21 Questions with… Anna Aronson ’16





Name: Anna Aronson

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Sociology

Eating Club/Res College Affiliation: Tower/ Rocky


In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?

I rehearse for plays and eat desserts.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?

My dad. And also my friend Charlotte’s really cute grandpa.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?

Tower makes these incredible chocolate desserts called crazy squares and I like to make a meal out of them when given the opportunity.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?

I have so many…it’s hard for me think of a pleasure that I’m not embarrassed by. Two of my worst are Everyday With Rachael Ray and the Kardashians’ Snapchat stories.

What distinguishes All-Nighter With Anna Aronson from All-Nighter with Elliot Linton and All-Nighter with David Drew?

All of the fundamental segments of the show have remained consistent, but my host persona is a little different from those of my predecessors. And Lauren Frost is a mind-blowingly funny new co-host. She’s written incredible stuff for the show since the David days, but now All-Nighter’s audience gets to see her perform.

Another important distinguishing factor about our season is that Lauren and I both play ukulele. We haven’t tapped into our duet potential yet, but once we do, we’re really gonna take the show to the next level.

Who is the funniest person you know?

My grandma, but her humor is inadvertent.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?

A really generic poster of the Brooklyn Bridge. Like the stock photo that comes up when you do a Google search of Brooklyn. I’ve distressed it to convince people that it’s authentic.

In 25 years, you will be…

Cuddling with my children, eating Nutella, watching Planet Earth.

What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

I’m obsessed with outer space! I studied it pretty thoroughly as a kid, and although I retained basically nothing that I learned, it still feels like Christmas when I get to visit a planetarium.

Where is your favorite/least favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot is the bench right in front of Murray Dodge. My least favorite spot right now is the same place because it’s undergoing some really loud construction.

What is your biggest fear?


What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?

I’m pretty embarrassingly risk averse. The most dangerous thing I’ve done this year was probably ignoring an expiration date.

What makes you laugh? Cry?

I’m not proud of it, but people falling down makes me laugh harder than anything else. And I cry when people achieve their dreams.

When’s bedtime?

Between 1 and 2am.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?

I learned from my freshman seminar that the evolutionarily ideal mating system for human beings is monogamy with adultery because it allows women to procreate with the most virile males while living with the ones who can nurture their children. “The best of both worlds,” according to my professor. It’s a really handy excuse for girls who are bored in their relationships.

What do you love most about Princeton?

I love how the students use their time. They don’t waste it, as I’m inclined to. You’ll hear a friend talk about binge-watching Homeland for 10 hours and then find out that it was actually part of an extra credit assignment for Western Way of War or something.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?

I’d change the misconception that Princeton isn’t an artistic place. It abounds with arts resources and opportunities to be creative in both curricular and extracurricular capacities. I wish we could find a way to debunk the myth that Princeton is only a springboard for a career in consulting.

If you could tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

The friendships you make at Cloister on your first night of Frosh week will be the most meaningful ones.

What is your favorite/least favorite part about being the host of All-Nighter?

My favorite thing is getting to pick the guests that we invite on the show (with the help of the rest of the team, which includes Colleen Baker, Maddy Cohen, Vivien Bazarko, and Lauren Frost). The purpose of All-Nighter, as stated by its founders, is to introduce the members of its audience to brilliant and talented Princetonians whom they might not otherwise meet. I feel really privileged to get to influence those introductions. My least favorite thing is watching the video footage because my face contorts itself in horrible ways when I speak.

What makes someone a Princetonian?  

An acceptance letter and a high tolerance for Halloween colors.

What’s one question you wish we had asked and answer it.

Have you ever streaked on Princeton’s campus?

Yes, three times.

The Great Jewish Food Debate: Moderated by Shirley Tilghman

debating jewish food since ever

The Center for Jewish Life and Whig-Clio hosted the annual Latke-Hamentaschen Debate this afternoon in the quest of answering the noble, eternal question of, you guessed it: Latkes or Hamentaschen?

