The Programs in Theater and Music Theater present a participatory musical, The Universe is a Small Hat, written, composed and directed by 2018-2020 Princeton Arts Fellow César Alvarez.

The Universe is a Small Hat is a multi-player participatory musical about a space-bound utopian collective of sentient humanoid AIs who rescue a group of human refugees trying to escape earth. Audience members immerse themselves as the human characters in a co-created musical narrative about weathering calamity and imagining coexistence across difference.


Preview performances will take place March 28 at 3:00 p.m. and April 2 at 7:00 p.m.; these two special performances are free and open to the public; ticket reservations are still required. Ticket purchases are required for all other performances.

Tickets are $10 students (Tiger Ticket eligible), $12 seniors, $12 general admission in advance, $17 general admission day of the event. Tickets are available through University Ticketing at the Frist Campus Center ticket office or reserve tickets online at


Supported in part by the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Playwright-in-Residence Fund and the Council on Science and Technology.


The Universe is a Small Hat employs the radical tactics of speculative science fiction and musical theater to create a playspace for collective imagining. The piece asks us to question the future we have written for ourselves, to fundamentally reposition ourselves in relation to the nonhuman world, and to play at world-making in solidarity with one another. The catastrophic questions of climate change, human migration and supremacist fundamentalism are all brought into a space of co-examination and co-creation. The musical asks us not just to grapple with these questions and their solutions, but to embody, enact and sing our way forward.

Map + Directions

The Wallace Theater is located on the Forum (street) level of the Wallace Dance Building in the Lewis Arts complex, 122 Alexander Street, Princeton, NJ. View map of Lewis Arts complex

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

+ Google Map

Presented By

  • Program in Music Theater
  • Program in Theater