Program Information for New Works Festival — Clara

April 1 & 2, 2022, in New South Acting Studio

Presented by the Program in Theater as part of the New Works Festival II.

Clara — A New Musical by Leila Abou-Jaoude

Run Time

Approximately 50 minutes; no intermission

Content Warnings

This production contains discussions and depictions of suicide.

Special Notes

Please silence all electronic devices including cellular phones and watches, and refrain from text messaging for the duration of the performance. No flash photography permitted.


Clara Schumann: Leila Abou-Jaoude ’22*
Robert Schumann: Ethan Luk ’24*
Johannes Brahms: Jay White ’24*
Eugenie Schumann: Tanaka Dunbar Ngwara ’24*
Marie Schumann: Ally Wonski ’22*
Marie Fillunger: Juliette Carbonnier ’24*

Production Team

Director: Anna Allport ’23*
Music Director: Leila Abou-Jaoude ‘22*
Set Designer: Anna Allport ‘23*
Lighting Designer: Sophie Mengzhu Jiang GS’22
Stage Manager: Sarah Grinalds ‘23*

*denotes a certificate student in the Program in Theater

Faculty Advisors

Andrew Lovett, Music Advisor
Elena Araoz, Production Advisor
Brian Herrera, Writing Advisor



A talkback with Leila Abou-Jaoude and the cast and crew of Clara will follow the Friday, April 1st, performance around 9-9:15 p.m. A talkback will also take place following the Saturday, April 2nd performance around 4-4:15 p.m.


A Note from the Thesis Proposer

In his poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” English Romantic poet John Keats writes, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.” Before coming to Princeton, the melodies that I encountered in music classes, choirs and orchestras were all written by men. We would wind our way through Baroque pieces by Monteverdi, Purcell, Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel, but neglect Barbara Strozzi and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. We would study the German Romantic compositions of Felix Mendelssohn, but not Fanny; the mid-19th century German lieder of Robert Schumann, but not Clara. Women composers have been overlooked too often and too long. Recognizing this trend, I resolved to center the voices and music of women in my academic and creative work. ​This musical reconsiders Clara Schumann’s place in music history. Detailing her career, correspondences, and compositions, we trace her development as an artist and woman.

I would like to thank Anna for her wonderful direction (and for agreeing to direct this piece before it had even been written). We would like to extend our thanks to our incredible cast. We could not have asked for a more dedicated and delightful group of people. We would also like to thank our advisors, Andrew Lovett, Elena Araoz, and Brian Herrera, and Professors John Doyle, Martha Elliott, Stacy Wolf, Jane Cox, Shariffa Ali, Michael Pratt, and graduate student James Moore for their continued support throughout this process. Additionally, I would like to thank my brother and parents for their encouragement.

— Leila Abou-Jaoude ’22


Land Acknowledgement

An estimated 10 million Native Americans lived in North America before the arrival of European colonizers. Many thousands lived in Lenapehoking, the vast homeland of the Lenni-Lenape, who were the first inhabitants of what is now called eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.

Princeton stands on part of the ancient homeland and traditional territory of the Lenape people. In 1756, the College of New Jersey erected Nassau Hall with no recorded consultation with the Lenni-Lenape peoples.

Treaties and forced relocation dispersed Lenape-Delaware to Ohio, Kansas, and Oklahoma. We acknowledge the violence of settler colonialism and pay respect to Lenape peoples past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora.

Current Princeton student activists and alumni are advocating for Indigenous students and studies at the University. For more information, see the websites of Natives at Princeton and Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition.


Lewis Center for the Arts

Interim Chair: Michael Cadden
Executive Director: Marion Friedman Young

Director of Program in Theater: Jane Cox
Producing Artistic Director, Theater And Music Theater Season: Elena Araoz

View a full list of the Program in Theater Faculty & Guest Artists

For a look at all the people working behind the scenes to bring you this event, view a full list of LCA staff members  »

The programs of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts are made possible through the generous support of many alumni and other donors. View a full list of LCA Supporters »

Clara Poster

Festival Poster