Wednesday, March 19, 2014


l-r Neal Bledsoe, Adam Green, Naomi O'Connell - photography by John BaerTHE FIGARO PLAYS: The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro
Stephen Wadsworth translates, adapts, and directs Pierre Beaumarchais’ timeless satires

WHEN:  April 1 to May 9, 2014* (see below for special dates and times) 
McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton
TICKETS: start as low as $20, and can be purchased online at, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.

Construction Updates
Construction continues around McCarter for Princeton University’s Arts & Transit project and the expansion of the Lewis Center for the Arts. This will have an impact on parking, traffic, and transit in and around McCarter through early Fall 2014. Stay informed by visiting to get the latest construction updates.

He may not have money, he may not have power…but where there’s a wit, there’s a way. Figaro is a comic chameleon unmatched across history: clever, insubordinate, restless, lustful, agent of chaos, champion of love, jack of all trades, and man for all seasons. For more than two hundred years, this wily valet has spoken words that have incited revolution and performed deeds that make audiences fall in love with him time and again. (Above: Photo by John Baer, featuring Neal Bledsoe, Adam Green, and Naomi O’Connell)

Now, McCarter Theatre Center is proud to present two all-new adaptations of Pierre Beaumarchais’ comic masterpieces that inspired Rossini and Mozart’s operas: The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.* Filled with material rarely seen by modern theatregoers (due to being cut by censors for the operas), The Figaro Plays will contain fresh surprises, unexpected laughs, and new insight for 21st century audiences.

Performed in repertory in the U.S. for the first time in recent memory, The Figaro Plays mark the return of Stephen Wadsworth to McCarter Theatre Center. A master of 18th century theatre, Wadsworth’s Marivaux trilogy is still remembered with wide-eyed admiration by all who experienced it. His new translations of The Figaro Plays bring a crisp and electric immediacy to Beaumarchais’ words, proving battles amongst the sexes, classes, and friends ever relevant, risqué, and riotously funny.

About Figaro, Wadsworth adds: “[he is] a life-saving role model and friend. Irrepressible, resourceful, practical, empathetic and full of joy, he offered me strategies for survival in adverse circumstances….Beaumarchais’ works present universal situations to characters with sharp minds and breakable hearts, and like all great classics speak truths no century has been able to shake off.”

*Full-Day Figaro and the scenic changeover
On specific Saturdays, audiences can enjoy a full day of Beaumarchais with our marathon productions of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. Special packages are available that include ticketing discounts and lunch provided by the Terra Momo Bread Company. Contact our Ticket Office at 609-258-2787 to purchase packages for a two-play experience plus extras. (Prices start at just $67.50 per person)

Full-Day Figaro Dates
Saturday, April 12 The Barber of Seville to The Marriage of Figaro
Saturday, April 19 The Marriage of Figaro to The Barber of Seville
Saturday, April 26 The Barber of Seville to The Marriage of Figaro
Saturday, May 3 The Barber of Seville to The Marriage of Figaro

Scenic Changeover
On Full-Day Figaro dates, experience one of the most challenging parts of mounting two plays on one stage—the scenic changeover. Watch McCarter’s award-winning production team of lighting, scenic, prop, and sound technicians rapidly transform the matinee’s stage and scenery for the evening play’s performance. Artistic staff will be on hand to explain what’s happening and answer questions from the audience.

The scenic changeover will take place on the Matthews stage after the 2:00 PM performances on April 12, 19, 26, and May 3.

The approximate start time for the scenic changeover will be determined in early April. Please visit for more information after April 1. No RSVP or ticket is required to attend this event; it is free and open to the public.


