McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787. www.mccarter.org.
With all public physical performances cancelled through January 31, McCarter continues its series of educational activities and creative content including interviews, timely conversations, playlists, behind-the-scenes clips, community play readings, and virtual classes.
The Tony Award-winning company also welcomes its new artistic director, Sara Rasmussen. See more about her on page 13.
Passage Theater, Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton. 609-392-0766. www.passagetheatre.org.
The Capital City’s only professional theater company is opening its 35th year with a postponed season and some board changes.
Trenton based Caroline Wylie, an Educational Testing Service researcher, assumed the role as president. She is joined by six newly appointed board members: Matthew Cooper (associate provost for the Center for Learning & Technology at Thomas Edison State University), Euen Gunn (senior director R&D, Johnson & Johnson), Rev. Brian Joyce (Trinity United Methodist Church, Ewing), Beth Reddy (retired, section chief, NJ Department of Environmental Protection), D. Vance Smith (English professor, Princeton University), and Madhu M. Sonti (senior client advisor of Wealth Management at PNC Bank).
George Street Playhouse, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-246-7717. www.gsponline.org.
With its season postponed, GSP is offering “Putting It Together,” a multimedia podcast discussion series featuring conversations about the creative process and featuring GSP professions.
Crossroads Theater, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-545-8100. www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org.
At press time, Crossroads Theatre Company’s plans to present the world premiere of “Freedom Rider” from September 10 through 20 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, which had suspended performances until further notice, has not been clarified.
Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, Pennsylvania. 215-862-2121. www.bcptheater.org.
The historic theater on the Delaware River had been forced to postpone its scheduled summer productions to 2021. However it still hopes to reopen the production of its gamer and fantasy-themed musical “Other World” as soon as the state of Pennsylvania relaxes social distancing regulations. Meanwhile the theater has also gone online with its “Playhouse Live!” Sunday night series.
Bristol Riverside Theater, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pennsylvania. 215-785-0100. www.brtstage.org.
The company plans to continue Zooming into people’s homes with “Mental Amusements — A Virtual Carnival for the Minds,” featuring New York-based Vinny DePonto, September 24 through 26. $35 to $50.
Its three-part “History of American Theater from Oscar Hammerstein II to Tony Kushner,” conducted by Ken Kaissar, is set for September 29 and October 6 and 13, at 4 p.m. $50. And the BRT Book Club examines “Great American Plays” on Tuesdays, September 29 through November 17, at 7 p.m. $100.
The following area live-theater venues were forced to suspend presentations but are planning to reopen and invite you to check their websites for announcements:
Hopewell Theater: www.HopewellTheater.com; Kelsey Theater at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor: www.kelseytheatre.net; Actors’ NET in Morrisville, PA: www.actorsnetbucks.org; and Music Mountain Theater in Lambertville: www.musicmountaintheatre.org.
The Seuls en Scène. The annual French Theater Festival at Princeton University marks its ninth anniversary by going digital.
Running September 10 to 20, the 2020 festival features 12 recordings of live performances of contemporary works recently presented on stages in France; recorded readings; live conversations with the artists; and a recorded conversation on the current state of theater in France.
Presentations will be in French, and several will include English subtitles; all are free and open to the public at arts.princeton.edu/frenchtheater.
Organized by Florent Masse, senior lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and artistic director of L’Avant-Scène, a French troupe of Princeton students, the project is supported by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts and the Department of French and Italian.
The Festival kicks-off on Thursday, September 10, at 4:30 p.m., with a recently recorded conversation hosted by Masse with directors of productions from Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne in Paris, and Comédie-Française. The conversation, conducted in French, explores how COVID-19 is affecting festivals and theaters in France. A digital archive of the talk will be available through September 20.
Additional festival events are as follows:
September 10 at 7 p.m. and available on demand through September 13: A film documenting the creative process behind the production of Marion Siéfert’s production of “Du Sale!” (Real Shit!) and how the pandemic and the cancellation created a film that offers “very personal insight into the show’s rehearsals with two exceptional performers and their quest for their own personal identity.”
September 11, 5 p.m., through September 14: “Pistes” (Tracks). Franco-Senegalese playwright and dramaturg Penda Diouf reads her most recent play about resilience that is both intimate and political, directed by Aristide Tranagda. Pre-recorded reading in French with English subtitles.
September 12, 2 p.m. through September 20: “Fragments Racine,” with Sandy Ouvrier and Astrid Bayiha reading favorite scenes by Jean Racine. Pre-recorded in French.
September 13, 2 p.m.: Conversation with “Pistes’” Penda Diouf & Aristide Tarnagda. Live via Zoom in French. 4 p.m.: Conversation with “Du Sale’s” Marion Siéfert and Mathieu Bareyre. Live via Zoom in French. 5 p.m., through September 16: “La dispute,” Mohamed El Khatib’s recent work examines marital break-ups from the point of view of children. Recording of live performance in French.
September 15, 5 p.m., through September 19: “Rituels 1, 2, 3 & 4,” Émilie Rousset uses of archival material and documentary inquiry to examine the rites of society around political debates in a presentation combining archival film and recorded live performance in collaboration with filmmaker Louis Hémon. Recording of live presentation in French
September 16, 4:45 p.m.: Conversation with Mohamed El Khatib. Live via Zoom in French
September 18, 4:45 p.m.: Conversation with Émilie Rousset & Louis Hémon. Pre-recorded in French. 5 p.m., through September 20: “Rémi,” Jonathan Capdevielle’s adaptation of Malot’s Sans famille, a vibrant classic of French literature. Recording of live performance in French
September 20, 3 p.m.: Conversation with Jonathan Capdevielle. Live via Zoom in French
Registration on Eventbrite is necessary for the live conversations with artists via Zoom. On-demand programs can be found at arts.princeton.edu/frenchtheater.
On Screen: NJ Film Festival Goes Virtual
The long-running New Jersey Film Festival from Rutgers University digitally launches its annual Fall Film Festival on Sunday, September 13, with “Underground Inc: The Rise and Fall of Alternative Rock.”
The feature-length documentary by Australian director Shaun Katz “tells the story of the rise and fall of the alternative rock scene in the wake of Nirvana’s success. Starting with its roots in the ’80s underground punk scene — witness the meteoric rise to mainstream dominance and how it all came crashing down against a world of excess and greed.”
The festival continues weekends through October 25 with a dizzying schedule of narrative films, documentaries, shorts, and animations.
Films with regional connections or interest include the September 20 showing of “Yet Anther,” Annandale, New Jersey, director Tim Bisbrow’s super short entry; the October 4 presentation of California director’s short “Islander,” filmed at the director’s family summer home on Long Beach Island; and October 9’s “The Pine Barrens,” Philadelphia director David Scott Kessler’s feature-length documentary exploring the vast New Jersey wilderness, its wildlife, myths, people, and the forces that threaten to undermine its protection.
Tickets per viewing (lasting 24 hours) are $12. For more details, visit www.njfilmfest.com.