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Other People's Houses (and the Stuff Inside)

(Princeton, NJ)  Princeton University’s Program in Theater presents Other People’s Houses (and the Stuff Inside), a senior creative thesis production written and directed by Shawn Fennell, opening Friday, February 5 at 8:00 p.m. in the Marie and Edward Matthews '53 Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts at 185 Nassau Street.

Other People's Houses examines a day in the life of retired widower Stuart Hobbes and his teenage son shortly after they've moved into a generic housing development just outside of Des Moines, Iowa.  As they confront the challenges of their new life, we discover that their ordinary neighborhood contains extraordinary surprises, as kitchen appliances turn musical and a swing set begins to sing.

Fennell, a comparative literature major pursuing a certificate in theater, said the play is an attempt to explore a modern landscape as one burgeoning with limitless possibilities for re-enchantment. “The world we’re used to seeing as strange and bleak may just as well be strange and fantastic, if you look at it the right way,” said Fennell. According to Program in Theater director Michael Cadden, “Shawn seems to have taken his cue from the world of magical realism. He’s interested in the way inanimate objects are as much our life partners as other human beings. Consequently, in his dramatic universe, objects don’t remain inanimate.”

During his time at Princeton, Fennell has written four ten-minute plays as well as a full-length musical, Hey Boy Wonder! The Other Adventures of Ultraman!, which premiered at Theatre Intime in April 2009. He has performed in fifteen shows (including the role of Henry Higgins in the Program’s Fall Show, My Fair Lady), directed three and has worked as a set, sound and lighting designer. Fennell has served on the Theater Intime board as Media Manager, Community Programming Director and Production Manager and is currently the Artistic Director of Princeton Summer Theater.

Performances of Other People’s Houses (and the Stuff Inside) are Friday and Saturday February 5 -6 and Thursday through Saturday, February 11-13. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the public and $8 for students. For advance tickets, please call University Ticketing 609.258.9220.

The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

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