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Lewis Center for the Arts Presents a Conversation with Broadway Director John Doyle


Tony Award-winning theater and opera director John Doyle will participate in a conversation about the production of Stephen Sondheim’s musicals on Tuesday, December 8 as part of Professor of Theater Stacy Wolf’s fall course, “The Musical Theater of Stephen Sondheim: Process to Production.”  The event, presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Music Theater Lab, will run from 1:30-2:50 p.m. in Room 219 at 185 Nassau St. and is free and open to the public.

The course examines the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, asking how musical theater’s elements of music, lyrics, script, dance, and design cohere in Sondheim’s musicals. Students in the course explore influences on his art, both personal and cultural, his collaborators, and the historical and theatrical milieu by reading libretti, listening to music, seeing taped and live performances, researching production histories, and analyzing popular, critical, and scholarly reception. Professional musical theater artists are enhancing class lectures with a series of visits. Doyle is the final speaker in the series.

John Doyle is a Scottish director of musicals, plays, and operas. He has directed more than 200 productions internationally and has been nominated for six Drama Desk Awards and two Tony Awards. In 2006, he won both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for his direction of the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Doyle has been integral in the popularization of a musical theater style called actor/musicianship in which actors produce their own instrumental accompaniment from onstage. Doyle directed the Encores! production A Bed and A Chair in 2013, a staged concert wherein classic Sondheim songs, musically reimagined by jazz orchestrator Wynton Marsalis, were performed by Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters and Jeremy Jordan. As a faculty member in the Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theatre, Doyle has been teaching two courses at Princeton, “The Nature of Theatrical Reinvention” and “Development of the Multi-Skilled Performer.” In the spring semester he will lead a Princeton Atelier course, “The ‘Peer’ Review” which will examine Henrik Ibsen’s epic play Peer Gynt.  Doyle is preparing a new adaptation of the play for a production opening in May at Classic Stage Company in New York City, where he was recently named associate artistic director.

The series is funded by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Music Theater Lab.

Wolf is a professor of theater and director of the Princeton Arts Fellows in the Lewis Center where she teaches courses in American musical theatre history, dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies. Wolf is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical; A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical. She also directs the Lewis Center’s Music Theater Lab.

To learn more about this event, the Music Theater Lab, and the more than 100 events presented annually by the Lewis Center for the Arts visit

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