Two traditional Jewish foods: fried potato pancakes vs. triangular pastries made with sweet fillings. Originating in 1946 at UChicago, The Latke-Hamentaschen Debate is an academic, yet hilarious debate concerning the merits of these two unusual foods.

Moderator: President Shirley Tilghman

Team Latke: Visiting psych professor Yarrow Dunham and Quipfire member Jake Robertson ’15

Team Hamentaschen: Philosophy professor Gideon Rosen and Quipfire member Amy Solomon ’14


The Best (out-of-context) Quotes of the Night: 

Shirley T: “She likes to claim she was being prescient, but I suspect she was just stoned.”

Amy Solomon:  “You may be asking how can Jake be defending a latke if he is basically a human hamentaschen: he’s in Triangle, he’s sweet…see though, he’s not filled with poppy seeds or cherries, but simply filled with shit.”

Shirley T: “The most interesting thing about this debater [Rosen], is that he has a dog named Harvey. Harvey Rosen.”

(Apparently, later on when Econ Professor Harvey Rosen got a dog, he named him Gideon. Cute.)

Gideon Rosen: “There’s good music and then there’s Britney Spears.”

Shirley T: “Rosen graduated from Columbia and majored in the metaphysics of Jewish food.”

Jake Robertson: “My mother has a theory that my grandmother is lying and is Jewish.”

Yarrow Dunham:  “The Cardinal Virtues of The Latke.”

Gideon Rosen:  “The latke is down at the bottom with prime matter. Latke is fried prime matter. ”

Yarrow Dunham:  “Which is closer to the type of food served at Hoagie Haven? The answer is latke.”

The winner in the end? Team Hamentaschen.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Dead Men, Dance, Drama, and More

407418_10150613199034082_816824081_8859574_347333466_nWelcome back to our Weekend Arts Roundup!  Without further ado, the weekend’s most exciting offerings in the world of the performing arts:
  • If it’s theater you’re craving this weekend, nothing beats Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, directed by Dan Rattner ’13.  Part mystery, part love story, part surreal voyage through the underworld (you’ve got to see it to believe it), Dead Man has it all, and more–not to mention a bravura lead performance by Sarah Paton ’13. 8pm Thursday-Saturday in Theatre Intime; tickets $8 in Frist or at Intime, student events eligible.  To watch the trailer, click here.
  • Watch great performing arts groups while supporting a great cause by stopping in on This is Princeton, a revue with performances from Chaos Theory, Princeton Opera Company, Umqombothi (African Music Ensemble), eXpressions and Wildcats, BAC: Dance, Highsteppers, and many more. Friday at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. Tickets $5, available in Frist or at the door; all sales go to Healing in Nagasaki, a charity that supports the Japanese Earthquake Relief effort.
  • Need a caffeine-buzz-filled study break tonight?  The Nassau Literary Review is hosting a launch party for its Spring 2012 issue, featuring live music, poetry readings–and free Small World coffee and sweets for the first 200 guests! Free with PUID; Thursday at Small World Coffee in Witherspoon St., 10:30pm.
  • Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts opens its 2012 Spring Dance Festival on Friday night in McCarter’s Berlind Theater.  Featuring over 50 students performing works by internationally renowned choreographers, along with four dance premieres, it’s sure to be an unmissable event.  Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday at 1pm.  Tickets $10 for students and faculty, $15 for general admission; student events eligible.
  • Nothing helps with overcoming the third-week academic slump quite like a Quipfire! show: Thursday-Saturday at 11pm in Intime, tickets $5.
  • Love Hamlet? Want to score some coolness points in your Shakespeare II precept amidst all the theater snobs?  Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, directed by Patrick Morton ’13, is exactly what the doctor ordered.  Thursday-Saturday in Whitman Theater: Thursday at 8pm, Friday at midnight, and Saturday at 3pm and 8pm. Student tickets $8 at the door or at Frist.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Intime, Improv, and More

monkeys-hdr_lrgTwo weeks in (doesn’t it feel longer?) and campus arts events are up and running! As the semester goes into full swing, this batch of events is the perfect antidote to daunting workloads and overtired brains:

