Music Theater Lab

The Program in Theater’s Music Theater Lab brings together students, faculty, and guest artists in the creation, study, and performance of music theater, including Broadway musicals, musical comedy, cabaret, music hall, operetta, singspiel, comic opera, grand opera, chamber opera and experimental music theater. The Music Theater Lab supports and develops all forms of music theater—that is, any theatrical form that combines singing, acting, and movement—as both an artistic practice and a field of scholarly study.

Students are encouraged to explore music theater as an intensely collaborative art form, as a key component of world cultures, and as an entertainment genre that shapes and is shaped by history, context, politics, and technology. Students can study, practice, and create music theater across the disciplines and incorporate music theater projects in their senior theses, with emphases on scholarship or artistic practice, or both. In addition, studies are augmented by collaborations with McCarter Theatre as well as travel to nearby New York and Philadelphia to see performances, observe rehearsals, explore archives, and meet artists and scholars.

Music theater is a lively part of undergraduate life at Princeton. Extracurricular performances of music theater abound, from the Triangle Club to Princeton University Players to numerous other student groups. Academically, the study of opera has long been a part of the music curriculum. In recent years, courses have been offered on other forms of music theater, from Broadway musicals to contemporary performance art.

Selected Courses - Fall 2014

Students can take courses in music theater in several departments and programs, including the Department of Music, the Program in Theater, the Program in Dance, and the Department of English. Students may earn a certificate in Theater, Dance, or Musical Performance that includes courses in music theater. Princeton’s MTL draws on the talents and activities of faculty across the university, who teach, do research, write, create, and perform in music theater’s various forms: music, dance, scripted text, and design. Other classes are taught by guest artists.