Fall is more than a change of season. It is a celebration of color and energy. And as our 2019 Fall Arts Preview issue shows, our regional cultural organizations are celebrating that change by filling galleries with images and theater stages with action and life — and more than ever.

But this fall is also a celebration and a commemoration of cultural changes.

One is the opening of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The new home of several regionally important cultural organizations, NBPAC strengthens the artistic presence of our region, making the U.S. 1 reading area one of the strongest regions for art on the East Coast.

Another is the announcement that this is the last year of Emily Mann’s artistic directorship at McCarter Theater. Under the stewardship of this critically acclaimed playwright and stage director, McCarter has become a Tony Award-winning theater center for an impressive series of new plays dealing with current issues — including racial and gender justice — and for several notable New York City premieres that connected Princeton to Broadway. We will have more on Mann as she makes her shift to more writing and developing new projects, but we take a moment to congratulate and thank her for her time at McCarter.

And then there is our own commemoration of change at U.S. 1. Longtime theater columnist Simon Saltzman has retired. Starting in theater in the 1960s as first an actor and then a producer, he says he later found his talents better suited to journalism than producing and turned to theater criticism — and until recently served as the president of the Outer Critics Circle. But there was something else beyond the talent of writing and showing up at a theater. Simon has a deep devotion to theater and cared about its ability to nourish the human soul. But as Simon would say, “The show must go on.”

And, as readers will see, plenty of shows and exhibitions and concerts are going on, and we invite you to join in and celebrate both the season and the rich cultural offerings of our region.


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