“I’m not sure if I believe in astrology, and you might not either. But it is undeniable that while watching Coco at McCarter, together we experienced a small taste of magic. Perhaps, in our shared reverie, we were somewhere between the Earthly and heavenly planes.”
- Ipsita Dey, Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, Princeton University



The Scholar’s Take is a curated series of short essays written by Princeton students in response to select performances and content in McCarter’s season.

The Scholars’ Take, a collaboration between McCarter and Princeton GradFUTURES®, brings student research and areas of interest into conversation with the performing arts.

The essays are not reviews; rather, they are multidisciplinary and scholarly thought-pieces - providing unique contextual information and additive content for audiences as they engage with and reflect on theater, dance, music, and spoken word performances. 

These pieces are shared with McCarter patrons, and campus partners through a variety of channels including the McCarter and Princeton University websites, playbills, social media, performance reminders, e-newsletters and lobby displays.
 
Essays invite audiences to view the arts through the unique lens, interests and research expertise of a student. Some essays will expand upon the themes, characters, and ideas in a play. Others may explore the physical space, design, or emotional experience of a concert, or situate a performance within a larger social and historical context.

Whether read before or after seeing a show - or read as a stand-alone essay - the program and the reflections are designed to enhance both the experience and appreciation of live performance; and to put a range of perspectives and unique academic voices in dialogue with the arts.

Reflections on Bulrusher, a Pulitzer prize finalist play by Eisa Davis

By Ipsita Dey

Ipsita Dey attended the Bulrusher at McCarter on September 14th, 2023. She is a 6th year Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University. Her areas of research expertise include environmental studies and encounters between black/brownness and indigeneity.

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Reflections on Coco: Disney Pixar's Coco in Concert, Live to Film

By Ipsita Dey

Ipsita Dey attended Disney Pixar’s Coco at McCarter on October 4th, 2023. She is a 6th year Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University. Her areas of research expertise include religious syncretism and multis-species environmental cosmologies in the Pacific Islands.

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Storytelling as Self-Translation: Jhumpa Lahiri on Roman Stories

By Lauren Aung

Lauren Aung attended An Evening with Jhumpa Lahiri - In conversation with Professor Zahid Chaudhary at McCarter on November 2, 2023. The event was in partnership with Labyrinth Books and the Princeton Public Library. Aung is a senior at Princeton (‘24) pursuing a Degree in Politics and a certificate in Values and Public Life with a focus on Racial Justice in the US.

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Lessons on Greatness: Reflections On “A Conversation With Patti Smith” By Lauren Aung

Published by the Nassau Weekly on October 12, 2023

Lauren Aung attended A Conversation with Patti Smith, a pre-concert talk presented by McCarter and the Princeton University Humanities Council on September 23, 2023. Aung is a senior at Princeton (‘24) pursuing a Degree in Politics and a certificate in Values and Public Life with a focus on Racial Justice in the US.

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Poetry is Not a Luxury:

Lauren Aung ('24) shares her experience with an Ancestral Communal Listening Experience at the Arts Council of Princeton and The Sound of (Black) Music at McCarter.

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The Scholar's Take is part of Arts & Ideas which connects Princeton University and community partners to the work at McCarter.

 

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Council at Princeton University