May 24, 2017

McCarter Theatre Center is proud to announce its participation in a new partnership with Princeton University, commissioning seven professional playwrights to write short plays to be presented with the 2017 launch of the Princeton and Slavery Project.

An impressive collection of award-winning playwrights will take part in this project, including Nathan Alan Davis, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Dipika Guha, recently announced MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Emily Mann, and Regina Taylor. The public readings will be directed by Patricia McGregor. These commissions are made possible by generous support from Mathematica Policy Research, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and the Princeton University Histories Fund. more

Jane Cox, director of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University, has been nominated for a Tony Award for her lighting design of the Broadway production of August Wilson’s play Jitney. In addition to her work as a professional lighting designer, Ms. Cox has served as a lecturer in the Program in Theater since 2007 and was appointed as director in July 2016.

The Tony Awards are given for Broadway productions and performances and are selected by a committee made up of select members of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, the Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.  more

Mill Ballet announces Christine McDowell will join as a guest instructor for the Choreographic Workshop during Summer Dance 2017. While the main focus is on ballet, summer students will be exposed to other forms of dance such as flamenco, modern, contemporary, ballroom, and jazz. Classes in dance conditioning, as well as lectures in injury prevention and nutrition, auditioning, and careers in dance will all be a part of the student’s day.

On May 13, 2017, Sruti Bapatla of Plainsboro and Madeline Epstein of West Windsor performed with the All-State Intermediate Orchestra performing Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Vaughn Williams, and Dvorak. Students who were invited to perform with the All-State orchestra underwent two rounds of rigorous auditions – first for the regional orchestras, then for the All-State Orchestra. 

NEW BEGINNINGS: Every season is delightful at Blue Raccoon, but spring, with its focus on hope, new beginnings, and transformation, is especially welcome at this iconic home, gifts, and design store in Lambertville. Owner and creative designer Nelson Zayas (left) and manager Cindy Philo are shown in front of a series of handcrafted items, made in the U.S.A., from the store’s wonderfully eclectic selection.

Approaching 25 years in business, Blue Raccoon Home Furnishings remains a delightful emporium to visit. Whether one is in a mood to browse or to buy, the shopping experience at this charming store is always a pleasure. And few customers leave empty-handed! more

TAKING HIS SHOT: Princeton High boys’ track star thrower Paul Brennan competes at the shot put in a meet earlier this spring. Last Saturday at the Mercer County Championships, sophomore star Brennan won the discus and took second in the shot put to help PHS take second in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ben Samara knew that the Princeton High boys’ track team was in for a dogfight as it went after the title at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday. more

May 22, 2017

SPOILS OF VICTORY: Members of the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8 show off the medals and trophies they earned after winning the grand final at the Ivy League championship regatta on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. last Sunday. It was the second straight Ivy crown for the top open boat and the third in the last four years. Princeton is next in action when it competes at the NCAA championship regatta from May 26-28 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Even though the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8 went 11-0 in regular season competition, Lori Dauphiny knew nothing was guaranteed as her top boat competed in the Ivy League championship regatta last weekend. more

May 18, 2017

At a community meeting Monday evening, Princeton University officials expanded upon details released last month about its 2026 Campus Plan. Potential sites on the existing campus for a new undergraduate residential college, the University’s engineering school, and its environmental studies program were among the topics discussed. more

May 17, 2017

Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team celebrate after they defeated Princeton High 9-5 in the Mercer County Tournament title game last Thursday. It was the second straight MCT crown for PDS. The Panthers will go for one more championship this spring when they host Rutgers Prep in the state Prep B final on May 17. See page 30 for more details on the county title game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Where will Princeton be in 20 years? What sorts of personal transportation will be used? How should Princeton balance future change and plan its redevelopment?

These and many more questions will be the focus of a forum on the future of Princeton to be held in the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. more

ARTJAM: The annual pop-up art gallery by HomeFront will run from May 19 to June 6 at 19 Hulfish St. in Princeton’s Palmer Square.