  • Theatre Intime, Princeton’s oldest entirely student-run theater company, starts its 2011-2012 season with Neil Simon’s Lost In Yonkers, directed by sophomore Eric Traub.  Part comic coming-of-age story and part family drama, this Pulitzer-Prize-winning play is one of Simon’s best, and features an all-star student cast. Thursday-Saturday at 8pm in Theatre Intime: tickets $8, Student Events Eligible.
  • The Department of Music’s Making Tunes concert series, which features a range of international musicians who blend traditional and improvisatory folk music traditions, continues its second week with Appalachian fiddle player Bruce Molsky.  The Tunes series’ first concert was completely sold out, so buying ahead is a smart move: tickets are available at Frist or via phone at 609-258-9220, and the event is Student Events Eligible.  Thursday at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall.
  • 319614_2211111437472_1238070354_32620346_719421329_nIf you’re hoping to glimpse the next Amy Poehler or Ed Helms, don’t miss The UCB Touring Company’s one-night improv comedy show at McCarter Theatre, sponsored by Quipfire! improv troupe.  Friday at 11pm; free admission, but get there early to get a good seat! It’s sure to fill up fast.
  • Princeton’s Program in Theater opens its season with The Monkeys Are Coming!, a Russian avant-garde drama directed by senior Gabe Crouse as part of his senior thesis.  First published in 1923, the play appears here in a brand-new translation by several professors in Princeton’s Slavic Department.  It’s a genre-bending (and brain-bending) performance–and its 50-minute length makes it perfect for a pre-Street study break.  Friday and Saturday at 8pm in Matthews Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts (185 Nassau Street); student tickets $10, Student Events Eligible.
  • Speaking of theses, seniors Eddie Skolnick and Jeff Hodes will present an All-Mozart Senior Thesis Recital for the Music Department’s Performance Program on Saturday at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium.  Skolnick will play and conduct Mozart’s Adagio in E for Violin and Orchestra and his Violin Concerto No. 3; Hodes will perform and conduct Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto; and both musicians will be backed by a fifteen-person student chamber orchestra.  Free admission, with a reception to follow.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Lils, Laughs, Libretti–and Lawnparties!

cv11mainhedT-minus 24 hours until blessed freedom is upon us!  Or at least until we get to take a brief breather, enjoy some relatively normal springtime weather (knock on wood!), and savor all the Lawnparties revelry before buckling down for the final push come Monday.  We’ll have a more extensive Lawnparties breakdown soon (stay tuned!), but until then there are a ton of exciting ways to kick back with the arts this weekend.  You’ve earned it!

