McCarter Theatre Partnership

outside entrance of berlind theatre at mccarter theatre center

Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center

The Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre Center is on the Princeton University campus and presents a season of diverse professional theater productions and a series of dance, music and other special events. The Lewis Center for the Arts and McCarter Theatre share the 350-seat Berlind Theatre.

The Lewis Center and McCarter have a shared history of unique collaborations, co-commissions and creative partnerships supported by McCarter LAB. Some highlights of this unique partnership are outlined below.

The Migration Plays

A partnership with the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). Five artists were commissioned to write short plays inspired by research, seminars, and meetings with scholars from the PIIRS Migration community. The project, directed by Princeton Lecturer in Theater Elena Araoz, explores the nature of migration, how it is represented, and the ways it shapes the world. The plays were presented publicly at McCarter in April 2019. Learn more about The Migration Plays »

Princeton Atelier: Connecting the Connector

Working with Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, McCarter Theatre and the Lewis Center integrated students into the process of developing an original musical through a Princeton Atelier course offered in fall 2018. Learn more about the Atelier »


McCarter Theatre and the Lewis Center have collaborated on professional readings of 2016-17 Hodder Fellow NoViolet Bulawayo’s play BODY; Branden Jacobs-JenkinsGURLS, which premiered on October 6, 2017, for the opening of the Lewis Center’s new arts complex; and Princeton Lecturer in Theater Nathan Alan DavisThe Refuge Plays in association with the Public Theatre.

The Princeton and Slavery Plays

Six playwrights were commissioned as part of the community-wide Princeton and Slavery Project. Writers met with scholars, visited archives, and created 10-minute plays based on historical documentation. The plays were presented as a centerpiece of the 2017 Princeton and Slavery Symposium, with more than 1,000 in attendance.

The Ground on Which We Stand

In 2016, the Lewis Center and McCarter jointly hosted a symposium celebrating August Wilson and the 20th Anniversary of his foundational speech “The Ground on Which I Stand,” exploring the legacy and relevance of Wilson’s work and activism.

The Every 28 Hours Plays

McCarter and the Lewis Center partnered in 2016 on an evening of 50 one-minute plays exploring police violence, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. University, professional, and high school-aged actors performed The Every 28 Hours Plays for over 700 people.


In 2014, students in Princeton Professor of Theater and English and Dean of the College Jill Dolan’s course on Dramaturgy focused on Emily Mann’s play Hoodwinked. Students offered research support, provided script feedback, and coordinated a symposium with expert respondents to discuss the themes in the play.