All Her Power: The 50th Anniversary of Undergraduate Co-Education Theater Project

Project conceived by Jane Cox and Suzanne Agins

The first undergraduate co-ed class arrived at Princeton University in the fall of 1969. In celebration of this milestone in 2019, the Program in Theater is facilitating journalistic research by three generations of Princeton women—current students, professional artist alumnae, and the first generation of graduating women—to culminate in a theatrical event exploring the experiences of women at the University.

Students will be paired with professional artist alumnae to research and create new, short performances about women who graduated from Princeton in the first few years of co-education at Princeton.

The process, led by Theater Director Jane Cox and Lecturer in Theater Suzanne Agins, will take place steadily over the 2019-20 academic year and will culminate in several performances. Agins, a Princeton alumna and professional director, will help the student-alumnae pairs to weave the resulting short pieces into a full-length evening of theater. Wesley Cornwell ’16 will design the set, and Victoria Davidjohn ’19 will design the lighting.

In response to the threat of COVID-19 and following the recommendation of Princeton University Health Services, the performances related to this project will be postponed until Fall 2020. One performance will be on October 9, 2020, in the Wallace Theater at the Lewis Arts complex. More details on other performances will be determined soon.

This project is a recipient of a 2019-20 David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Grant for innovation and a grant from the Princeton Histories Fund.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS:

  • Gwynn MacDonald ’87, Patricia Chen ’20 and Rosamond van Wingerden ’20 — interviewing Helena Novakova 72
  • Whitney Mosery ’08 and Glenna Galarion ’21 — interviewing Tina De Varon ’78
  • Ronee Penoi ’07 and Paige Allen ’21 — interviewing Carla Gail Wilson ’71
  • Cara Reichel ’96, Kateryn McReynolds ’20 and Vydhourie Thiyageswaran ’21 — interviewing Debra Meloy-Elmegreen ’75
  • Marisol Rosa-Shapiro ’07, Haydon John ’21 and Katharine Matthias ’21 — interviewing Helen Lee Zia ’73
  • Najla Said ’96, Leila Abou-Jaoude ’22 and and Myrha Qadir ’22 — interviewing Alice Eve Cohen ’76
  • Jill Sigman ’89, GS ’98
  • Kay-Megan Washington ’88, Eliana Cohen-Orth ’21 and Magdalena Poost ’22 — interviewing Vera Marcus ’72

 

RESEARCH + ADVISING TEAM:

  • Fara Dhaboiwala, Department of History Advisor
  • Jessica Mack, Primary researcher
  • Alissa Matlovsky, Alumna Advisor
  • Jane Shidler, Alumna Ambassador

 

RELATED INFORMATION:

History of Women at Princeton University — Princeton University Library

“50 Years Ago, Princeton Trustees Voted to Admit Women as Undergraduates”Princeton Alumni Weekly

“Critical Languages, Critical Steps: How an artifact of the Cold War brought change to Princeton”Princeton Alumni Weekly

“Alumnae leaders reflect on 50 years of undergraduate coeducation at Princeton”Princeton University Advancement

“Stories of Women at Princeton” Online Tour — Princeton University Campus Iconography Committee

“’How History is Made’: In Search of Princeton’s First African American Daughter” — Princeton University Archives, Mudd Manuscript Library Blog

“Shared Experiences of Alumnae Inspire Coeducation Theater Project”Princeton Alumni Weekly, April 22, 2020

 

CALL FOR ARTWORK

We are looking for artistic representations to accompany All Her Power! Students can represent their personal experience at Princeton or reflect upon the history of co-education at Princeton, or anything else. We are looking for a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and media. All Princeton students are welcome to submit. Feel free to send us photos of students, drawings of professors, paintings of campus, sculpture, abstract graphic art, and everything in between and outside these guidelines.

Feel free to reach out to Juliette Carbonnier at jc104@princeton.edu or Suzanne Agins at slagins@princeton.edu with any questions about this project. Submissions are due September 15, 2020, to Suzanne Agins at slagins@princeton.edu. If you make something which cannot be submitted digitally, reach out for further instructions! If you’re looking for a creative project in these quarantined times, we would appreciate submissions as soon as you are able to send something in. But, if the state of the world has got you down, no rush.

 

RESEARCH SUBJECT PHOTOS, THEN AND NOW:

 

PROJECT IN-PROCESS:

Wallace Theater, Lewis Arts complex · Presented by: Program in Music TheaterProgram in Theater

The Programs in Theater and Music Theater present this special collaborative project between students, artist alumnae and the first generation of women who studied at Princeton. Directed by faculty member Suzanne Agins; conceived by Jane Cox and Suzanne Agins.