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.
Find Your Path to the Arts
Connect with Lewis Center faculty, students and staff at Info Sessions offered by each Lewis Center Program during the Virtual Academic Expo held from August 9 at 9 a.m. through August 20 at 12 p.m. Program directors and current students will provide a brief overview of each program and answer any questions you may have.
In case you missed the info session for a program that interests you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a staff Program Associate with any questions you might have. We’re here to help!
Fall 2021 Courses and Applications
Lewis Center for the Arts courses are offered 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, as well as a degree in the joint Practice of Art track offered by the Program in Visual Arts and Department of Art and Archaeology. 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.
Creative Writing Courses
Welcome to Creative Writing, where our faculty includes some of the most acclaimed writers in the world. Courses are offered at introductory and advanced levels in poetry, fiction, literary translation, and screenwriting. Every fall, we reserve 3 of 10 sought-after spaces in each introductory workshop for first-year students like you. All creative writing courses require an application, which consists of a short writing sample or statement of interest; please see the writing guidelines. The online CWR application will be available for first-year students beginning August 1, 2021, with a deadline of August 18 at 11:50 p.m. (EDT). Application decisions will be emailed to you along with instructions to immediately select a class section, which are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Explore fall 2021 Creative Writing courses and consult this introduction for first-year CWR students for further guidance. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Erin West: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to perform? Students in the following courses will perform in the Fall 2021 Princeton Dance Festival (November 19-21, 2021). Mandatory placement class (not an audition!) will be held on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 3 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater, at the Lewis Arts complex.
Princeton Dance Festival courses:
- DAN 324 — Princeton Dance Festival Expanded: Politics of Care with Larissa Velez-Jackson (new work)
- DAN 319 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Rebecca Lazier (new work)
- DAN 320 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Kyle Marshall (new work)
- DAN 419 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Tina Fehlandt (choreography by Mark Morris)
- DAN 420 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Samantha Speis (choreography by Urban Bush Women)
Note: Students in DAN 319, 320, 419, and 420 must also take a Choreography Workshop “A” section. Your “A” section will be confirmed following the placement class and you’ll be able to enroll after the placement class on September 1. Let your advisor know you want to take a dance course. Please email email@example.com with any questions.
Want to perform in Princeton Dance Festival but can’t take a dance course? Audition to be in a guest choreographer’s work! You may audition for both opportunities but would only be cast in one.
Guest Choreographer Auditions:
- Saturday, September 4 @ 1-3 PM — Omari Wiles (Rehearsals will be M/W 4:30-6:30 PM), Hearst Dance Theater
- Saturday, September 4 @ 4:30-6:30 PM — Justin Peck, staged by Michael Breeden (Rehearsals will be W/F 4:30-6:30 PM), Hearst Dance Theater
WEEKLY DROP-IN CLASSES
Just want to take a class or two, or maybe try something new? Attend co-curricular (non-credit) drop-in, free, dance classes, beginning Tuesday, September 7. Weekly yoga, hip-hop, somatic pilates, and ballet will be offered free of charge, on a drop-in basis, to all Princeton students. Our hip-hop class series will feature a rotating schedule of renowned professional teachers. View the dance co-curricular class schedule »
TAKE A DANCE COURSE
The Dance (DAN) courses listed below are open to first-year students, pending availability. View all fall 2021 Dance courses »
- DAN 208 — Body and Language
- DAN 211 — The American Experience and Dance Practices of the African Diaspora
- DAN 213 — Introduction to Contemporary Dance
- DAN 229 (NEW course) — Introduction to Rhythm Tap Dance: Past Legacies, Future Rhythms
- DAN 305 (NEW course) — Black Dance: History, Theory, Practice
If you have any questions before you come to campus, please feel free to reach out to Prof. Tina Fehlandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THEATER + MUSIC THEATER
The Programs in Theater and Music Theater welcome all new students, beginners and experienced alike, to explore theater and collaborate with award-winning professional theater artists and scholars in the classroom and onstage! Performing roles, production and design opportunities are available to all first-year students in a diverse student-driven season of classic, contemporary, and student-created pieces. No experience is required. Join us to get started on August 30 at 6:30 PM in the Wallace Theater at the Lewis Arts complex for the first Try on Theater Day! Keep your eye on the theater program workshop page for more Try on Theater Days as well as upcoming events and workshops, including Intersections Theater Collective, a BIPOC student theater makers group that will begin meeting for its second year.
Hear from Jane Cox about opportunities in theater in the video below:
The Program in Theater offers courses in acting, directing, writing and composing for theater and music theater, 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 2021 Theater courses. Most available courses are open enrollment via TigerHub. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: email@example.com
Music Theater Courses
The 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 2021 Music Theater courses. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immerse 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 2021 Visual Arts courses. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: email@example.com
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 2021 Visual Arts course offerings. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Kristy Seymour: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 a past Open Studios event:
The Princeton Atelier offers unique, one-time interdisciplinary courses taught by Princeton faculty and professional guest artists focusing on the collaborative creation of new work. A number of seats in all 3 fall Atelier courses are held for first-year students — consider one of these not-to-be-missed experiences:
- In ATL 494, learn how to create comedy for television with Baby Wants Candy comedy writer Al Samuels.
- Discover how to take an old-fashioned art form like the classical oratorio and turn it into a vibrant piece of contemporary theater in ATL 498 alongside Georgia Stitt and Schele Williams.
- Join ATL 499 to reconstruct Evelyn Brown, a movement piece by María Irene Fornés, to interrogate questions of female labor and its portrayal on stage.
For information on programs of study and courses in music, visit the Department of Music website.
First-year students have a unique opportunity to begin their Princeton journey with a Freshman Seminar, working closely with an instructor and a small group of fellow students on a topic of special interest. Consider taking one of these seminars that focus on the arts, led by LCA faculty:
- FRS 101 — “Afronaut Ascension: A Creative Exploration of Afrofuturism & the Avant Garde” taught by Shariffa Ali (theater faculty)
- FRS 143 — “Is Politics a Performance” taught by Aaron Landsman (theater faculty)
- FRS 147 — “How People Change the Short Story and Life’s Transitions” with Sheila M. Kohler (creative writing faculty)
- FRS 169 — “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Wisdom of Crowds” led by Susanna P. Moore (creative writing faculty)
- FRS 173 — “First Year Painting Studio Seminar” with Pamela E. Lins (visual arts faculty)
- FRS 174 — “Drawing Data” taught by Tim Szetela (visual arts faculty)
- FRS 175 — “Performance and Photography” with Jenny Calivas (visual arts faculty)
- FRS 187 — “ACTING against Oppression: Notes from the other América” taught by Vivia Font (theater faculty)
- FRS 195 — “Stillness” led by Aynsley Vandenbroucke (dance faculty)
Each Freshman Seminar requires an application. Apply for fall Freshman Seminars by Monday, July 19 at 12:00 noon (EDT). After the initial deadline, students may be able to apply for or enroll in a Freshman Seminar until the course is filled.
Lewis Center Student Advisors
Have questions? Talk to a student advisor! Rising sophomores, 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. Meet the student advisors for 2021-22 »