  • An oldie but a goodie–Communiversity, Princeton’s annual town-gown spring festival, strikes again on Saturday, and the picture-perfect weather forecast means it’s bound to be a happening scene. With five stages’ worth of music and performance groups, from a cappella to jazz to flamenco dancing, there’s something for everyone.  Come mingle with the townies, eat great food, and savor some time outside the bubble!  Noon to 5pm on Saturday in downtown Princeton (click here for more detailed descriptions of some of the weekend’s events).
  • ppf11-logo340If it’s a cappella you’re craving, look no further than the Lils’s 40th anniversary Jam at 8pm tonight at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, featuring a guest performance from the Nassoons.  Tickets $8 for students. The Jam will also focus on the legacy of women here at Princeton to kick off the weekend’s She Roars festival (which is hosting the likes of Sheryl WuDunn ’88 and Sonia Sotomayor ’76!).  You can read the full lecture schedule here: it’s a star-studded list of events, and many allow walk-in guests!
  • The University’s also hosting its second annual Princeton Poetry Festival this weekend.  Organized by New Yorker poetry editor (and Lewis Center director) Paul Muldoon, the Festival has a killer lineup of readers.  There’s nothing more soothing or exhilarating than having someone read to you–especially when that someone happens to be a poetry legend like Sharon Olds or Mark Doty. Drop in as you wish at Richardson Auditorium, even for a brief while: don’t miss it!  Click here for the full schedule.
  • If pure laughs are more your thing, nothing goes better with the craziness of houseparties than the killer wit of Quipfire!, which will be doing 10pm shows Thursday-Saturday in Theatre Intime. Tickets are $6, and they’re bound to sell out (be ready for some serious drunken revelry!), so buy yours ahead of time in Frist.
  • The newly-formed Princeton Opera Company is presenting Love, Laughter and Libretto, a free concert of opera scenes from Mozart to Bernstein, at 2pm on Saturday in the Rocky Common Room–a perfect break from Communiversity or a compliment to a late brunch.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Electric Guitars, Quippy Improv, Smooth Jazz and More

172812_1252298911090_1338030009_31011204_7157827_oMidterms are upon us! Heaven forbid! If you can bear to drag yourself out of your studying coma (or you can’t even bear to start work), these events are the perfect shortcut to study-free bliss, if only for a couple of hours:
  • Terrace has some great shows in store this weekend: from French hip hop to “chillwave’s new Top Gun” Com Truise (a Princeton-based group), it’s looking to be a great weekend for live music.  Sets usually start at around midnight.
  • If you’re looking for some relaxing down time before you hit the Street (or, alas, the books), check out the University Modal Ensemble at Café Viv tonight.  They’ll be playing from 11:30pm-1am, and it’s a fairly casual affair–the perfect study break if you’re chained to a desk in McGraw.
  • The Princeton University Orchestra has an innovative concert in the works this weekend, including the world premiere of an electric guitar concerto (yes, you heard that right) from graduate student Mark Dancigers.  It also features concertos from violinist Yoon Won Song and flutist Jessica Anastasio, who was recently accepted into Rice University’s prestigious Shepherd School of Music for graduate study.  Concerts Friday and Saturday, 8pm in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall. Tickets $8, student events eligible.  To read more about Anastasio, Dancigers, and Song, click here (Warning: feelings of supreme inadequacy might ensue. These three are pretty darn spectacular).181983_10150098492538661_653008660_6340632_4922082_n
  • Quipfire’s March shows at Theatre Intime are sure to sell out quickly–nothing cleanses the soul and eases the mind like laughing your brains out, and this weekend is one of the group’s most popular events of the year.  10:30pm at Intime, tickets $5 at the door–but buying tickets ahead at Frist is highly recommended.
  • Theater options abound this weekend: if you’re looking for something short and sweet (it clocks in at just over an hour, perfect for our pre-midterms attention spans), definitely check out the Student Playwrights Festival at Theatre Intime.  The festival features three new pieces that were written and directed by underclassmen, and it’s only up this one weekend, so don’t miss out!  Thursday-Saturday at 8pm in Theatre Intime.  It’s also not too late to catch Carousel at the Frist Film and Performance Theatre or Much Ado About Nothing in Whitman; both have been getting great word of mouth, and their casts are incredible.  Both run Thursday-Saturday at 8pm with 2pm matinees on March 5–Carousel’s matinee will feature a post-show talkback with theater professors Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf that’s sure to be a fascinating watch.  Tickets for all three shows are $8; student events eligible.
  • There’s nothing like Harry, Hermione and the rest of the gang to help alleviate midterms stress (even if watching them makes you want to transfer to Oxford): Frist’s showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at midnight on Saturday in the Film and Performance Theatre, no tickets required.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Waves of Mercy, Quipfire, and More

26842_585367371942_1111746_34068285_6197783_nWe know everyone’s getting pumped for Lawnparties (watch our complete coverage here on The Ink this weekend!), but if you’re looking for something to supplement your pastel-hued reveling, look no further than this week’s arts events.  Kick back, enjoy your blessed freedom from classes, and fear not…Dean’s Date is nothing more than a distant mirage.

