McCarter Theatre reveals 3 world premieres for diverse 2018-2019 season

From left, Douglas McGrath, Dominique Morriseau, Ken Ludwig, Eleanor Burgess, and David Hare all have plays being staged at McCarter Theatre in Princeton next season.
From left, Douglas McGrath, Dominique Morriseau, Ken Ludwig, Eleanor Burgess, and David Hare all have plays being staged at McCarter Theatre in Princeton next season.

Let’s cut to the chase …

The Theater Series in order:

— Douglas McGrath’s world premiere adaptation of “The Age of Innocence,” Edith Wharton’s classic gilded age love story, directed by Doug Hughes.

— Dominique Morisseau’s incendiary “Detroit ’67,”  directed by Jade King Carroll

— World premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ “The Niceties,” a riveting look at race and history directed by Kimberly Senior

— World premiere of Ken Ludwig’s “The Gods of Comedy,” directed by Kathleen Marshall

— David Hare’s Tony Award-winning “Skylight,” directed by Emily Mann, McCarter’s Theatre artistic director and resident playwright

“I’m so proud to present a season of six extraordinary evenings which will provoke, inspire, and entertain all who visit with us,” Mann said. “A healthy theater, like a healthy democracy, is a place where new ideas are exchanged and challenged.

“McCarter continues to grow as a home for artists and adventurous audiences alike,” she said. “Set in various times and places from New York City during the Gilded Age, to Ancient Greece, to present-day Princeton and beyond, this collection of upcoming productions provides artists and the audiences who bear witness a mirror to the heart and mind of the human experience.”


By Edith Wharton
Adapted for the stage by Douglas McGrath
Directed by Doug Hughes
World Premiere Production in association with Hartford Stage
September 7 – October 7, 2018 (opening : Saturday, September 15)

When is it wrong to love someone? Is love the highest ideal, or is kindness and duty to each other even greater than love? These are the questions asked by Edith Wharton in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Set in New York in the Gilded Age, The Age of Innocence is both ravishing romantic and heartbreaking unsentimental. Adapted from Wharton’s novel by Oscar and Tony nominee Douglas McGrath (Emma, Nicholas Nickleby) and directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Junk, The Father on Broadway).

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Jade King Carroll
In association with Hartford Stage
October 9 – October 28, 2018 (opening: Saturday, October 13)

It’s the summer of 1967 and Chelle and her brother Lank are running an unlicensed after-hours juke joint out of their basement. Risky business, especially during a brutal police crackdown that has set off riots throughout the city. When Lank offers refuge to a mysterious stranger, pent-up emotions erupt and they must navigate chaos from both outside and within. “Mind-blowing” says the Huffington Post; “Dominique Morisseau is a direct heir to Hansberry, Williams, and Wilson. You feel the pulse and vibrations of her characters.”

By Charles Dickens – Adapted by David Thompson
Directed by Adam Immerwahr
December 4 – 29, 2018 (opening: Friday, December 7)

Using David Thompson’s masterful adaptation, McCarter continues its annual tradition of joining Ebenezer Scrooge on his magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future. Using beloved carols and original music, a cast of professional actors is once again joined by ensemble members chosen from the greater Princeton community. Audiences will experience an immersive Dickensian environment from the opening of the theater doors to the final bows. This exciting production will usher you into the spirit of the season with all the joy, wonder, and generosity that Scrooge finally discovers.

By Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Kimberly Senior (“Disgraced” on Broadway)
World Premiere Production in association with the Huntington Theatre Company
January 11 – February 10, 2019 (opening – Saturday, January 19)

Zoe, a black student at an Ivy League University, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her thesis about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. In this riveting two-person drama, a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent and dangerous contemporary debate on race, history, and power. “Scintillating,” raves Peter Marks in the Washington Post. “The story of America, it seems, is destined to be wrestled over to the bitter end.”

By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Kathleen Marshall
World Premiere in association with the Old Globe Theatre
March 12–March 31, 2019 (opening – Saturday, March 16)

A young Princeton Classics professor puts her career—and her love life—in peril, and calls on the gods of Ancient Greece to save her. When the gods who show up are the gods of comedy, things don’t go according to plan. Ken Ludwig, the two-time Olivier Award winning playwright who penned Lend Me a TenorBaskerville, and most recently, the thrilling adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, returns with another world premiere comedic tour-de-force at McCarter. Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama GameAnything GoesNice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway) directs.

By David Hare
Directed by Emily Mann
May 3 – June 2, 2019 (opening – Saturday, May 11)

On a bitterly cold London evening, Kyra receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires. Winner of London’s Olivier Award for Best Play and a Tony Award-winning hit on Broadway, Skylight is, says the New York Post, a “luminously beautiful and wildly truthful” love story. “Theater-going doesn’t get much better than this.” McCarter Artistic Director Emily Mann directs.

Exterior shot of McCarter Theatre in Princeton.


Subscription packages for the 2018-2019 Theatre Series—as well as package options for McCarter’s Dance, Music, and Signature Events—are available now by calling McCarter Theatre Center at (609) 258-5050, visiting, or visiting the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office,  91 University Place, Princeton.