Summer Theater offers fairy tales, comedies and drama

Pton Summer Theater index

Princeton Summer Theater opens its 2011 season with a production of "Into the Woods," which interlaces the stories of several fairy tales, including "Cinderella," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Rapunzel." Abigail Sparrow, who plays the witch, is one of 17 actors in the ensemble cast.

Pton Summer Theater baker + wife

The baker (David Bevis) sets a plan in motion with his wife (Sarah Elizabeth Grace) to lift a curse.

Pton Summer Theater Cinderella

Cinderella (Melissa Fults) wonders what the prince would think if he knew she was only a maid.

Pton Summer Theater princes

The "charming" princes -- from left, Cinderella's prince (Princeton undergraduate Christopher Beard) and Rapunzel's prince (Princeton alumnus Nicholas Genta) -- sing about the women of their dreams and the agony of being in love.

Pton Summer Theater baker

The baker (Bevis) begs Little Red Riding Hood (Eva Casey) for her cape.

Photos by Denise Applewhite

In a production that interlaces the stories of "Cinderella," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Rapunzel," Princeton Summer Theater opens its 2011 season with a production of "Into the Woods." The play is a Tony Award-winning mélange of fairy tales that explores themes of growing up, parental responsibility and wish fulfillment, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine.

The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 30-July 2. There will be additional performances at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3, at the Hamilton Murray Theater on campus.

Pton Summer Theater narrator

From left, the narrator (Princeton alumnus James Mears) watches Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk” (Jesse Derron Gold) and his cow.

Princeton Summer Theater, which has been performing since 1968, is a summer stock company of young professionals and students from Princeton and other colleges interested in pursuing careers in theater and drama.

With an intricate score by Sondheim, the company's production of "Into the Woods" brings to life a complex web of stories that are both lighthearted and serious.

The show is directed by Jed Peterson, a member of Princeton's class of 2006, and includes an ensemble cast of 17, including Princeton alumni, current students and local residents, and an orchestra of eight.

Pton Summer Theater Rapunzel

Rapunzel (Kerilyn Acer) lets down her hair.

Other mainstage shows this year will be:

* "Barefoot in the Park," by Neil Simon, July 7-10 and 14-17.

* "Beyond Therapy" by Christopher Durang, July 21-24 and 28-31.

* "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, Aug. 4-7 and 11-14. 

Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays.

For evening shows and Sunday matinees, tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students. For Saturday matinees, tickets are $20 for general admission and $18 for students. Season subscriptions are available online or by calling (877) 238-5596.

Pton Summer Theater orchestra

An orchestra of eight plays a score by Stephen Sondheim.

Princeton Summer Theater also will present two children's shows. A new adaptation of the classic children's tale "The Three Little Pigs" will be performed June 30-July 2 and July 7-9. "One Eyed Davy and the Pirate Earbeard" will run July 21-23 and 28-30. All shows are at 11 a.m. Children 2 years old and younger are admitted free; tickets for all others are $9.

In addition, a series of Friday workshops for children ages 7 through 13 begins July 1 and runs weekly from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per workshop or $145 for all six. 

For more about the performances, call (609) 258-7062 or visit the theater's website.

Pton Summer Theater baker + wolf

The baker (Bevis) wields his knife when he finds the wolf (Beard) hiding in Granny’s bed.


Pton Summer Theater cast

Cinderella's mother (Rachel Wenitsky, on ladder) gives her blessing to her daughter (Fults) as she rides off with her prince (Beard).


Pton Summer Theater Riding Hood + Granny

From left, Little Red Riding Hood (Casey) and her Granny (Katherine Grant-Suttie) are rescued from the Big Bad Wolf by the baker (Bevis).


Pton Summer Theater cast

The ensemble cast of the fairytale production warns the audience of the dangers of straying from the past.