Program Information for The Hello Girls

March 25, 26 + 27, 2022, in Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center

Presented by the Programs in Theater and Music Theater with cosponsorship from Princeton University’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

The Hello Girls

Music + Lyrics by Peter Mills, Book by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel

Run Time

2 hours 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission

Content Warnings

Please be aware that this production’s subject matter is centered around military violence and depictions of historical warfare. The show also contains loud explosion sounds and implied gun violence.

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.

Historial Note

The story of The Hello Girls takes place between December 1917 and December 1918 at the height of World War I. The story is set in New York City, Paris, American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters in Chaumont, and a variety of other locations in France. This musical is a fictionalized account of real events and while some characters are based on real people, other characters were created for the show.

six women in military dress stand before cameraSix of the original “Hello Girls” of the American Expeditionary Forces Signal Corps, prepare to set sail for France, 1918. Suzanne Prevot is first to the left and Grace Banker is second to the right. Photo courtesy Harvard University Press

 

Credits

The Hello Girls is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.

World Premiere Performance 2018. Commissioned by Prospect Theatre Company, New York, NY. Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director and Melissa Huber, Managing Director.

Accessibility

black square with open captioning symbolsymbol for wheelchair accessibilityaccess symbol for amplified sound or hearing devicesThe performance on Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m. will include open/live captioning. The event space is wheelchair accessible, and an assistive listening system is available in the Berlind Theatre; please see an usher for headsets.

 

 

Cast

Grace Banker: Molly Bremer ’22* (Thesis Proposer)
Suzanne Prevot, Trumpet: Violet Gautreau ’22* (Thesis Proposer)
Bertha, Accordion, Piano, Guitar, Glockenspiel: Grace Zhao ’22*
Louise: BT Hayes ’22*
Helen, Guitar: Charlotte Kunesh ’24*
General Pershing: Matt Gancayco ’22*
Lieutenant Riser, Piano, Glockenspiel: Asher Muldoon ’23*
Wessen and others, Clarinet: Matthew Weatherhead ’23*
Dempsey and others: TJ Rickey ’24
Matterson and others, Upright Bass, Piano: Jay White ’24*
Ensemble: Gaea Lawton ’23*
Ensemble: Alison Silldorff ’25*
Ensemble, Violin: Alan Lin ’24
Ensemble, Cello: Faith Wangermann ’25

Musicians

Drums: Tommy Kim ’23

Production Team

Director: Kate Semmens ’22* (Thesis Proposer)
Music Director: Solon Snider
Choreographer: Kate Semmens ’22*
Set Designer: Regan McCall ’22*
Costume Designer: Tanaka Dunbar Ngwara ’24
Lighting Designer: Aliha Mughal ’23
Lighting Designer: Cecilia Zubler ’23
Sound Designer: Minjae Kim
Stage Manager: Gabriela Veciana ’24*
Assistant Directors: Juliette Carbonnier ’24* and Leyla Arcasoy ’22
Assistant Music Director: Kate Short ’23*
Sound Engineer: Craig Pincus
Assistant Stage Manager(s): Violet Prete ’24, Lev Ricanati ’25*
Professional Stitchers: Wyatt Kim, Denise Carr
Student Stitchers: Tanaka Ngwara ’24, Titi Sodimu ’23, Madeleine Lausted ’24, Jasmyn Dobson ’24
Wardrobe Supervisor: Kasey Gillette
Berlind Lightboard Operator: James Lewis, Maya Kranz
Berlind Deck Crew: Alex Griner
Berlind Rail: Phoenix Edmond
Student Run Crew: Gabriela Bourla ’23*, Aaron Ventresca ’24*
A2: Savannah Yost
Dialect coach/French Consultant: Florent Masse

*denotes a certificate student in the Program in Theater

Faculty Advisors

Vivia Font, Advisor
Stacy Wolf, Advisor
Lawrence Moten, Scenic Advisor

 

A Note from the Thesis Proposers

Welcome to The Hello Girls! We’re thrilled to share this magnificent story with you and once again enjoy live theater together.

Admittedly, all three of us are a little scared of the requisite “program note,” and we hope you’ll take your own interpretations, questions, and conversations away from this production. But we would love to thank the people who have helped make tonight’s performance possible and reflect on what has made this process so special to us.

When we first came together as thesis proposers, our goal was to find an ensemble musical with complex and challenging roles for women and a relevant and historically focused story. To our great delight, Princeton alumni Pete Mills and Cara Reichel had written this wonderful musical that shines light on a group of groundbreaking women that most people have never heard of. It seemed only fitting that their musical, which premiered in 2018 at Prospect Theatre Company, would now be done by students at Princeton.

With only a four-week rehearsal process, this show was quite a feat for all involved, and we are so proud of our creatives, cast, and production team for rising to the occasion. We could not have found a more willing, hard-working, focused, dedicated and fun group of people. We would also love to extend our thanks to advisors Stacy Wolf and Vivia Font for their wisdom and generosity throughout this process, to Professor John Doyle for a joyous actor-musician workshop (and…for inventing the actor-musician form), and to Florent Masse for having faith in us and our varied levels of familiarity with French.

As we share this story of war, loss, and bravery with you, it is impossible not to be reminded of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and all the wars that persist worldwide. Our hearts are with those facing unimaginable violence, tragedy, and uncertainty. We encourage everyone to donate and support via the resources below.

Global Giving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

International Medical Corps

Thank you for joining us. We’re so happy to welcome you back to the theater.

— Producers/Proposers Kate Semmens (Director), Molly Bremer (Grace Banker), & Violet Gautreau (Suzanne Prevot)

 

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 »

Festival Poster