The Performing Arts Festival Shows Student Talent


Tharun Potluri, Staff Writer

Smiles, laughter, and cheering were just a few of the things happening in the McAnney Theater from May 16 to May 18. People filled the seats to watch talented Princeton Day School students perform at the annual Performing Arts Festival (PAF) on Thursday and Friday night. Though the majority of the performances were by students, the PAF could not have taken place without the help of Stan Cahill, Director of Theater at PDS. According to Mr. Cahill, “The festival went very well. [There was] a great turnout of performers and audience members.” Not only was there a large number of performers, but there was also a lot of diversity in the performances. When interviewed, Mr. Cahill felt as though “all the arts were represented.” The PAF brought with it many elements that differentiated it from last year’s festival. For instance, there were a greater number of bands and solo music performances featured this year. 

In addition to the excitement from popular freshmen bands, dancers, solo artists, and PDS’ renowned senior band Room 152, there were also writers and poets who engulfed members of the audience with their powerful words. Mr. Cahill explained: “It is tough to schedule in the busy McAnney Theater, but it is an important part of what we do here. This is the venue where technicians get to experiment and try on different roles. This is where some of our younger performers get valuable stage time in front of an audience.” Though the annual tradition of the PAF is surrounded by excitement and entertainment, it brings with it the melancholy feeling of having to say goodbye to the many artistic seniors PDS has nurtured and raised.

The festival gave them a chance to perform for their school one last time. But for many, the sorrows are stifled by the thought of the abundance of talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who will soon rise to take the place of the seniors. Looking ahead, the PAF is likely to showcase new talents that PDS has to offer, as it does each year. “My dream would be to make it an Arts festival in conjunction with the gallery, where we [can] celebrate all the great work found in the [art] spaces,” explained Mr. Cahill. The Performing Arts Festival has a great impact on the traditions and theatrical productions of PDS, and many would like to see even more student involvement and variety in performances. Mr. Cahill added, “Those big shows have my fingerprints all over them—I am much happier turning over the spaces to the students to see where their imaginations will take them.”