HomeFront’s seventh annual ArtJam pop-up gallery will open Friday, May 19 at 19 Hulfish St on Princeton’s Palmer Square. HomeFront is a Mercer County-based nonprofit that works to fight homelessness in the area, and ArtJam serves in part as a major fundraiser for the organization’s ArtSpace programming. ArtSpace is an open studio for clients at HomeFront’s new Family Preservation Center in Ewing. Ruthann Traylor, the ArtSpace director, explains that it is meant as both a therapeutic creative outlet for HomeFront clients, as well as a means for them to pick up entrepreneurial skills through the sale of their artwork. The ArtJam pop-up gallery will feature artwork from ArtSpace participants as well as the work of over 100 locally and nationally celebrated artists.  more

Parents: If you think the marijuana your teenagers might be using bears a close resemblance to the stuff you smoked back in college a few decades ago, the Princeton Alcohol and Drug Alliance wants you to think again.

The organization’s upcoming “Marijuana Awareness Forum: Weeding Out the Myths,” tackles that and other related misconceptions in a program targeted to middle and high school students, their parents, and the community. The free event will be held in the auditorium of John Witherspoon Middle School on Wednesday, May 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. more

CHASING GEORGE: Following George Washington’s route to Princeton Battlefield, “Chasing George” and Ciclovia on Quaker Road this Sunday are just two of the many bicycling events taking place in Princeton during National Bike Month. (Sketch Courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton)

May is National Bike Month, and Princeton is celebrating with an array of biking events.

Mayor Liz Lempert has proclaimed this Friday, May 19, as Bike to Work Day in Princeton, during National Bike to Work Week. Bike to School Days are scheduled on different dates throughout the month.  more

FORTY-SIX YEARS OF SAFE CROSSING: Andy Tamasi, honored last week with an award of recognition from the Princeton Council, has served as a school crossing guard at various locations in Princeton since 1971.

More than 200,000 Princeton school children over the past 46 years have crossed the street under the watchful eye of crossing guard Costantino “Andy” Tamasi. There have been no injuries and no accidents.  more

The long-anticipated construction of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail’s (LHT) Province Line Road segment is underway, and when completed in about two months, it will add approximately three-quarters of a mile of trail to the biking and walking loop that runs through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships.

The 3,760-foot segment runs along Province Line Road from Route 206 to Bannister Drive, where it crosses into the Foxcroft neighborhood. This link ties Carson Road Woods and Bristol-Myers Squibb Lawrenceville to the north and the Foxcroft neighborhood to the southeast. With the completion of this project, 88 percent — a total of 19 miles — of the 22-mile trail will be completed by the summer of 2017. more

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Dress for Success Mercer County (DFSMC), started in 2007 with seed money from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), is approaching its 10th anniversary. At the Second Annual Women’s Empowerment Breakfast held recently at Trenton Country Club, DFSMC Executive Director Melissa Tenzer met with representatives from BMS. Pictured, from left, are BMS’s Andrea Gladman and Robert Voldase, DFSMC’s Melissa Tenzer, and Kathy Matriello of BMS.

It’s no secret that many of today’s high school students are overworked, overstressed, and severely sleep-deprived. A recently released study conducted by Stanford University researchers confirmed that Princeton teenagers fall right into this category. more

Spirit of Princeton invites the community to the annual Memorial Day Parade and dedication ceremony on Saturday, May 27. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at Princeton Avenue and Nassau Street and then heads down Nassau Street to Princeton Monument Hall, where the ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. The parade features veterans groups, marching bands, and civic and youth groups, all marching to honor those who have died in military service to their country. more

Panthea Reid doesn’t mince words in her preface to Body and Soul: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Healing (Wild River Legacy 2017). Losing her husband John Fischer, who died in 2015, “nearly destroyed” her mind. What added “fury and guilt” to her grief was the idea that “medical incompetence or indifference hastened his decline.” She’s plagued by thoughts of her “naive trust” in the doctors who misdiagnosed his illness and by the fact that she failed to assert herself and “insist on alternate medical care.”  more

The Princeton Public Library will host a book launch for Kathryn Watterson’s I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton (Princeton Univ. Press $29.95) on Thursday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library. The event is part of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Stories Project in collaboration with the Arts Council of Princeton and the Historical Society of Princeton.

