Category Archives: McCarter Theatre

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.

The 2018-2019 Theater Series  begins with Douglas McGrath’s world premiere adaptation of ‘The Age of Innocence,” Edith Wharton’s classic gilded age love story, directed by Doug Hughes. To follow is Dominique Morisseau’s incendiary “Detroit ’67,”  directed by Jade King Carroll; the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ “The Niceties,” a riveting look at race and history directed by Kimberly Senior; the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s “The Gods of Comedy,” directed by Kathleen Marshall, and David Hare’s Tony Award-winning “Skylight,” directed by Emily Mann, McCarter’s Theatre artistic director and resident playwright Emily Mann. Continue reading McCarter Theatre reveals 3 world premieres for diverse 2018-2019 season

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Michael S. Rosenberg leaves La Jolla Playhouse for McCarter Theatre

McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of nationally respected arts leader Michael S. Rosenberg as its managing director.
McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of nationally respected arts leader Michael S. Rosenberg as its managing director.

McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees have announced the appointment of Michael S. Rosenberg as managing director. A nationally respected arts leader, Rosenberg will work together with McCarter’s artistic director/resident playwright Emily Mann and special programming director William W. Lockwood in leading Princeton’s Tony Award- winning arts institution.

Currently, Rosenberg is the managing director at La Jolla Playhouse in California, will join McCarter Theatre Center this spring. Continue reading Michael S. Rosenberg leaves La Jolla Playhouse for McCarter Theatre

McCarter Theatre announces an exciting 2017-2018 season

McCarter Theatre just revealed a 2017-2018 season that includes the world premiere of Tony Award-winner Christopher Durang’s  “Turning Off the Morning News”; a revival of Regina Taylor’s gospel musical “Crowns” that had its world premiere here 15 years ago; a rare staging of Sam Shepard’s “Simpatico” in collaboration with Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre,  a recipient of this year’s MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions; Marie Jones’ Irish comedy “Stones in His Pocket” with two actors playing 15 plus characters. The musical biography “A Night With Janis Joplin,” written and directed by Randy Johnson, fills out the schedule.

Continue reading McCarter Theatre announces an exciting 2017-2018 season

World premiere ‘Orient Express’ to make next stop at Hartford Stage

The world premiere stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” closes Sunday at  McCarter Theatre in Princeton but its next stop will be at the Hartford Stage, Conn., as part to its 2018 Spring s

McCarter Theatre Center couldn’t be more excited to have ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ at Hartford Stage as the play’s next step in its journey,” said McCarter Theatre Center Managing Director Timothy J. Shields. “Hartford Stage is an ideal partner to continue the process of bringing the enduring legacy of Agatha Christie’s fabulous characters to life for today’s audiences.”

Continue reading World premiere ‘Orient Express’ to make next stop at Hartford Stage

Hercule Poirot makes stage debut in McCarter’s ‘Orient Express’ premiere

Agatha Christie's "Murder On The Orient" was adapted by Ken Ludwig for a world premiere starting tonight at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Directed by Emily Mann, it's the first stage appearance of Hercule Poirot. (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson)
Agatha Christie’s “Murder On The Orient” was adapted by Ken Ludwig for a world premiere starting tonight at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Directed by Emily Mann, it’s the first stage appearance of Hercule Poirot. Is it Broadway bound? (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson)

Agatha Christie + Hercule Poirot + Ken Ludwig. That’s a theater trifecta. And that’s also before you know who makes up the creative dream team for the world premiere of the stage version of “Murder on the Orient Express,”  beginning  three weeks of performances tonight at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. (Two more performances already have been added.)

Emily Mann, McCarter’s artistic director, is at the helm. Her team includes Tony Award-winning designers: sets by Beowulf Boritt (Act OneOn the Town); costumes by William Ivey Long (15 Tony noms.; 6 wins); lighting by Ken Billington (Chicago), and sound by Darron L. West (Peter and the Starcatcher).

This is headed to Broadway, right?

