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Lewis Center for the Arts' Program in Theater & Music Theater presents "Love Type Beat"

originally published: 02/11/2024

Lewis Center for the Arts

Toru Obunge ’24 in rehearsal for a scene in "Love Type Beat," an immersive theatrical experience by Nica Evans ‘24 and Tanéyah Jolly ’24 in the Wallace Theater. Photo credit: Kate Stewart.

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Lewis Center for the Arts' Program in Theater and Music Theater at Princeton University will present Love Type Beat, a partly immersive new play conceived and directed by Princeton seniors Nica Evans and Tanéyah Jolly. The work explores Black women and femmes' relationships with different types of love through a series of vignettes, some of which invite audience interaction and participation. Performances are on February 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 at 8:00pm in the Wallace Theater at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus. The show is free and open to the public, however due to the immersive nature of the show attendance at each performance is limited to 30 and advance tickets are required through University Ticketing.

The Wallace Theater is wheelchair accessible with an assistive listening system. Copies of scripted content will be available to audiences who may benefit from this accessibility service at each performance. Guests in need of other access accommodations are asked to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.

Love Type Beat is based on interviews with Black women within Evans’ and Jolly’s circle of family, friends and acquaintances. The work depicts familial love navigating generational knowledge, trauma and relationships; romantic love; parental love and the sacrifices parents make for their children; self-love; love between two sisters; and the blurred lines between platonic and and romantic love. The audience begins this journey together in a hospital room and then moves in smaller groups through a vignette of scenes, some of which encourage voluntary participation by the audience. Audiences may wish to be aware that there is a hospital scene that depicts birthing complications and racism in the medical field.

Nica Evans is a senior from Maryland concentrating in sociology and pursuing certificates in African American studies and theater. She has been involved in theater on campus through Theatre Intime, the Princeton University Players, and other Lewis Center productions.

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Tanéyah Jolly is a senior in the Sociology Department from the Bronx, New York, also pursuing certificates in African-American studies, theater, and gender and sexuality studies.

Last year Evans and Jolly restarted the Black Theater Collective, a student-run theater group on campus.

Students performing in Love Type Beat include Amira Adarkwah, Jeffery Chen, Runnie Exuma, Maya Jaaskelainen, Joy Kahugu, Oriana Nelson, Ash Obi, Toru Obunge, Dusu Sidibay, Mollika Singh, Tevin Singei, Chioma Ugwonali, and Layla Williams with Avner Chesler and Samantha Lucien as guides.

Members of the student production team, in addition to Evans and Jolly, who are co-directors, include Le’Naya Wilkerson as lighting designer, Sophia Rose Diodati as scenic and props designer, and Jeanna Raphael as stage manager and Kate Stewart as assistant stage manager mentored by Brendan Kehoe. Faculty advisors on the production are Shariffa Ali, Nathan Davis, and Tess James.

Visit the Lewis Center website to learn more about this event, the Program in Theater, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, and lectures presented each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of them free.

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