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The Lewis Center presents Strange Faces: the story of Asperger's syndrome set to music


Marguerite d'Aprile-Smith    
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

(Princeton, NJ) The Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theater and the Department of Music present Strange Faces, an original musical production by senior Andrea Grody about families dealing with Asperger’s syndrome. Performances will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2 and Thursday through Saturday, April 7-9 in the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street.

Grody wrote the story and dialogue, known in musical theater as “the book,” as well as the lyrics and music for Strange Faces to satisfy the thesis requirements for her major in the Department of Music and her certificate in theater from the Lewis Center for the Arts. She hopes to pursue a career as a musical director on Broadway.

Knowing someone diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition related to autism characterized by significant difficulties with social interactions, Grody said inspired her to pursue the topic for her thesis as "…a culmination of four years of music, theater and psychology studies at Princeton." She went on to say, "Asperger's has only recently been accepted and recognized in the United States, and most people drastically misunderstand it.  Now is the time to write a musical that educates audiences on Asperger’s and helps them relate to it emotionally."

Princeton’s senior thesis productions offer students the opportunity to write, direct, act, or design under the guidance of professional faculty and staff in the Program in Theater, as well as to test the skills they have honed in the classroom on the public stage. “When Andrea came to us with the idea of writing the book and score and directing a musical about Asperger’s syndrome, we didn’t blink, ” said Tim Vasen, Acting Director of the Program in Theater and Grody’s thesis advisor, “…she has shown over and over, that she has the talent, technique and determination to pull something this ambitious off.”

Tickets for Strange Faces are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for general admission. For advance tickets please call University Ticketing at 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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