Welcome Class of 2024

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


PRINCETON PREVIEW: Lewis Center Faculty + Staff Panel Discussion


Check out the First-Year Student Open House

The Lewis Center will host an Open House on Monday, August 31, 2020, 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 2024 on Monday, August 31, from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Stop by and chat with Lewis Center students and faculty members.


Fall 2020 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. Review a list of FAQs from students about Lewis Center courses and certificate programs.



students at table with booksCreative Writing Courses

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, 2020, with a deadline of August 25 at 11:59 p.m. Application decisions will be emailed to you by Monday, August 31, along with instructions to immediately select a class section, which are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Explore fall 2020 Creative Writing course offerings and consult this introduction for incoming first-year students for further guidance. Questions about the program? Email Program Assistant Katie Welsh: kwelsh@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, August 31 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

Dance courses open (pending enrollment availability) to first-year students include DAN 204, 211, 213, 215, 216, 221, 348, 357, 319, 320, 419, and 420. DAN 319, 320, 419 and 420 are performance-based courses and require a mandatory placement class that will take place on Tuesday, September 1 at 4 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater in the Lewis Arts complex. View fall 2020 Dance course offerings, and stay tuned for an 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 professional choreographers. Students in DAN 319, 320, 419 and 420 will perform in the Princeton Dance Festival on November 20-22, 2020 at the Berlind Theatre. To enroll in these courses, students must attend a mandatory placement class on Tuesday, September 1 at 4 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 2.

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 in early September. 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 about Princeton alum and co-curricular dance instructor Lauren Auyeung ’19’s passion for hip-hop dance and her senior thesis journey in this video:



The 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 a theater lunch, hosted by senior theater students and faculty (date TBA). Program Directors and staff will also welcome first-years and sophomores for an informal chat and cookies (date TBA).

Hear from Jane Cox about opportunities in theater in the video below:

Auditions + Production Opportunities

In late September, the Programs in Theater and Music Theater will hold general auditions for a diverse season of classic, contemporary, and student created musicals and plays. 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. 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 2020 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 (Beginning Studies in Acting); THR/MTD 451 is by audition (for acting roles) or by application (for stage managing or other creative team roles). 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 2020 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 2020 Visual Arts course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: kseymour@princeton.edu

Interested in film/video?

Within the Program in Visual Arts, courses are offered at introductory and advanced levels in film and video production. View fall 2020 Visual Arts course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: kseymour@princeton.edu

Every fall, junior and senior students open their studios at 185 Nassau to the public for Open Studios. See the artists’ spaces and works-in-progress in this video from Fall 2019:



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 all three fall Princeton Atelier courses for first-year students. Visit the Atelier page to view fall 2020 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