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PU Summer Stock: Something's up over at Murray-Dodge
Princeton Summer Theatre is alive and well
By Regina Tan '00
Orange Key tour guides joke that the university's motto, 'Dei Sub
Numine Viget' really means that 'God went to Princeton.' In the
Murray-Dodge theater this summer, it appears that Jesus went to
Princeton as well.
Mid July, when the Princeton
Summer Theatre was staging the musical "Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat," several Biblical characters were seen
darting about near Murray-Dodge. Actually, Jesus wasn't one of them,
it just looked like him.
During the summer, it
seems that the campus experiences a dry spell in student activity.
The Princeton Summer Theater revives some of this theatrical spirit
in its summer repertory.
In August, the ensemble
is presenting "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon
Marigolds," Paul Zindel's 1971 Pulitzer Prize winning play.
The Princeton Summer
Theatre actors are recruited from area schools, including Princeton,
Rutgers, and Westminster Choir College. The group also runs an internship
program for high school students.
The planning for PST's
summer repertory began last February, when Amanda Brandes '02, PST's
managing director, drew together the plans for PST with a group
of fellow theater students.
Millman '02, Allie Tepper '01, Sarah Rodriguez '03, Robin Giese
'02, and I formed a committee to submit a proposal to Princeton
Summer Theater, Inc., a trustee group that determines who will administer
PST each summer," Brandes said.
"As a part of our
proposal we had to include a season - shows, with directors attached.
For us it was easiest to find out directors first, and Erin Gilley
'02 and Clifford Sofield '02 were both interested, so the seven
of us sat down and talked about what shows we liked, what would
sell, what types of shows we wanted in our season, etc. In the end
we went for variety. Our season is structured to open with a comedy
("Barefoot in the Park"), include a musical ("Joseph"),
something Shakespearean ("Much Ado"), and close with a
more serious, 'artsy' drama ("The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-on-the-Moon
Marigolds"). Once we decided on these shows, we submitted our
decision to the trustees for their approval."
Usually it takes about
four to five weeks to take the show from script to stage. Since
the Princeton Summer Theater's season is very short - a little less
than two months - cast and crew work overtime to pull the performances
Finding housing and stipend
funds for the cast and interns has not been easy either. Without
the support of English professor Thomas Roche and Princeton resident
Nancy Beer - who rented their houses to Princeton Summer Theater
- some cast members would not have been able to stay during the
summer. Additional funding from the university president's discretionary
fund helped cover the costs of housing and financing cast, crew,
and intern stipends.
For more information
about the Princeton Summer Theater, visit www.princetonsummertheater.org
or call 609-258-7062.
Regina Tan '00 is a reporter/freelance
writer living in Princeton.