The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University will present Disco Pigs by Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh. Directed by Morgan Young, a senior in the Program in Theater, the play focuses on two Irish teenagers whose intense, lifelong friendship is tried by growing older and growing different. Performances will take place on February 26 and 27 and March 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and February 28 at 2 p.m. in Whitman Theater on the Princeton University Campus.
Born one second apart in Cork City, Irish teenagers nicknamed “Pig” and “Runt” grow up side by side and become totally inseparable. The two rebellious teens turn their hometown into their very own disco kingdom where they are king and queen. On their 17th birthdays, Pig’s feelings for Runt evolve into a possessive, one-sided romance just as Runt begins to dream of a world wider than just her and Pig. The two teen’s renegotiation of their intense and codependent relationship results in an explosive coming of age story.
Due to its mature themes and violence, Disco Pigs may not be appropriate for all audiences.
Enda Walsh is an award-winning Irish playwright who first achieved recognition in 1996 for the production of Disco Pigs. Since then, Walsh has lived and worked in London, writing over 20 stage plays, radio plays, and screenplays. In 2012, Walsh won a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for his work on the musical Once, which won a total of eight Tony Awards in 2012 and the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. Critics have noted the influence of Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright famous for his minimalist style and tragicomic tone, on Walsh’s works, including his most recent play, Ballyturk.
Director Morgan Young is a senior from Geneva, Switzerland, majoring in English and pursuing certificates in Theater, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and American Studies at Princeton. Young was first introduced to Disco Pigs during a Global Seminar in Ireland with professors Stacy Wolf and Jill Dolan after her sophomore year during which students studied a range of Irish theater and performance. Global Seminars are six-week summer courses offered through Princeton’s Institute for International and Regional Studies. Young notes that the play’s characters and their complex relationship drew her in, and she was able to hone her directorial skills through a directing course with Tim Vasen, the late director of the Program in Theater. Young, who plans to pursue a career in film and television, has performed in a number of Lewis Center and undergraduate theater productions at Princeton including last year’s theatre for young audiences production of The Magic Rainforest: An Amazon Journey, and Blood and the Divine, a 2014 senior thesis adaptation of Euripides’s The Bacchae. Young also directed Princeton University Players’ 2015 production of La Cage Aux Folles.
Disco Pigs’ cast features Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn ’16 as Runt and Ross Barron ’17 as Pig, performers in the Program in Theater who have been featured in many previous Lewis Center productions. Most recently, Barron performed the role of Trigórin in a thesis production of The Seagull, while Ellis-Einhorn will present her own thesis project in the form of a play about clowning later in the spring. Undergraduate production team members include Carey Camel ’17 as stage manager, Marissa Applegate ’16 as lighting designer, Grayson Shepperd ’16 as projection designer, Alex Quetell ’17 as choreographer, Zara Jayant ’19 as sound designer, Mark Scerbo ’18 as master builder, and alumna Sam Kaseta ’15 as composer.
A symposium on Contemporary Irish Theater organized by senior Erin Valentine and featuring Irish theater critic and Princeton faculty member Fintan O’Toole will be held on Saturday, February 27 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The symposium will feature panel discussions on Irish theater history, the current state of contemporary Irish theater, and a reflection on the production of Disco Pigs from the perspectives of both the professors and students involved in the project.
Tickets for Disco Pigs are $12 general admission and $11 for students and seniors when purchased in advance, and $17 general admission and $15 for students and seniors purchased the day of performances at the box office. Tickets are available through the University’s new ticketing system, which offers greater flexibility for online ordering and print-at-home tickets. To purchase tickets online visit arts.princeton.edu/discopigs or call Princeton University Ticketing at 609-258-9229, or stop by the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to performances.
The Lewis Center’s Program in Theater annually presents a major, professionally produced play in the fall, as well as a number of senior thesis productions throughout the year. Coming up this spring are a new take on the musical classic Singin’ in the Rain, a new dance-theater work exploring the racial concept of dual consciousness, and a new musical based on The Picture of Dorian Gray, in addition to Ellis-Einhorn’s new ethnographic play drawn from interviews with people who clown.