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Festival 56 ramps up for mid-summer plays

PRINCETON — Coming up next in the Festival 56 summer season is the famous drama, “The Heiress,” which plays July 16-20 on the Festival 56 stage at the Grace Performing Arts Center, 316 S. Main St., Princeton.

A few days later, on July 20, the festival’s production of the children’s classic, “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson, opens at the Princeton High School Council Auditorium, 103 S. Euclid Ave. It runs through July 26. Evening performances for both plays begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are at 2 p.m.

A special Lunch with a Pirate for children and parents precedes the matinee performance of “Treasure Island” on July 21. It is hosted by Learning Stage, the Princeton Theatre Group’s education arm. Call or stop by the box office to make reservations for the lunch.

After the opening night performances of “The Heiress” (July 16) and “Treasure Island” (July 20), a brief discussion with each play’s cast and director will take place.

In addition to the plays on the festival’s main stages, every Wednesday and Sunday evening in July, Festival 56 presents “Macbeth” in Princeton’s Soldiers and Sailors Park. This is the festival’s 10th season of offering free Shakespeare in the park. All performances of “Macbeth” begin at 8 p.m.

Remaining shows for the festival’s summer season are the raucous comedy, “The Full Monty” (July 27-Aug. 4), and “Hometown Anonymous,” a new play written by Festival 56, based on stories submitted by Princeton residents (Aug. 3-4; also performed over Homestead weekend, Sept. 13-15).

The Grace Performing Arts Center and the PHS Council Auditorium are completely accessible and ample free parking is available. For tickets and a full 2013 performance schedule, visit www.festival56.com or call the Festival 56 box office at 815-879-5656, ext. 11. The box office is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and an hour before each performance.

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