While sometimes overshadowed by popular culture—in the way that movies, television, sports, digital media, fashion, and politics are in the immediate frenetic moment—theatre has nonetheless lasted the march of history and both infiltrated and been infiltrated by popular culture’s force. This panel discussion among leadership from four of the state’s top professional theatres will explore the tension and the harmony between theatre and pop culture. Bonnie Monte, Artistic Director at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, brings the perspective of classic theatre—a genre that, unlike the fleeting nature of pop culture, has persisted in interest and relevance through the centuries. John Dias, Artistic Director at Two River Theater in Red Bank, has been championing new work targeting younger audiences, and will speak to how he works with and against pop culture to capture their attention. Ryanne Domingues, Artistic Director at Passage Theatre in Trenton, focuses her work on diverse voices that are often excluded from pop culture, and will speak to theatre’s efforts to get them heard. Todd Schmidt, Managing Director of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, brings the perspective of a theatre that has successfully developed and produced musicals that have made forays in to popular culture. The discussion will be moderated by Paula Alekson, Artistic Engagement Manager at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and will be opened to audience questions and comments.
Learn more at https://stagesfestival.org/event/1805
This program is presented by NJ Theatre Alliance and hosted by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts and made possible through the generous support of the New Jersey Historical Commission.