Welcome Class of 2023

The Lewis Center is your Pathway to the Arts! This page offers information for incoming first-year students interested in pursuing the arts while at Princeton.

A message from Tracy K. Smith, Chair of the Lewis Center


Check out the First-Year Student Open House

The Lewis Center will host an Open House on Monday, September 9, 2019, from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater on the Forum level of the Lewis Arts complex (view map), during which program directors and current students will provide a brief overview of each program. Come meet the faculty and learn more about how to enroll in arts courses for the fall.

We will also have a table at the Academic Expo for the Class of 2023 on Monday, September 9, from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Stop by and chat with Lewis Center students and faculty members. Lewis Center faculty members will also lead an info session during the Expo at 11 a.m. in A81 in Frick Chemistry Lab.


Fall 2019 Courses and Applications

Courses are offered at the Lewis Center for the Arts in Creative Writing, Dance, Theater, Music Theater, Visual Arts (including film/video), and through the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier. Certificates are awarded in the areas of Creative Writing, Dance, Theater, Music Theater, and Visual Arts. You will also find additional courses offered by other departments that may be cross-listed with the arts.



students at table with booksCourses

Courses are offered at introductory and advanced levels in poetry, fiction, literary translation, and screenwriting. All creative writing courses require an application, which consists of a short writing sample or statement of interest; please see the guidelines. The online application will be available beginning August 1, 2019, with a deadline of Monday, September 9 at 2:00 p.m. Application decisions will be emailed to you by late afternoon on September 10 and you will be instructed to immediately select a class section, which are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Explore fall 2019 Creative Writing course offerings and consult this introduction for incoming first-year students for further guidance. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Erin West: erin.west@princeton.edu



Want to dance at Princeton?

Join us for a Dance Orientation to meet current students and faculty and discuss opportunities for training and performing on Monday, September 9 at 10:30 a.m. (immediately following the LCA open house) in the Hearst Dance Theater, Lewis Arts complex. Faculty and program staff will be there to discuss the program and answer your questions.


Dance courses open (pending enrollment availability) to first-year students include DAN 208, 211, 213, 215, 319, 320, 419, and 420. Additional courses DAN 208, 211, 213 and 215 are open enrollment and accessible on TigerHub. DAN 319, 320, 419 and 420 require a mandatory placement class that will take place on Tuesday, September 10 at 3 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater in the Lewis Arts complex. View fall 2019 Dance course offerings, and be sure to check out this overview of course information for first-year students.

Want to perform in the Princeton Dance Festival?

The Princeton Dance Festival will feature new and repertory works by choreographers Zvi Gotheiner, Rebecca Lazier, Cameron McKinney, Christopher Ralph, Hofesh Shechter (staged by Alexandra Damiani), and Netta Yerushalmy. Students in DAN 319, 320, 419 and 420 will perform in the Princeton Dance Festival, December 5, 7 + 8, 2019 at the Berlind Theatre. To enroll in these courses, students must attend a mandatory placement class on Tuesday, September 10 at 3 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater (no pre-registration, just show up). Following class, faculty will walk you through the enrollment process and performance schedule. Placement notification will be emailed to students by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11. Students who want to perform may also audition with guest choreographer Christopher Ralph on Thursday, September 12 at 4:30 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater.

Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Cindy Rosenfeld: cr17@princeton.edu

Interested in taking some dance classes?

Train with professionals outside of course work in co-curricular dance classes, which begin the week of Monday, September 16. Co-curricular classes (ballet, conditioning, hip-hop, contemporary, yoga, pilates, and student-led classes) are offered free of charge, on a drop-in basis, to all Princeton students. Learn more about co-curricular class offerings



man onstageThe Programs in Theater and Music Theater welcome all new students, beginners and experienced alike, to explore theater in the classroom and onstage! Collaborate with award-winning professional theater artists and scholars in the classroom, rehearsal room, design studio and onstage. No experience is required to get started. All interested students are invited to attend our theater lunch, hosted by senior theater students and faculty, on Tuesday, September 10 from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Drapkin Studio in the Wallace Dance Building, Lewis Arts complex. Program Directors and staff welcome first-years and sophomores for an informal chat and cookies from 2-3 PM in the Drapkin.

