit. More precisely, this play acts as a way for Stoppard to lampoon Agatha Christie’s presentation of the “unsolvable” mystery.

In many conventional Agatha Christie novels, the mystery is “unsolvable” because Christie has methodically worked to violate the audience’s predetermined conceptions as to how the mystery should work. In And Then There Were None, she plays with fixed chronology; in Murder on the Orient Express, she plays with duplicity of motive; in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, she upends the genre’s language itself. (I’d be more specific, but I’d hate to give away the ending - it is a fantastic novel.)

But in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound, Stoppard appears to be less concerned with the nitty-gritty rhetorical/chronological concerns that Christie obsessed over. In Stoppard’s own words, the play primarily depicts “the dangers of wish fulfillment;” he is less concerned with the more mechanical, formulaic elements of the genre, and is instead interested in the complex human emotions that Christie herself primarily glossed over. The Real Inspector Hound is an unsolvable mystery primarily because Stoppard upends the genre’s need to have an unsolvable mystery at all. And (as a rising senior in Princeton’s English Department) I thought that was pretty cool of him to do...

Working on this play has been a delight, and if you enjoy watching the show even 1/10th as much as I enjoyed working on it, you will have a fantastic night out! Enjoy the show!

-Dan

Jake Robertson on Pygmalion

Hey there! The name’s Jake, and I have the esteemed pleasure of creating Professor Henry Higgins’ of Pygmalion on the proud PST stage.  As a guest artist, I jumped late into a team that had already bonded over weeks of exhausting yet invigorating theater work.  Unlike these courageous artists, who have to juggle the entire PST season in their brains (4 MainStage productions, a children’s show, as well as workshop programming), my sole task was to put my every effort into bringing the eccentric, eclectic, neurotic, charming, alarming, sensitive and senseless Henry Higgins to life. 

The mission was daunting, but luckily I knew I had the brilliant artists of the PST ensemble at my side and the passionate and sagacious mind of director R. N. (Bob) Sandberg leading the charge.  Bob and I go way back—in fact, I have done more theater work with him than any other director I’ve known.  From Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya to Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive to my one-man acting thesis Madman/Robertson, an actor-director collaboration was forged, for which I am supremely grateful.  Bob and I discussed at length our ideas about who Higgins was in the context of his greater vision for the piece—he told me that in fact it was Higgins’ transformation that was the most fundamental throughout the course of the play.  Our mission was to tackle this transformation by finding the moments of realism within Higgins’ story.  He could be easily played as a caricature of the eccentric genius, but we decided that he was, rather, a socially awkward, often childish man, scared very much of his own feelings. 

And so, our production—set as a memory play in which Higgins relives his past with Eliza—serves as the means by which this insecure and co-dependent momma’s boy-genius grows up and learns to confront his world and his self in a mature and responsible way. 

Come see an unbelievable cast and crew bring a little heart to the inimitable mind of George Bernard Shaw!

All My Best,

Jake