PRINCETON – It was another successful summer season for Festival 56.
Princeton Theatre Group President Maureen Droessler said attendance was strong; the shows were well received; and people are already looking forward to the fall season.
One of the biggest perks of the season was the record turnout for the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Macbeth.”
Droessler explained it’s never known how an audience will react to the dark drama shows.
“Usually people like the more lighter shows,” she said. “But people came out to see ‘Macbeth.’ We’re always so pleased to put on the free Shakespeare performance for the community.”
Another popular show this season that created sold-out performances was “The Full Monty.”
The risky show featured six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on cash and prospects, who decide to present a strip act after seeing their wives’ enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales.
Droessler said the show attracted many types of audiences and was a great production, in which the whole community responded to with great enthusiasm.
Looking ahead this fall, the festival will provide three additional performances. The season will kick off on Nov. 22 with “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” which Droessler said the festival is looking forward to presenting the popular Neil Simon comedy.
“I think people will enjoy this show, and it’s directed by a good friend of the festival that I think people will enjoy having back,” she said.
The season will carry on with “Still Dreaming of a White Christmas,” by Laura Brigham beginning Dec. 6 and “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” by Mike Daisey, beginning Dec. 13.
Droessler explained the Daisey production has raised controversy with its’ depiction of the manufacturing of Apple computer components in China. She anticipates it will bring for a very interesting show that audiences will find quite interesting.
A special program for the children will also soon be announced for the fall season, which will have a tie with the local schools.
For a full schedule of show times and a description of the productions, visit www.festival56.com.
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Where’s Dexter Brigham?
Much talk has been circulating about Festival 56 Artistic Director Dexter Brigham accepting a new position in Midland, Mich., with people wondering whether Festival 56 will continue. The Princeton native was one of the originators/supporters of Festival 56 from its inception.
Festival 56 President Maureen Droessler has confirmed Brigham will remain the artistic director for Festival 56, while he takes on the work of being a director for a program in Midland. Droessler confirmed the Brigham family has retained their home in Princeton. Brigham’s plan is to spend his time in Princeton working with the festival in the summer season and will commute back and forth from Princeton to Michigan for the fall season. The rest of the year Brigham will spend a lot of his time in Michigan but will be out and about around Princeton some weekends.
Earlier this year, the festival hired a long-time friend of the festival to carry on everyday duties of the Grace Performing Arts Center building, when Brigham is out of town.