Festival 56's summer season pays homage to women's mark on the profession
Festival 56 has kicked off another show-stopping theater season filled with performances you don’t want to miss. This year’s season will pay a special tribute to women in theater.
Not only is the season focused around women’s stories that showcase strength, tenacity and the heart of female characters, but a full female directorial staff will be working behind the scenes and a majority of women make up this year’s design crew.
Liana Hall, president of the Princeton Theatre Group, said the history of women in theater is not one that is highlighted often, but contains some of the most influential names.
For example, Antoinette Perry was a co-founder of the American Theater wing and namesake of the Tony Awards. Vignette Carroll was the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway and was nominated for three Tony Awards. Zona Gal was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her play, “Miss Lulu Bett.”
“Stories change depending on which viewpoint they are being told, so it was important for us to spend this whole season putting our time and energy into exploring these particular pieces from a woman perspective in order to highlight different bits and pieces,” Hall said.
“The intention of this season is that the audience will leave with a greater appreciation of the perseverance of the human spirit, and be able to relate it to people around us who exude those same characteristics. ... There is a hope for the future, because of the natural good in all of us waiting to burst forth, and there are some beloved characters whose stories showcase that beautifully.”
Hall encourages those who have never seen a show at Festival 56 to do so this year.
“The shows are awe-inspiring, and the talent is unmatched. If you have never seen a show at Festival 56, give the box office a call, and they can recommend one of the shows that they think you will enjoy,” she said.
Hall recommends opening night shows where the staff and design team host a talk-back session following the performance. Here they will discuss the design concepts and inspirations behind each show.
“It’s a great time to get to know the theater and the talent a little better and understand the reasoning behind some design choices for each show,” she said.
Hall also recommends the cabaret performances, which she describes are a “let-your-hair-down evening” where the actors and actresses perform songs of their choosing to showcase their talents.
“There’s so many ways to take advantage of what Festival 56 has to offer, so it’s worth immersing yourself during the two short months it’s here, because as Shakespeare said in Henry IV, Part 1, ‘The time of life is short, to spend that shortness basely were too long.’”
For ticket information and a full list of show times, visit www.festival56.com.