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Panel Discussion: After the Kickline: Triangle Alumni Develop New Musicals Beyond McCarter

  • Computer Science Lecture Hall #104 35 Olden Street Princeton, NJ, 08540 United States (map)

Join a panel discussion with Triangle Alumni who continue to make their mark on the development of new musical theater. Panelists include Tony Award Nominated writer Douglas McGrath '80 (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), writer/director/producer Cara Reichel '93, Broadway stage manager Alex Volckhausen '93, actress Annie Torsiglieri '85 and playwright/songwriter Drew Fornarola '06, moderated by author Louis Bayard '85

Panelist Biographies

Douglas McGrath '80

The list is long (TV, film, theater), his talents are many (playwright, filmmaker, director, essayist), the nominations enviable (Academy Award, BAFTA, Tony, Writer’s Guild of America).  As an undergrad at Princeton, Doug wrote two Triangle shows, performed and even directed, the “Triangular” path soon leading to a writing spot at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE right out of college.  Most recently, Doug wrote the book for BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL and the play CHECKERS, having collaborated with Woody Allen on the screenplay for BULLETS OVER BROADWAY.  Doug has also written and directed films such as EMMA, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY and INFAMOUS, with directing credits for the documentaries HIS WAY and BECOMING MIKE NICHOLS.  

Cara Reichel '93

Recognized as a leader in the field of new musical theater development, Cara Reichel is a stage director, bookwriter, producer, and the founding Artistic Director of NYC's acclaimed Prospect Theater Company (recipient of a 2016 OBIE Award grant). She collaborates frequently with composer / lyricist Peter Mills '95, creating shows that have been performed across the country and internationally (ILLYRIA, THE ROCKAE, THE UNDERCLASSMAN, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES, and others).  The recipient of a 2015 Bogliasco Fellowship, Cara received “New Directors / New Works” Grants from the Drama League and the “Lucille Lortel Award” from the League of Professional Theatre Women.  Her Triangle repertoire includes the tour of Shelf Indulgence (1993), originating the role of "Rosa Ballena" in The Bermuda Love Triangle (1994) and "Hester Prynne" in Rhyme & PUNishment (1995).    

Drew Fornarola '06

Drew is a songwriter and playwright living in New York City.  He has written for DreamWorks’ Shrek and VeggieTales franchises, co-authored a musical for children with Saturday Night Live’s Molly Shannon, and his musical Claudio Quest won six 2015 New York Musical Theater Festival Awards for excellence. This season he was represented off-Broadway by the play STRAIGHT, which was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and is published by Dramatic Publishing Company.  Concerts of his songs have been presented at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, London Theatre Workshop, and Broadway au Carre (Paris), among others.  At Princeton he was best known for writing the Triangle classic “Orange Bubble.”

Alex Volckhausen '93

After working with Triangle as a stage manager, props person and buyer of kegs for three Spring shows, three Freshman Week shows, the Centennial show and two Triangle tours, Alex graduated from the School of Architecture.  Amazingly enough, he hasn’t used his degree once in the twenty years he’s been an Equity stage manager.  A veteran of 22 Broadway shows (Three Sisters, Hedda Gabler, 42nd Street, Flower Drum Song, the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Glengarry Glen Ross), Alex is currently with the Broadway company of Wicked, having also spent a year on the national tour of The Lion King and stage managed at many nonprofit theaters.  Since 2013, he has served on the Williamstown Theater Festival Board of Trustees and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Boston University and Fordham.

Annie Torsiglieri '85

During her Triangle days Annie performed in Stocks and Bondage, Under the Influence, Business Unusual and Merrily We Roll Along.  Post-Princeton, she went on to study at The Juilliard School and then to a career as an actor performing on and off Broadway (including the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Blood Brothers, Parade, and Top Girls, as well as the touring company of Les Miserables as Fantine).  Currently, Annie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at UCSB.  She cherishes her days with Triangle.

Louis Bayard '85 (Moderator)

Louis Bayard is the author of eight novels, including the Edgar-nominated "The Pale Blue Eye," the New York Times Notable "Mr. Timothy," and the recent young-adult release, "Lucky Strikes."  He is also the author of the New York Times "Downton Abbey" recaps.  His Triangle accomplishments include squeezing into Barbie and Dolly Parton costumes, sliding down the fire-escape chute at McCarter Theatre, and writing the "Carpool" sketch. 

Icon Attribution: panel by gira Park from the Noun Project