First up: The Waves of Mercy Benefit Concert, sponsored by Manna Christian Fellowship.  Created in support of Whitman College’s employee Josue Lajeunesse (of The Philosopher Kings fame) and Generosity Water, the concert aims to “end the clean water crisis” in Lasource, Haiti through performances from up-and-coming groups.  Generosity Water’s mission is to “inspire people to think globally and live generously,” and they’re bringing in artists like Sho Baraka, Manifest, Time Be Told, Clara Chung, and Lyricks.  Prepare to start the weekend off with a bang!  It runs from 9-11:30pm tonight in Dillon Gym; it’s free with PUID, but a $10 donation is encouraged. Tickets for non-Princeton students are $10 apiece.

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Weekend Arts Roundup: Composers, Cannabis, Improv Comedy, and More


(source: www.princeton.edu/~compose)

Prefrosh weekend is upon us! And for those of us whose hearts are too hard to be warmed by naïve little ’14ers, the upshot of the impending insanity is it brings a host of arts events to campus this weekend. While they’re designed to court impressionable newbies, these events also provide exciting entertainment (we promise!) for the more jaded upperclassmen.

First up: the spring concert from Princeton’s Undergraduate Composers Collective, which is happening at 8:30pm tonight in the Rocky Common Room. Founded in 2007 by Todd Kramer ’11 and Nick DiBerardino ’11, the Composers Collective holds weekly workshops where student composers can test out their pieces and swap ideas.

For people who associate modern music with atonal screeches and bangs, the Collective offers a refreshing surprise. “The concerts are a great way for people to find out what they like, see what their friends are up to, and learn that ‘contemporary music’ does not always mean ear-splitting dissonances that seem to go on forever,” says Kramer, a graduate of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Program.” People are often surprised to discover that most of our composers write tonal music.”

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IN PRINT: Zach and Willie create a thesis on the fly

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="252" caption="from princeton.edu"]from princeton.edu[/caption]

“This is Zach –”

“— and this is Willie, and to get started, can we have a suggestion of anything, anything at all!”

So began Zach & Willie, the theater-program thesis production of Zach Zimmerman ’10. For the first half of the show, Zimmerman and Willie Myers ’11 performed a series of improvised scenes based on the suggestion of one audience member. The word offered: “toothbrush.”

In the next moment, Zimmerman and Myers were two students shaving at the sink and discussing their big dates.

“We embrace whatever we feel the scene looks like, and come up with characters,” Zimmerman said. “It’s sort of organic in that sense. You’re building a reality.”

To read more, see the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

21 Questions with… Becca Foresman ’10


This is Becca


Name: Becca Foresman
Age: 20
Major: French & Italian, Theater & Dance Certificate
Hometown: San Diego
Eating club/residential college/affiliation: Tower

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Fitzgerald. There’s a story that once, in the throes of a tirade against the rich and privileged, he said to Hemingway; “What is it that makes them so damned different from us? WHAT?” Hemingway looked at him for a long moment. “Money, Scott.” And he was married to a woman named Zelda.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Fresh kettle corn on Dean’s Date of sophomore year spring. With friends on the grass, under the sun, papers done, free t-shirt.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Eavesdrop on conversations in foreign languages and try to guess what they’re talking about (who are these middle-aged Russian couples that are always touring the campus during the ugliest months of the year?)

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Double dessert. Guilty, but not infrequent.

What’s the last student performance you saw?
Metamorphoses at Theater Intime, I think.

Do you know all the words to Old Nassau?
Just got to land “praise,” “Nassau,” “Hurrah,” and look enthusiastic about the arm thrust.

What do you hate most about Princeton?
The smell of B-floor Firestone.

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