Theater & Music Theater

Minor in Theater & Music Theater

Goals for Student Learning
Prerequisites
Admission to the Program
Program of Study
Suggested Tracks
Additional Information
Key Academic Deadlines for 2024-25

 

The Program in Theater & Music Theater welcomes all students interested in exploring theater and music theater, with or without previous experience. We approach theater and music theater from a liberal arts perspective— as intensely collaborative art forms, as key components of world cultures, and as performance genres that shape and are shaped by history, economics, politics, and technology. We research, study, and perform theater from classic plays, operas, and musicals to contemporary, experimental, and devised plays, performances, and musicals. We offer a wide-ranging, innovative, and student-initiated season of theatrical explorations, produced in collaboration with professional artists and craftspeople. Our season centers community-building and the creation of original work, in which all students can participate. We encourage artistic and academic investigations of theater and music theater in conversation with every other area of study.

Our program is open to students of all backgrounds. Most courses are open enrollment; we also offer advanced courses that prepare a student for graduate education to pursue advanced training and scholarship. We offer over twenty courses a year, including writing, performance, directing, music directing, design, community engaged theater, dramaturgy, performance history, performance theory, and criticism. For students interested in pursuing a minor, we offer four suggested tracks through our curriculum:

  • Theater Making
  • Music Theater
  • Performance Studies
  • Community Engaged Theater

Many courses are cross-listed with other departments and programs including African American Studies, American Studies, Creative Writing, Dance, English, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Visual Arts. Most theater and music theater courses fulfill the Literature and Arts (LA) requirement, and other theater (THR)and music theater (MTD) courses also fulfill Ethical Thought and Moral Values (EM), Social Analysis (SA), Culture and Difference (CD), and/or Historical Analysis (HA) distribution requirements.

In addition to our courses and theater-making season, core faculty and visiting guest artists and scholars, and the Princeton Arts Fellows offer workshops and co-curricular classes and join students in community conversations.

Students benefit from the support of our professional staff in music, costumes, scenery, light, sound, stage management and producing. We sponsor trips to theatrical productions in New York, Trenton, New Brunswick, and Philadelphia and provide opportunities for observation of theater making in collaboration with a variety of partners. We build community inside and outside of the University through our theater making season and our Try On Theater days, through the Princeton Playhouse Choir and Ensemble, through volunteering or paid fellowships with Trenton Youth Theater, and through our relationships with professional theaters and off campus organizations including the McCarter Theatre, Passage Theatre, and the Public Theater. We offer summer internships and summer research funding through the Lewis Center for the Arts. We encourage students to study abroad; students interested in exploring conservatory training can attend the London Academy of Dramatic Arts for a semester, typically junior fall.

Goals for Student Learning

We believe that the study of theater cultivates the exploration and integration of the body, the mind, and lived experience through a uniquely collaborative lens. Our goals for student learning are to engage all Princeton students in theater and music theater through creation, performance, and study; to familiarize students with the role that theater and performance have played and could play in many cultures; and to further the field in collaboration with our students through research, innovation, and engagement with leading artists and scholars. Our program centers original creation, collaboration, and community engaged learning, in connection with every other artistic and academic field. All of our theater making operates on the principle that rigorous artistic practice is a form of research, innovation, discovery, and intervention.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for most theater and music theater courses. There are also no prerequisites for declaring a minor in theater & music theater. However, students must take THR/MTD 101 and one additional course, and complete their student show support requirements by the end of the junior year to continue into the senior year of the minor. Students may begin taking courses toward their minor and fulfilling show support requirements during their first year at Princeton.

Admission to the Program

The theater & music theater minor is open to all students who are interested in committing to theater and/or music theater practice and scholarship in their junior and senior year. No application, audition, or portfolio submissions are required to enter the minor program. Students must register for the minor before course enrollment begins for the junior spring (towards the end of the junior fall semester). In order to proceed to the senior year of the minor, students must have completed THR/MTD 101 and one additional course, as well as show support requirements. Students who fail to complete these requirements by the end of junior year will not be able to complete the minor.

To stay informed about the theater & music theater minor program, requirements, and deadlines, please add your name to the student list.

Program of Study

Coursework

A total of five courses:

  • THR/MTD 101: Introduction to Theater Making, which must be taken before the senior year.
  • Two additional courses in THR or MTD or cross-listed with THR or MTD.
  • Two additional courses from THR, MTD, DAN, MUS, or another relevant cognate.
  • At least one of the selected courses must have a dramaturgical or performance analysis (DPA) component.
    • A list of current courses that would satisfy this requirement is made available annually through the Program. This list is reviewed and updated annually by the Program Director and theater faculty. Additional courses may be proposed to the Program Director for approval to satisfy the DPA course. View the list of courses with a DPA component
  • Up to two of these five courses may be double-counted toward the student’s major

Senior year independent work for the minor is optional.

While students may take THR 451 more than once, participation in THR 451 can only count toward the minor once.

