December 28, 2016

Senior Thesis Show “Mad Forest” at Lewis Center

Photo Credit: Sydney Becker

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University will present Mad Forest by Caryl Churchill, with set and lighting design by senior Sydney Becker and directed by junior Nico Krell, on January 12, 13, and 15 at 8 p.m. and January 14 at 2 and 8 p.m. Performances will take place in the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio located at 185 Nassau Street. A discussion with Associate Professor of English Tamsen Wolff will follow the January 12th performance.

Mad Forest offers a personal look into the events of the 1989 Romanian Revolution as two families witness the radical collapse of their entire way of life. The play’s three acts occur shortly before, during, and after the revolution. Through these personal stories the play paints an incisive portrait of a society in turmoil to reveal what life is like under a totalitarian regime and what results when that regime is gone. When rebellion brings down a dictator, the characters are left to grapple with what is left in the void and how they will use their newfound freedom.

Churchill, an already well-established playwright at the time, was commissioned in March 1990 by London’s Central School of Speech and Drama to travel to Bucharest with director Mark Wing-Davey and 10 students to conducted ethnographic research for a play about the revolution, just three months after the fall of the Communist leader Nicolae Ceau escu.

Becker, an anthropology major from Margate, New Jersey, pursuing a certificate in theater with a focus on theatrical design, chose Mad Forest as her senior thesis based on the challenges it poses to a designer.

The cast of Princeton undergraduates includes Evan Gedrich ’18, Chase Hommeyer ’19, Marcelo Jaimes-Lukes ’19, Abby Melick ’17, Michelle Navis ’17, Luke Soucy ’19, Alex Vogelsang ’18, Emma Watkins ’18, Eric Yang ’17, and Anna Zabel ’19. Other students involved with the production include Megan Berry ’19 assisting with lighting design and Jake Schade ’17 serving as stage manager.

Professional designers Sarita Fellows and Pornchanok Kanchanabanca are costume designer and sound designer, respectively. Faculty member and theater director Elena Araoz is serving as directing advisor and Jane Cox, lighting designer and director of the Program in Theater, and set/costume designer and faculty member Anya Klepikov are serving as design advisors for the production.

Tickets for Mad Forest are $12 general admission and $11 for students and seniors when purchased in advance, and $17 general admission and $15 for students and seniors when purchased the day of performances at the box office. To purchase tickets online visit, call (609) 258-9220, or stop by the Frist Campus Center ticket office. Tickets will also be available at the door.