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Children’s show unites Shakespeare and sock puppets

“I didn’t mean to write a children’s play about open borders,” Princeton Summer Theater playwright-in-resident Annika Bennett remarks, “but I guess that’s what I did.”

Bennett is referring to “Puck’s Midsummer Mischief,” her fourth children’s theater piece commissioned for Princeton Summer Theater.

A Seattle-based playwright and arts administrator, Bennett created original works throughout her time at Princeton University (she graduated in 2015) and has found a niche writing plays for audiences of all ages.

Her work is notable for being both accessible for younger theatergoers and fun for older ones, as well as for its heavy emphasis on audience engagement.

This year’s production, which will be performed Friday and Saturday mornings until Aug. 3, is an original companion piece to PST’s upcoming mainstage production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Picking up after the events of Shakespeare’s original, “Puck’s Midsummer Mischief” follows the eponymous trickster, who wreaks mayhem on the forest after King and Queen of the fairies Oberon and Titania leave on their honeymoon.

Audience members familiar with Shakespeare’s classic will recognize fresh takes on many of the original play’s characters, while those who have not seen “Midsummer’ will enjoy a plot focused on understanding others and forming friendships across borders, magical and otherwise.

Like PST’s mainstage production of the play, “Puck’s Midsummer Mischief” has some dramatic tricks up its sleeve, including original music, fourth wall-breaking exploits, and puppetry (of the sock variety).

Running at just an hour with a cast meet-and-greet following each performance, “Puck’s Midsummer Mischief” is an exciting way to kick off a fun summer day in Princeton.

“Puck’s Midsummer Mischief” by Annika Bennett, directed by Daniel Krane is in the Hamilton Murray Theater, at 11 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 3. Tickets are $15 ages 12+-plus; $12 ages 4-12, and free ages 4 and under. Call 732-997-0205 or visit for tickets and information.