Welcome Class of 2026

Welcome, Class of 2026! 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 Welcome Message from Chair Judith Hamera


Find Your Path to the Arts

students converse around orange table with banners and signs

Connect with Lewis Center faculty, students and staff in-person at the Academic Expo on September 1 from 1-4 p.m. at the Frick Chemistry Lab Atrium. Faculty, current students and staff will be at the Lewis Center table and will also provide an information session earlier that day at 10:15-11:00 a.m. in Frick A81.

In case you miss the Expo or information 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 2022 Courses

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 Department of Art and Archaeology in collaboration with the Program in Visual Arts. You will also find additional courses offered by other departments that may be cross-listed with the arts, as well as Freshman Seminars taught by LCA faculty. Review a list of FAQs from students about Lewis Center courses and certificate programs.


Creative Writing

Creative Writing Courses

students at table with booksWelcome to Creative Writing, where our faculty includes some of the most acclaimed writers in the world working solely with undergraduates. 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. Intro courses are open enrollment but fill quickly. Advanced classes require departmental permission to enroll. Explore fall 2022 Creative Writing courses and review all course enrollment info.

Marilyn Chin, Michael Dickman, Garth Greenwell, Aleksandar Hemon, A.M. Homes, Daphne Kalotay, Lynn Melnick, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, Idra Novey, Joyce Carol Oates, Craig Morgan Teicher, Kirstin Valdez Quade and Susan Wheeler are among the award-winning faculty teaching workshops open to first-year students. Graduating Princeton seniors often tell us they regret not taking creative writing courses sooner in their undergraduate careers. Don’t delay what may be the best classroom experience you have at Princeton! Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Erin West: erin.west@princeton.edu.



Performance Opportunities

dancers in multicolor costumes scattered onstage

Want to perform? Students in the following courses will perform in the Fall 2022 Princeton Dance Festival (Dec. 2-4, 2022). Mandatory placement class (not an audition!) will be held on Monday, September 5 at 3 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater at the Lewis Arts complex.

Princeton Dance Festival courses:

  • DAN 319 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Ronald K. Brown (Repertory work, M/W 4:30-6:20 PM)
  • DAN 320 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Davalois Fearon (New work, M/W 4:30-6:20 PM)
  • DAN 419 B  — Dance Performance Workshop with Susan Marshall (Repertory work, M/W 4:30-6:20 PM)
  • DAN 420 B — Dance Performance Workshop with Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener (Repertory work, TH 1:30-4:20 PM)

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 on September 6. Let your advisor know you want to take a dance course. Please email cr17@princeton.edu 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 all 3 opportunities but would only be cast in one. Guest Choreographer Auditions will be held Saturday, September 10 and a Guest Choreographer Info Session for one piece will be held on Thursday, September 8.

  • Sept. 8 @ 4:30 PM — Info Session with Michael J. Love in Ellie’s Studio
  • Sept. 10 @ 11 AM-1 PM — Caili Quan in Murphy Dance Studio
  • Sept. 10 @ 2-4 PM — Sun Kim in 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. View the dance co-curricular class offerings and schedule »

Take a Dance Course

In addition to the Princeton Dance Festival courses, the dance (DAN) courses listed below are open to first-year students, pending availability. View all fall 2022 Dance courses »

  • DAN 211/AAS 211 — The American Experience and Dance Practices of the African Diaspora
  • DAN 306 — Intro to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Arts (new course!)

If you have any questions before you come to campus, please feel free to reach out to Prof. Tina Fehlandt at fehlandt@princeton.edu.


Theater + Music Theater

group of students stand and move their bodies across floor in dark 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 September 6, 7 + 8 at 6:30 PM in the second floor theater studios at the Lewis Arts complex for Try on Theater Days! Keep an eye out for theater program workshops including fall co-curricular classes on devising theater, professional coaching, and design/production topics, along with meetings such as the BIPOC Theater Makers group.

There is no application to become a theater or music theater certificate student — all students are accepted, and you can register for the certificate online at anytime.

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

Theater Courses

An actor sings into a microphone

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/MTD 101, a mandatory course for certificate students and an introduction to many different kinds of theater making from a collaborative and multicultural perspective. View fall 2022 Theater courses. Most available courses are open enrollment via TigerHub. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: jfonseca@princeton.edu

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. First-year students who are committed to music theater are encouraged to take THR/MTD 101, a mandatory course for certificate students. View fall 2022 Music Theater courses. Questions about the program? Email Program Associate Joe Fonseca: jfonseca@princeton.edu


Visual Arts

students seated at messy tables with fabric and sewing machines

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 2022 Visual Arts courses. 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 2022 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. In this video, see the artists’ spaces and works-in-progress from last year’s Open Studios event:


Princeton Atelier

Three performers bow on stage in front of a prop window

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 and comedy writer and Princeton alum Scott Eckert ’03
  • Discover how to write original 10-minute musicals while learning from the Tony Award-winning writers of Urinetown the Musical, Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, in ATL 498
  • In ATL 499, collaborate with theater writer/director Steve Cosson and multimedia artist Jessica Mitrani on a theatrical interrogation of the book Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns

Visit the Princeton Atelier page to learn more about fall 2022 Atelier courses. Please contact Marion Young with questions: youngmf@princeton.edu.

Princeton Atelier students collaborate with composer Stew and Princeton Professor Paul Muldoon to stage a platform performance of a new rock musical, Athens, Georgia.


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


Freshman Seminars

body in blue stretched out cloth

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” with Shariffa Ali
  • FRS 102 — “Poetry in the Political & Sexual Revolution of the 1960s & 70s” with Alexander Dimitrov
  • FRS 124 — “dot dot dash – Exercises in Mark Making” with M.J. Daines
  • FRS 143 — “Is Politics a Performance” with Aaron Landsman
  • FRS 147 — “How People Change: the Short Story and Life’s Transitions” with Sheila Kohler
  • FRS 169 — “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Wisdom of Crowds” with Susanna Moore
  • FRS 174 — “Drawing Data” with Tim Szetela
  • FRS 187 — “ACTING against Oppression: Notes from the other América” with Vivia Font
  • FRS 195 — “Stillness” with Aynsley Vandenbroucke

Each Freshman Seminar requires an application. Browse all Fall 2022 Freshman Seminars and review the student application process.



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 2022-23 »


Course Spotlight: The Visible Wild

Come along with students in the spring 2022 visual arts and environmental science course, “The Visible Wild,” as they explore wildlife habitats adjacent to Princeton’s campus.


Lewis Center for the Arts programming takes place at multiple locations across the Princeton campus including the Lewis Arts complex, 185 Nassau Street, McCarter Theatre Center, and other venues.


Read or download the LCA Academic Brochure (PDF) »

Review the LCA Advising Sheet + FAQ (PDF) to learn more about certificate requirements for each program »


Sign up for our newsletter to receive a weekly email update on arts events happening at the Lewis Center. Join your fellow Tigers at over 100 performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings and lectures offered each year by the Lewis Center, most of them FREE.

Ticketed events are priced at only $10 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