Auditions + Production Opportunities

During the week of September 30, the Programs in Theater and Music Theater will hold general auditions for our diverse season of classic, contemporary, and student created musicals and plays. Early auditions for all remaining roles in the fall productions of Mother Courage and Intimate Apparel and two student-created projects will be held Monday, September 9, from 5-7 p.m. and Tuesday, September 10 from 4-6 p.m. in the Drapkin Studio at the Wallace Dance Building, Lewis Arts complex. Check the theater auditions page for more details as these dates approach. Performing roles, production, and design opportunities are available for first-year students — a great way to dive in right away to Princeton’s exciting theater community! No experience required in any area. View the 2019-20 season line-up and check the auditions page for more details. Also, stay tuned for more details on an exciting schedule of student theater workshops planned for the fall. Students with interest in non-performing roles should contact Program in Theater Director Jane Cox: Janecox@princeton.edu

Theater Courses

The Program in Theater offers courses in acting, directing, playwriting, design, technology in live entertainment, dramaturgy, theater scholarship and criticism, and special topics. First-year students who are committed to theater are encouraged to take THR 101, an introduction to many different kinds of theater making from a collaborative and multicultural perspective. View fall 2019 Theater course offerings. Most available courses are open enrollment via TigerHub. First-year students interested in acting classes can contact Jane Cox, janecox@princeton.edu, for entrance into THR 201 (Introduction to Acting); first-year students with prior acting training may apply for permission to enroll in THR 301 (Intermediate Acting) by contacting Mark Nelson, msnelson@princeton.edu. THR 451 is by audition (for acting roles) or by application (for stage managing or other creative team roles). THR 210A and THR 210B do not have available spots this fall; THR 400 and THR 418 are not open to first-year students. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: jfonseca@princeton.edu

Music Theater Courses

woman singingThe Program in Music Theater offers courses at the nexus of music, theater, and dance, taught by faculty across the University as well as guest artists who teach, compose, write, create, perform, and research music theater’s various forms of music, dance, scripted text, and design. All Music Theater courses are open to first-year students. View fall 2019 Music Theater course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: jfonseca@princeton.edu



woman taping wallImmerse yourself in an introductory or advanced course in drawing, film/video, graphic design, painting, photography, sculpture and more in the Program in Visual Arts. Work intimately with stellar contemporary artists and dirty your hands in the trenches of materiality and object-making while exploring and analyzing the structures that form the core of our experience, illuminating the meta questions underlying society, culture, and progress. All 200-level VIS courses are geared towards first-year students and welcome all levels of experience. View fall 2019 Visual Arts course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: kseymour@princeton.edu

Interested in film/video?

student filmmakerWithin the Program in Visual Arts, courses are offered at introductory and advanced levels in film and video production. View fall 2019 Visual Arts course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: kseymour@princeton.edu

Exhibitions + Events

In September, recent Hodder Fellow and visual artist Mario Moore presents “The Work of Several Lifetimes,” an exhibition of new work created during his fellowship year on campus. The exhibition includes etchings, drawings, and large-scale paintings of Black men and women who work at or around the Princeton University campus with blue collar jobs. Don’t miss the opening of this exhibition in the Hurley Gallery at the Lewis Arts complex on Thursday, September 19 from 6-10 p.m. 



actors and puppetsUnique, one-time interdisciplinary courses are offered, taught by Princeton faculty and professional guest artists focusing on the collaborative creation of new work. A limited number of seats are being held in both fall Princeton Atelier courses for first-year students. For interest in ATL 497 — “Sounding Body/Utopic Voice,” please contact César Alvarez, cesarja@princeton.edu, with any questions and for entry into the course. For incoming first-year students interested in ATL 499 — “Spatial Sound: Story and Image,” the course application opens Sunday, September 1st, with a deadline of September 10 at 2:00 p.m. Apply here for ATL 499. Visit the Atelier page to view fall 2019 Atelier course offerings. Please contact Marion Young with questions: youngmf@princeton.edu.




For information on programs of study and courses in music, visit the Department of Music’s website.




Have questions? Talk to a student peer advisor! Rising juniors and seniors are ready to share insights about challenges they have experienced pursuing the arts, particularly as students of color and other underrepresented groups, including LGBTQIA students, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, students from religious minorities, recent immigrants, low-income students, and students whose parents’ first language is not English. Don’t let anything get in your way of pursuing your dreams in the arts! View a list of student peer advisor profiles and learn how to connect.


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Ticketed events are priced at only $8 for students and are Tiger Ticket eligible through the Passport to the Arts program, which makes them free to you! Just show your TigerCard at the box office – your Tiger Tickets are credited on your TigerCard.


Please don't be shy — contact us if you have any questions about Lewis Center programs, courses, and performance opportunities. Consult our faculty and staff directories and feel free to send an inquiry.

Alumni POV

Learn more about Princeton alumni working in the arts by exploring recent videos in our Alumni POV series