The purpose of the Program in Theater is to engage Princeton students of all kinds in the making of theater with significant artists, faculty members and each other, through studio classes, and through our theater season; to familiarize students with the role that theater has played and could play in different cultures, including our own; and to further the field of theater making through research, innovation and engagement with artists on the leading edge of theater making.
All Princeton students are invited to immerse themselves in the creative process through a course in theater. We teach studio courses ranging from South African Protest Theater to Costume and Set Design in small group classes averaging ten students, and academic courses such as Movements for Diversity in American Theater or Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies in Irish theater. Our faculty includes world class artists, critics and scholars, and we actively encourage students with little or no theatrical experience or knowledge to join us. Over one hundred students take a hands-on studio class in theater each semester. Each year about twenty-five to thirty-five committed students take a certificate in theater or music theater, working with faculty members, working artists and their peers on their own independent creative work.
Most of our productions are proposed by certificate students in their junior year and offer the opportunity to write, direct, act, design, compose or stage manage projects under the guidance of visiting artists and our professional faculty and staff. Each year, we offer at least one or two additional performance projects chosen by faculty and led by faculty or guest artists, in the context of classes taken for credit. All theatrical projects in the theater and music theater programs are open for participation by all students at Princeton as performers, run crew, stage management and designers. We present these productions in the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, and in the on-campus Wallace Black Box and Drapkin Studio, as well as in other traditional and nontraditional venues on campus.
In addition to our faculty, our program staff includes a full range of talented theatrical craftspeople, working in scenery, costumes, lighting and stage management. Our theater classes offer trips to New York to see a wide range of performances and sometimes to meet the artists. The Programs in Theater and Music Theater also offer a variety of extracurricular and co-curricular workshops in skills such as singing for the musical theater, movement for actors and music directing. The McCarter Theatre, one of the most active cultural centers in the nation, is on the Princeton campus and offers over two hundred performances of theater, dance and music every year. Exciting theater artists and scholars visit campus many times each year, and our vibrant student theater community participates in multiple extracurricular theater companies as well as in our program productions.