New work: Queen Jane, a play by Marvin Harold Cheiten *71, premiers tomorrow in Princeton. The play stars Phoenix Gonzalez ’11 in the title role, is directed by Dan Berkowitz ’70, and is stage-managed by Alexandra Mannix ’12. Ben Schaffer ’11 is the set designer.
Dates and location: August 16, 17, 18, 23, and 24 at 8 p.m. August 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. in the Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton’s campus.
The playwright and director: Cheiten, who lives in Princeton, premieres a new play nearly every summer at Hamilton Murray Theater, collaborating with Berkowitz. Based in California, Berkowitz is a playwright; director and producer of plays, musicals, and cabaret revues; and co-chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. Among Cheiten’s plays have been Zenobia, Miss Connections, Touching a Goddess, and Oh Deer!! Queen Jane is Cheiten’s 10th play produced at the theater.
The play: Queen Jane is a blank-verse tragedy that tells the story of 15-year-old Lady Jane Grey and her nine days as Queen of England in 1553. The great-granddaughter of Henry VII, she was dethroned, succeeded by Mary Tutor, and executed. Cheiten told the Princeton Echo that he sees Lady Jane Grey as a hero: “Even though she was 15, she was a very solid, serious person. She was very defiant, she was very resistant, and ultimately, as a very devoted Protestant, she died for her faith.”