Princeton University will celebrate the opening of the new Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts complex with a multi-day Festival of the Arts Oct. 5 through Oct. 8 at performance venues across the campus. The festival, which is open to the public, will feature more than 100 concerts, plays, readings, dance performances, art exhibitions, presentations, film screenings, community workshops, and other events. Most of the events are free.
The Princeton Poetry Festival will kick off the four-day celebration of the arts. Organized by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton faculty member Paul Muldoon, the poetry festival will showcase poets from Canada, China, Cuba, Iceland, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Serbia, and the U.S. in a series of readings and panel discussions .The Poetry Festival will be held at the McCarter Theatre Center continues Oct. 5 and 6.
Princeton University Concerts will open its PUC125: Performances Up Close series with two performances by the Norwegian Baroque ensemble Barokksolistene on Oct. 5. The series brings audience members on stage with the artists in hour-long performances. The first program features theater and court music by Henry Purcell and his contemporaries at 6 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium. At 9:30 p.m. in the Forum at the new arts center, Barakkosolistene will present one of the group’s famous “Alehouse Sessions.” The space will be transformed into a 17th century English pub complete with beer and snacks, and popular drinking tunes of the time will be performed.
A new work “Fanfare Wave” played on specially-made electronic instruments will be performed Friday and Saturday evening by the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, the Princeton University Brass Ensemble, Sō Percussion, and the Brooklyn-based TILT Brass ensemble.
On Friday afternoon, biographer and Princeton alumnus A. Scott Berg will discuss recent work in print and on screen showcasing the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. Berg is a consulting producer for the Amazon Original Series, “The Last Tycoon.”
On October 6, “Gurls” by Obie Award-winning playwright and Princeton alumnus Branden Jacobs Jenkins will have its world premiere in the new Wallace Theater. A riff on Euripides’ “The Bacchae,” the play places the classic of the Greek stage in a contemporary setting complete with a DJ, dance music, cell phones and a live video feed. The opening weekend performances of “Gurls” are sold out, but a standby line will be formed 30 minutes before to start time.
Also on October 6, the Lewis Center’s dance program will inaugurate the new Hearst Dance Theater with a performance of “A Love Supreme.” This evening-length work by internationally acclaimed choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis is set to music by John Coltrane and performed by the Belgium-based Rosas dance company. In the event performances are sold out prior to show dates, a standby line will be formed 30 minutes before the start time.
On October 6 and 7, “Orpheus Unsung,” an opera for electric guitar composed by Grammy-Award winner and Princeton University Department of Music Professor Steven Mackey, will be performed at 185 Nassau Street.
Running Friday and throughout the weekend, theater artist Aaron Landsman and historian Alison Isenberg will present “Walking Histories: Race and Protest at Princeton and in Trenton.” The series of performance walks examines how issues of race and protest in Trenton and on campus are imprinted on Princeton’s buildings and grounds.
Friday night and continuing through Sunday, the Forum will be the site for Theater for One, a mobile venue created by Tony Award-winning designer Christine Jones that pairs one professional actor and one audience member for the performance of a short play in an intimate booth.
On Friday at 8:30 p.m. the Lewis Center and Department of Music will present “Declassified Memory Fragment,” with live music inspired by ideas and themes centered on memory, history, and images of political and cultural realities affecting the continent of Africa.
Visitors to the new complex are invited to participate in an ArtWalk with Sō Percussion on Saturday. The mobile event combines visual art and music. A “Musicircus” will also take place in the new complex. Conceived by composer John Cage, the Musicircus invites musicians to come together and simultaneously perform any music they choose.
A Carillon Concert will also be performed on Saturday by University carillonneur Lisa Lonie, who will join the Princeton Laptop Orchestra and other musicians in an outdoor performance at the graduate college.
Saturday evening will also include a concert called the “Princeton Music Mashup” that will feature several music ensembles, including the Princeton University Orchestra, the University Glee Club, jazz ensembles, Richardson Chamber Players and alumni, including the Carpenter siblings, and others in an hour of continuous music ranging from Bartók to Bernstein in Richardson Auditorium.
On Sunday, the Princeton Sound Kitchen will present a contemporary music installation in the Lewis Arts complex. Princeton alumnus Jim Lee, a world-renowned comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher of DC Entertainment, will discuss his 30-year career and sketch favorite comics characters at 185 Nassau Street.
Douglas Gordon’s art installation “24 Hour Psycho” will be screened in the new Hurley Gallery in the arts complex. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “Psycho” has been slowed down to about two frames per second and exhibited as an object in space. A full viewing of the film lasts 24 hours. The installation marks the 24th anniversary of the artwork, which will be screened continuously for 24 days, beginning Sept. 29 through Oct. 22.
The Klez Dispensers, an eight-piece ensemble founded by Princeton alumni, will perform a short concert of Klezmer-inspired music at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall.
The festival includes several other performances. For a full schedule of events and more information, visit the festival website at LCAopening.princeton.edu.