July 17, 2019

Princeton Summer Theater Children’s Show

SHAKESPEARE AND SOCK PUPPETS: The cast of Princeton Summer Theater’s “Puck’s Midsummer Mischief.” Shows are at the Hamilton Murray Theater, Fridays and Saturdays at 11 a.m. through August 3. For tickets, call (732) 997-0205 or visit princetonsummertheater.org. (Photo by JJ Haddad)

Princeton Summer Theater’s annual children’s production brings together a William Shakespeare classic with sock puppets.

“I didn’t mean to write a children’s play about open borders,” Princeton Summer Theater (PST) playwright-in-resident Annika Bennett said. “But I guess that’s what I did.”

Bennett’s Puck’s Midsummer Mischief is her fourth children’s theater piece commissioned for Princeton Summer Theater. A Seattle-based playwright and arts administrator, Bennett created original works throughout her time at Princeton University (she graduated in 2015) and has found a niche writing plays for audiences of all ages. Her work is accessible for younger theatergoers and fun for older ones, and has a heavy emphasis on audience engagement.

This year’s production, which will be performed Friday and Saturday mornings until August 3, is an original companion piece to PST’s upcoming mainstage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Picking up after the events of Shakespeare’s original, Puck’s Midsummer Mischief follows the trickster, Puck, who wreaks mayhem on the forest after King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon and Titania, leave on their honeymoon.

Audience members familiar with Shakespeare’s classic will recognize fresh takes on many of the original play’s characters, while those who have not seen Midsummer will find a plot focused on understanding others and forming friendships across borders, magical and otherwise. Like PST’s mainstage production of the play, Puck’s Midsummer Mischief has some dramatic tricks, including original music, fourth wall-breaking exploits, and puppetry (of the sock variety).

Shows are at the Hamilton Murray Theater, Fridays and Saturdays at 11 a.m. through August 3. Tickets are $15 ages 12 and up, $12 ages 4-12, and free for those 4 and under. Call (732) 997-0205 or visit princetonsummertheater.org for tickets and more information.