Programs

Theater

“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.”

— Jane Cox

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.

Learn more about Program in Theater faculty, news, events, & courses.

 

VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE: MAKE OUR GARDEN GROW

“We’ll build our house,
And chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.”

Watch Heartbeat Opera‘s virtual performance of “Make Our Garden Grow,” from CANDIDE, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Richard Wilbur. Featuring Program in Theater lecturers Ethan Heard and Stanley Bahorek, along with theater and dance alum Eamon Foley ’15, among others (see full credits list on YouTube).

THEATER COURSE SPOTLIGHT

Throughout the spring 2018 semester, theater lecturer Fintan O’Toole and 14 students explored what art could tell them about society’s attitudes toward mortality in the course “Playing Dead: Corpses in Theater and Cinema.”

Read the feature story by Nick Donnoli on the Princeton University homepage »

THEATER SEASON HIGHLIGHTS 2018-19

Theater & Music Theater Highlights 2018-2019 from Lewis Center for the Arts on Vimeo.

THEATER SEASON HIGHLIGHTS 2017-18

Questions?

For more information about the Program in Theater, please contact Joe Fonseca, Program Associate, at 609-258-7810 or jfonseca@princeton.edu, or consult a directory of program staff.

Stay Informed

Are you a Princeton student interested in theater and music theater opportunities on campus? Please add your name to our list to hear about upcoming events and opportunities on campus.

Climate & Inclusion

Learn more about the Lewis Center for the Arts' efforts on addressing Climate & Inclusion.