Continue reading Hercule Poirot makes stage debut in McCarter’s ‘Orient Express’ premiere

Bedlam at McCarter: ‘Hamlet’ and ‘St. Joan’ take over Berlind stage

Eric Tucker (left) and Edmund Lewis in a scene from Bedlam's "St. Joan,' by George Bernard Shaw. (PHOTO: A.R. Sinclair)
Eric Tucker (left) and Edmund Lewis in a scene from Bedlam’s “St. Joan,’ by George Bernard Shaw. (PHOTO: A.R. Sinclair)

I’ve seen “Hamlet” at least two dozen times. A benefit of being a critic. So I’m eager to see Bedlam’s “Hamlet” — 4 actors playing over 25 roles —  at McCarter because I crave new ways to look at old shows, even if it was conceived this way due to a shoestring budget.

Throughout 47 years of theatergoing (before you do the math, I started young … real young), some of my best experiences were at low-budget, off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway theaters that didn’t recognize a fourth wall, depended on brains, creativity, hard work, devotion to craft, enthusiasm, family, friends, donors and thrill-seeking audiences willing to take risks — just like the actors.

Continue reading Bedlam at McCarter: ‘Hamlet’ and ‘St. Joan’ take over Berlind stage

‘Bathing in Moonlight’ needs a new argument about married priests

McCarter Theatre’s artistic director Emily Mann and playwright Nilo Cruz have been reunited for the first time since the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anna in the Tropics” that opened the Berlind Theater in 2003. Unfortunately, their collaboration on “Bathing in Moonlight” isn’t as successful.

Continue reading ‘Bathing in Moonlight’ needs a new argument about married priests

McCarter Theatre reveals 2016-17 season, premieres by Ken Ludwig, Nilo Cruz

Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre’s 2016-17 season features the world premiere of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient
Express” adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig; a world premiere from Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz; works by fellow Pulitzer-winners Ayad Akhtar and Lynn Nottage, and Bedlam Theatre Company’s “Hamlet” and “St. Joan” in repertory.

Woo, hoo!! I. Am. Psyched. This is why, I tell my husband, I won’t consider moving to Washington state so he can live near his sisters. I just can’t leave McCarter Theatre behind. Or other NJ theaters such as Two River Theater,  George Street Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Paper Mill Playhouse, and more.

Continue reading McCarter Theatre reveals 2016-17 season, premieres by Ken Ludwig, Nilo Cruz

McCarter Theatre snags its audience with Agatha Christie’s ‘Mousetrap’


Usually when discussing a murder mystery you want to make sure you don’t give away the whodunnit’s ending. In McCarter Theatre’s superb production of “The Mousetrap,” it’s also the beginning I can’t talk about too much as it’s a stunner and I don’t want to ruin it Continue reading McCarter Theatre snags its audience with Agatha Christie’s ‘Mousetrap’

2 decades later scholars to assess August Wilson’s shocking ‘race’ speech

Twenty years after August Wilson delivered a keynote speech some thought attacked the white theater community, McCarter Theatre and Princeton University will hold a symposium in the place where it all happened. (PHOTO: Courtesy of PBS)
Twenty years after August Wilson delivered a keynote speech some thought attacked the white theater community, McCarter Theatre and Princeton University will hold a symposium in the place where it all happened. (PHOTO: Courtesy of PBS)

Twenty years ago, at the 1996 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) annual conference at McCarter Theatre Center, Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson delivered the event’s keynote address and blew the lid off the place.

I was there covering the three-day event for the Asbury Park Press as it’s Theater Writer.

“The Ground on Which I Stand” was simultaneously cheered and booed.  I couldn’t believe the gamut of emotions from outrage to shouts of encouragement, people walking out and others nodding heads in agreement and applauding. The reactions to the speech which addressed  questions of race, diversity, and cultural identity in the American Theater broke down along racial lines.

To honor the 20th anniversary of this watershed moment, McCarter Theatre Center and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts will host a free symposium  Monday, April 18 from 1-5 p.m. at McCarter Theatre Center.

Continue reading 2 decades later scholars to assess August Wilson’s shocking ‘race’ speech