  • Dialogue on Drama
    Join us on April 13, immediately following the 2:00 PM performance on the Matthews Stage, for an exciting conversation between The Figaro Plays’ adaptor and director Stephen Wadsworth and special guest Dr. James Steward, the Director of the Princeton University Art Museum and an expert on eighteenth-century European art. Wadsworth and Steward will discuss The Figaro Plays in their historical, social, political, and cultural context, and Wadsworth will reflect upon the joys and challenges of translating, adapting, and staging Beaumarchais’ works for a twenty-first-century audience. The approximate start time for this Dialogue on Drama has yet to be determined. No RSVP or ticket is required to attend the discussion; it is free and open to the public.
  • Special Event – A Reading of Beaumarchais’ The Guilty Mother
    On Wednesday, April 23 at 7:00 PM in the Berlind Theatre, The Figaro Plays conclude with an exclusive reading of The Guilty Mother, the final play in Beaumarchais’ comic trilogy. In this fascinating finale, an interloper sets out to acquire Count Almaviva’s fortunes as well as his beautiful ward, Florestine. Will Figaro’s wit be able to save the day once again, or will the Count be ruined forever? Join us as we listen to the poignant conclusion of The Figaro Plays read aloud by actors from the company. More information to follow, please contact Tom Miller at 609.258.6524 or to reserve press seating.

*The Barber of SevilleCount Almaviva has fallen in love with Rosine, but she’s been locked in the house by her guardian, who has his own matrimonial plans for her. What’s a Count to do? Fortunately, the crafty Figaro is on hand to help sort everything out—or maybe to complicate it further…

The Marriage of FigaroFigaro, everyone’s favorite troublemaker, is finally ready to settle down and get married. But when his master, the Count, starts eyeing Figaro’s bride, this crafty barber must use all his wiles and schemes to save his marriage. Servant and master are pitted against each other in an exuberant battle of the wits, and the aristocracy itself is at stake

On working with Stephen Wadsworth, McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director Emily Mann says:  “I have a deep admiration for Stephen’s work as a director (of both opera and theater) and his unmatched talent… As he made clear with his productions of three Marivaux comedies at McCarter in the 1990s (The Triumph of Love, Changes of Heart, and The Game of Love and Chance), Stephen has a singular ability to make period-specific plays feel alive and relevant to modern audiences. His dazzling productions always delight, and we leapt at the opportunity to welcome him back to McCarter.”
The cast is comprised of Adam Green (Helen Hayes Nom. for Shakespeare Theater Co.’s Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Figaro, Neal Bledsoe (Smash, Ugly Betty) as Count Almaviva, Naomi O’Connell (Master Class with Tyne Daly on the West End) as Rosine,  Maggie Lacey (Mirandolina at McCarter) as Suzanne, Derek Smith (The Lion King) as Dr. Bartolo, Cameron Folmar (The Tempest at McCarter) as Bazile, Jeanne Paulsen (Broadway’s The Kentucky Cycle with Stacy Keach) as Marceline, Frank Corrado as LeBébe/Alcade/Brid’oison, Burton Curtis as Engarde/Antonio, Cody Buege as Constable/Grip-Soleil, Betsy Hogg as Fanchette, David Andrew Laws as Pedrillo, Larry Paulsen at Doublehands, and Magan Marie Wiles as Chérubin.

Also included in the company are five local NJ actors in ensemble roles, including Andrew Clark (Lawrenceville); Zoe Mann (Jersey City); Jean Prall Rosolino (Princeton); and teenagers Kimani Isaac (North Brunswick) and Kate Weinstein (Pennington).

From the wooden boards and painted backdrops to the footlights and trompe l’oeil proscenium arch, The Figaro Plays will be a master-class in 18th century theatrical design. Both productions will have a detailed look and feel matching that of the Parisian theatres where Beaumarchais’ work was first performed. The creative/design team includes scenic design by Charles Corcoran, costume design by Camille Assaf (design editor of CHANCE Magazine), lighting design by Joan Arhelger, wig design by Tom Watson (head of wig and makeup for The Metropolitan Opera), musical direction by Gerald Steichen, choreography by Daniel Pelzig, vocal coaching by Kate Wilson, and fight direction by Shad Ramsey.