Festival 56′s summer season to be held outdoors at Bureau County Metro Center

PRINCETON — Festival 56 and the Princeton Park District are partnering to present the 2021 Festival 56 summer season outdoors at the Bureau County Metro Center.

Instead of a densely-packed season centered at the Grace Theater, Festival 56 will present a slightly shorter (and much safer) season on an outdoor stage in the field behind the Metro Center, offering three productions, all centered on the idea of community and building a stronger, more inclusive future.

Tammy Lange, executive director of the Princeton Park District, said, “A call to a friend involved with Festival 56 to discuss some ideas has resulted in this great partnership. Our talks began in January and we could not be more pleased with the subcommittee that we have had the opportunity to work with. It has been a pleasure to work with both the Festival 56 Board and the Park District Board to bring this offering to the Bureau County Metro Center.

“This is a time for transformation. As the management team here has discussed that point, it became clear that they want the Princeton Park District to be not only a premier park district in the area, but also an approachable, responsive and cooperative public agency in the community. With COVID-19 changing the rules, outdoor activity has become even more important. Accordingly, the goal of the Princeton Park District is to provide as many safe outdoor recreation opportunities as possible.”

Princeton Theatre Group president Ron McCutchan said, “Having to cancel the summer 2020 season was the most difficult thing Festival 56 has had to face, and we are grateful that the Princeton Park District has been so welcoming in our search to find an outdoor alternate for Summer 2021. Speaking personally, I have done theatrical productions at the Metro Center myself over the years, from the now-departed Act IV community theater to the Princeton High School madrigal dinners, and it’s wonderful to be instrumental in bringing theatre again to the Metro Center.”

The season will run from June 17 through July 25. Festival 56 will produce three shows at the Metro Center: a Theatre for Young Audiences production, which will be a musical with reduced-price tickets for children 10 and under; a free Shakespeare (note: at the Metro Center, not in Soldiers and Sailors Park); and a well-known Broadway musical intended for all ages that will also feature youth from Camp 56, Festival 56′s summer theatre camp. Additionally, the outdoor stage will host two cabarets, at the beginning and end of the season, and a New Works reading in late July.

An announcement of the 2021 Festival 56 summer season shows, as well as ticketing and box office information, will be coming out soon.