This summer marks the 50th season of Princeton Summer Theater, operating out of Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton’s campus.
In 1968, a few undergraduates decided to establish Summer Intime, an offshoot of Princeton’s student-run Theatre Intime that was later renamed Princeton Summer Theater (PST). Aside from a couple of years when the theater was undergoing renovations, PST has consistently produced a curated season of professional shows for the local community.Joining the company for a second summer this season, Artistic Director Daniel Krane ’18 has selected Falsettos, Deathtrap, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Topdog/Underdog for summer 2019. While most of his work happens before the season opens — building a team of designers and directors and linking the artistic and business ends of the company — Krane also has an active role during production.
“I direct one of the four shows every summer and our original kids’ show and I work closely with the directors as we talk about their ideas for the productions and help them,” Krane said. He often acts “as a second set of eyes on their productions to see where things could be sharper or improved.”
PST is a student-run nonprofit professional theater company employing a team of around 40 people, mostly students, in various capacities including tech, acting, and business. While much of the company is drawn from the University, the theater holds New York auditions and offers internships to local high school students.
Krane aims to include a broad mix of shows in the season and looks to balance genres to appeal to people who like different types of shows, from musicals to contemporary, edgier plays.
“I know that as a company in recent years, like a lot of the arts community on campus, we’re also working towards making PST a more culturally just institution, so there’s been a lot of thought going into ways that we can also champion playwrights who promote stories by women and characters of color, and that has been another thought that has gone into our programming,” Krane said. “How can we increase the array of voices that are getting told?”
PST’s next show, Deathtrap, opens July 4. Krane describes a quick synopsis of the metafictional play.
“Deathtrap is a classic twisted comedic thriller about a washed-up playwright named Sidney Bruhl who hasn’t had a hit play in a long time and gets his hands on a new script that he might be willing to kill to promote as his own,” Krane said. “There’s a lot of scheming and planning in a tiny mansion in New England to figure out who’s going to get control over this new play.”
Deathtrap will run through July 21. Tickets are available online, by phone, at the box office, and in person 90 minutes before any performance.