All of art is a search for ways of being, of living life more fully.
— August Wilson
Welcome to the Princeton program in theater, where we hope to see you soon! We are a vibrant and diverse community of students, artists, scholars and craftspeople who come together to tell stories. We believe that it matters to tell, and to listen to, each other’s stories, face to face. And because theater tells stories through words and gestures, through light and shadow, through music and dance, through fabric, through color, through technology, we believe that making theater is a process of learning to make collaboratively.
If you think that you have something to share – whether you bring a pen, your own body and voice, a needle and thread or a five thousand watt light bulb – we invite you to join us and learn to make something as part of a group. It’s a bit scary, but it’s a very exciting way of learning to relate to yourself and to other people. We welcome total newcomers to the arts as well as folks who’ve been making things since they were small children. You will leave any theater class a better collaborator, a better listener, more inventive, more resourceful and more articulate than you came in.
We are lucky to have internationally renowned working artists across our faculty, with whom a student of any experience level can study acting, playwriting, design, directing, producing, community engagement. We are lucky to have world-class scholars whose courses range from movements for diversity in American theater, to Brecht and contemporary British theater, to Sondheim musicals. We are lucky to have a full array of talented and generous craftspeople in scenery, costumes, stage management, lighting, all of whom love introducing our students to the many pleasures and skills of putting a theater piece together. We are lucky, above all, to have the brilliant students of Princeton University as our core group of collaborators.
We teach many of our classes in practical studio settings, because we believe that learning to make theater is a physical act that you (mostly) can’t do sitting down. We teach our classes in small groups, because we believe that theater making is about people, and is best passed on from one human being to another, in as intimate a setting as possible.
We do not offer a theater major, because we don’t think theater should be about theater (most of the time) – it should be about economics, space exploration, social justice, the bayou, physics, computers, ghosts. A great liberal arts education is the best possible training for a life in the theater. A class in theater is a wonderful training for life.
We make a lot of theater at Princeton, to give as many students as possible the experience of getting onto a stage, whether in person as an actor, or as a designer, a stage manager, a writer. If you’d like to give any of these things a try, whether for the first time or the twentieth, we have room for you. In fact, we need you.
— Jane Cox