The book includes first-person accounts of more than 50 black residents and details aspects of their lives throughout the 20th century. Daughters of three of the deceased residents will attend to read their fathers’ stories.

Residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, interviewed by Kathryn “Kitsi” Watterson and her Princeton University students, collaborated in the effort to preserve the community’s history. These stories — beginning with a story by a resident born in 1875 and found in the archives of the Historical Society of Princeton — show that the roots of Princeton’s African American community are as deeply intertwined with the town and university as they are with the history of the United States, the legacies of slavery, and the nation’s current conversations on race. more

“&thunk”:  This collage by Princeton University senior Aubrey Andres explores the incomplete narratives that form because humans are unable to communicate what they truly mean. Ms. Andres’s work is on display at the Lucas Gallery at Princeton University. (Photo Courtesy of Lewis Center of the Arts)

The Visual Arts Program in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present an exhibition of recent work in a wide range of media by 20 graduating seniors in the program. The exhibition, “Senior All-Star Show,” will highlight work by students completed as part of their senior thesis projects and will be on view from Thursday, May 18 to Friday, June 9 in the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street. An opening reception will be held on May 18 from noon-2 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Lucas Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Special additional hours during the University’s Reunions Weekend will be offered on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. more

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) invites the community to express their creativity by designing artwork celebrating the ACP’s 50th Anniversary. One overall winner’s artwork will be featured on its 50th Anniversary poster and additional marketing materials. Further, winners from each age group will receive opportunities for their artwork to be shared with the community.

Applicants should ideally live or work in the Princeton or surrounding areas and have familiarity with the Arts Council of Princeton. The contest is open to individuals (all ages), companies, organizations, educational institutions, or groups associated with such institutions. more

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel opened at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre May 12. The program notes state that Ms. Nottage, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat is currently on Broadway, has the following artistic mission: “to tell the stories of forgotten people, those whose lives did not make it into the records through which we, as Americans, chronicle the history of our country.” Inspired by a photograph of her great-grandmother, a Barbadian seamstress who lived in New York City at the turn of the last century, Ms. Nottage succeeds with this 2003 drama.

Esther Mills, a 35-year-old African American seamstress patterned after the playwright’s great-grandmother, rents a room in a boarding house owned by Mrs. Dickson. Esther creates “intimate apparel” for affluent women such as the unhappily married Mrs. Van Buren; and for Mayme, a prostitute and talented pianist. more

The 50th Season of Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts begins with a performance by the WindSync woodwind quintet on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University. WindSync includes Julian Hernandez (clarinet), Anni Hochhalter (horn), Emily Tsai (oboe), Kara LaMoure (bassoon), and Garrett Hudson (flute). Free tickets are available at the door and online at princetonsummerchamberconcerts.org

The Princeton Festival Guild will present the Artists Round Table on Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Scheide Hall. Opera artists, production staff, and others from The Princeton Festival’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio will share their personal experiences with the audience during an interactive forum. Hear the pleasures and perils faced both on stage and off as the artists bring the opera to life for its opening performance. The Artists Round Table offers a rare opportunity to meet the artists up close and hear in their own voice how they develop their roles, interpretations, and insights.  more

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) closed its 2016-17 Princeton series on Friday night with the best of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as an old musical friend featured in a Romantic Sibelius violin concerto. NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang led the ensemble and violin soloist Jennifer Koh in a concert at Richardson Auditorium including music of Mozart, Sibelius, and Schubert.

Ms. Koh is an old friend to Princeton audiences; she has performed a number of times with area ensembles. Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor, Opus 47 is an expansive symphonic work, and even after its 1905 revision by the composer, still demands the highest in technical facility from the soloist. more