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McCarter Theatre Center Announces 2020-21 Season

The New Jersey theatre will highlight two works by Mike Lew as part of its season.

PRINCETON, N.J.: McCarter Theatre Center has announced new musicals and classic adaptations for its 2020-21 Theatre Series.

The season will open with Dreaming Zenzile (Sept. 12-Oct. 11), a new musical by jazz star Somi Kakoma. This production, presented in association with Octopus Theatricals and National Black Theatre, follows the life of South African musical legend and activist Miriam Makeba. Kakoma performs as Makeba on the eve of her last concert, using a live band, original music, and reinterpretations of Makeba’s repertoire to transport the audience through a journey of Makeba’s life. Liliena Blain-Cruz will direct.

Next up is David Thompson’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Dec. 8-27). Under Adam Immerwahr’s direction, 35 members from the greater Princeton community will share the stage with a professional cast in this holiday tradition.

Kicking off the new year will be Tiger Style! (Jan. 12-Feb. 7, 2021), written by Mike Lew. This comedy examines the successes and failures of tiger parenting through the lens of a playwright who’s actually been through it. Siblings Albert and Jennifer Chen reached the pinnacle of academic achievement. But in adult life, they’re colossal failures. They do what any reasonable brother and sister would do: confront their parents and launch an Asian Freedom Tour! Tony-nominee Moritz Von Stuelpnegel will direct.

Following is Kate Hamill’s adaptation of The Scarlet Letter (April 30-May 30, 2021) based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Known for her inventive and explosive take on classics, Hamill looks at a community in chaos as they reel with fear from the display of a woman’s sexuality.

The season closes with Bhangin’ It (June 15-July 3, 2021) a new musical with a book by Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza and music and lyrics by Sam Willmott. A co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, Bhangin’ It follows the high-stakes game of intercollegiate Bhangra, a competitive “dance-off” of traditional Punjabi folk styles. This dance-filled musical is a celebration of the traditions we inherit from yesterday and those we create for tomorrow.

A sixth production will be announced later in 2020.

McCarter Theatre Center’s mission is to create world-class theatre and present the finest performing artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment to the community. It is the winner of the 1994 Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

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