View a list of current theater & music theater courses

Additional Requirements

All theater & music theater minors must complete show support requirements—participating in a non-performing role on one or two program projects—no later than the end of the junior year. This requirement introduces students to the many facets of theater making beyond performance and enhances their collaborative skills with faculty and staff mentorship. All program minors are expected to read the weekly Program informational announcement sharing pertinent deadlines, opportunities, and important announcements. All minors are also expected to participate in the program’s annual opening community Try on Theater Day (typically held the evening of the first day of classes), and our annual closing reflective community conversation, guided by that year’s graduating seniors (typically held in the days after Dean’s Date for the spring semester).

Suggested Tracks in Theater & Music Theater

While students may choose their own combination of course work, the following are potential pathways that emphasize a specific focus within the program. Each track has an advisor who can advise you on curricular choices.

Theater Maker Track (advised by Jane Cox)

  • THR/MTD 101
  • THR 451
  • 400 level THR/MTD/ATL course in a core area of interest
  • Two other THR/MTD courses
  • One of the four elective courses must meet the dramaturgical or performance analysis (DPA) requirement
  • Participation in theater making co-curriculars is also recommended.

Music Theater Track (advised by Stacy Wolf)

  • THR/MTD 101
  • One course in MUS
  • One course in DAN
  • Two courses that focus on any form of music theater, including opera, American musical theater, and experimental music theater.
  • One of the four elective courses must meet the dramaturgical or performance analysis (DPA) requirement
  • A semester with the Playhouse Choir or Playhouse Ensemble is also recommended.

Performance Studies Track (advised by Stacy Wolf)

Advised by Stacy Wolf in fall 2023; advised by Rhaisa Williams in spring 2024

  • THR/MTD 101
  • THR 405 (Creative Intellect) or another relevant 400-level performance-making course
  • Two courses engaging the interdisciplinary scholarly study of theater/performance
  • One other relevant THR or MTD course
  • One of the four elective courses must meet the dramaturgical or performance analysis (DPA) requirement

Community Engaged Theater Track (advised by Chesney Snow)

  • THR/MTD 101
  • Community-Engaged course at LCA
  • Course with a community engaged learning component listed with ProCES
  • Two THR/MTD courses
  • One of the four elective courses must meet the dramaturgical or performance analysis (DPA) requirement
  • A semester of service with Trenton Youth Theater or a summer internship in community engaged art making (ie PublicWorks or ProCES) is also recommended. View Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) courses

Preparation for Graduate Study

The theater & music theater program offers advanced courses and co-curricular activities that will allow a student to move into graduate education to pursue advanced training or scholarship.

Additional Information

Juniors working towards a minor who elect to participate in a series of program meetings and initiate an independent research process are invited to suggest projects (including original work of their own) and share particular interests towards co-creating the season of theater-making in their senior year. A rotating panel of faculty and staff curates a season that engages the curricular and research interests, priorities, and expertise of program faculty, visiting artists, and rising seniors who have completed the research process.

Juniors working towards a minor may also apply to complete an optional senior year independent research project. Research projects might include writing a paper, composing an original work of theater or music theater, developing a solo performance practice, or exploring other modes of independent creative enquiry. Successful applicants will work with a faculty advisor during their senior year and will be expected to offer a one-evening public research presentation to share their work-in-process with the broader Lewis Center community. These independent research project presentations can be theatrical in nature, but will not be offered significant staff support or production resources.

Key Dates & Academic Deadlines for 2024-25

September 3, 2024 at 6:30-8 PM

Annual Try on Theater Community Day: Come for pizza! Mandatory for senior minors, and highly recommended for everyone else — come together to hear about the senior season and other events and reconnect with the program theater community. Try on Theater recruitment and casting sessions continue throughout the year.

September 16 at 4:45-5:45 PM in Vasen Design Studio
December 6 at 1-2 PM in W331 Seminar Room

Informational meetings for Juniors: Mandatory meeting for juniors intending to pursue a minor, propose ideas for their senior season or apply for independent work. It is highly recommended to attend the first info meeting in September rather than December. Sophomores are also invited to attend.

Dean’s Date — December 13, 2024

Junior statement of interest deadline: Statement of interest is due for juniors intending to pursue a minor, propose ideas for their senior season or apply for independent work. Email to Joe Fonseca at Jfonseca@princeton.edu by December 13 at 5 p.m. (Dean’s Date).

February 24, 2025, at 9 AM

Junior proposals and applications for independent work: Written proposal is due for juniors intending to propose ideas for their senior season or apply for independent work.

February 10 at 4:45-5:45 PM in Vasen Design Studio
March 31 at 12:30-1:30 PM in W331 Seminar Room

Informational meetings for sophomores: All sophomore students interested in the Program in Theater and Music Theater are invited to come learn more about the minor, classes and co-curriculars, and theater-making offerings.

May 9 at 11 AM-1 PM in Drapkin Studio

Senior Colloquium: Mandatory informal brunch with all senior minors to reflect on their creative experiences and growth as a group. Juniors are welcome to listen in.

 

 

Stay Informed

Are you a Princeton student interested in the theater & music theater minor? Please add your name to our list to stay informed about upcoming deadlines, etc.

Register for the Theater & Music Theater Minor

Students must register for the minor before course enrollment begins for the junior spring (towards the end of the junior fall semester).

There is no application or audition process — all students are accepted into the Program in Theater.