Eden Lewis Center for the Arts | 2011 Photo Credit: Andrea Geyer

Eden was my senior thesis production and probably the boldest play I’ve directed to date. (Not least because I used lots of copyrighted songs without permission.) This interdisciplinary jukebox musical was a queer, feminist meditation on the Garden of Eden…with tap dancing. There was a lot going on. I’m still incredibly proud of this low-budget show created with the actors. That year, I was writing my history thesis on Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, and I used Zimmerman’s development method for Eden, casting the show before a word was written and producing script pages in response to discoveries made in the room. Eden was the first time I felt confident as a director–confident enough to enter a rehearsal room without script in hand, and confident enough to punch up at my Southern Baptist upbringing. I’m so grateful for all the support I received for this play – from my collaborators, my Presbyterian chaplain Rev. Tara Woodard-Lehman, and from my generous mentors, Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf.

Photo Credit: Yuman Fong

Rehearsal Photos

Photo Credit: Bruna Favetta

Created and Directed by Elizabeth Swanson
Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University

Funded by the Lewis Center for the Arts, Music Theater Lab, and the Horton Elmer Fund, as administered by the Office of the Dean of the College

Awarded Francis LeMoyne Page Award, Princeton Music Theatre Lab Grant, and Outstanding Theatre Work by a Senior


Created and Directed by Elizabeth Swanson
Music Director: Vince di Mura
Co-Stage Manager: Bruna Favetta
Co-Stage Manager: Christina Henricks
Poster Design: Kevin Lin
Program Design: Malavika Balachandran

Thesis Advisors: Robert Sandberg & Stacy Wolf


Tess Bernhard
Sandra Fong
Ava Geyer
Sarah Hedgecock
Emi Nakamura

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