1 August 1979
Street Theater loses its home
by Tom Lederer
“Now we are really going to be a street theater,” said Ralph Heyman, general assistant of Street Theater reporting on plans for the youthful acting group following the destruction of their trailer last Friday.
A pre-fire photo page on the Street Theater is on Page 8-A.
Though the exact cause of the fire is unknown, Borough Police say that arson was definitely involved. A locked door had been pried open, the trailer entered, ransacked and set ablaze. Police received the first call on the fire at 2:55 a.m. Though firemen responded three minutes later, the blaze, which singed nearby tree and leaped higher than the auditorium roof of the high school quickly destroyed the trailer.
SOME OF THE costumes were thrown out of the van before the fire was set, Mr. Heyman noted. Destroyed inside the trailer were the theater’s costumes, sets, props, makeup kits, electrical cables and portable stage. Sound and lighting equipment, which Mr. Heyman believes was what was being sought, were stored elsewhere. The trailer was not insured and he estimated the loss at about $5,000.
The trailer became part of Street Theater in 1972, one year after the community acting group was founded. It was one of the programs that was formed as a result of student unrest during the early 1970s. The stage was designed by a Princeton University student as part of his senior project.
Mr. Heyman said that despite the loss, the shows would go on, though some of the performances may be altered. Performances of three one- act plays will begin as scheduled on Aug. 15.
There is a possibility that the bed of the trailer could be salvaged as well as portions of the stage Mr. Heyman said. The theater group will investigate that possibility this week, he said.
“But if anyone has an old trailer to donate, we’d love it,” Mr. Heyman noted. The group is also seeking tax deductible contributions, which may be sent to Princeton Street Theater, c/o Princeton Community Village, Bunn Drive, Princeton, N.J. 08540.
FIREMEN hose down the remains of the Street Theater trailer after a fire, termed deliberately set, destroyed it around 3 a.m. Friday morning in front of Princeton High School.
(Tom Lederer photo)