Theater Courses


Introduction to Theater Making

THR 101 / MTD 101 · Fall 2022

C01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Elena Araoz · Rhaisa Williams

Introduction to Theatre Making is a working laboratory, which gives students hands-on experience with theatre's fundamental building blocks - writing, design, acting, directing, and producing.

Introduction to Art Making

LCA 101 · Fall 2022

C01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Chesney Snow · Mark Doten · Ruth Ochs · Stacy Wolf · Olivier Tarpaga · Tess James

How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.

Is Politics a Performance?

FRS 143 · Fall 2022

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Aaron Landsman

At a time when national politics seems frayed at best, local government meetings remain sites of direct democracy and creative protest. Is Politics a Performance? looks at how we perform in these meetings, and who gets to play which roles. Drawing on the tools of sociology, philosophy, civics and theater, we will analyze meetings in Princeton and Trenton, and class member hometowns. Through a layered, practical and fun approach to decision-making, citizenship and dramaturgy, this class is ideal for students considering work in public policy, education, social sciences and performing arts.

ACTING Against Oppression; Notes from the other America

FRS 187 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Vivia Font

Many Latin American countries have weathered many political and social traumas—dictatorships, coups, mass violence, political disruptions, and severe economic disparities. (Sound familiar?) In this mix of undesirable ingredients, theater artists reexamined and reimagined the use of theater to challenge and criticize structures, and to empower those who have been the most oppressed. We will learn about how different theatermakers from Latin America chose to tackle social/political theater from the ‘60s to the present.

Beginning Studies in Acting

THR 201 · Fall 2022

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM Thursdays, 1:30-3:20 PM

Instructors: Vivia Font

An introduction to the craft of acting. Emphasis will be placed on honesty, spontaneity, and establishing a personal connection with the substance of the material.

Introductory Playwriting

THR 205 · Fall 2022

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Sylvia Khoury

This is a workshop in the fundamentals of writing plays. Through writing prompts, exercises, study and reflection, students will be guided in the creation of original dramatic material. Attention will be given to character, structure, dramatic action, monologue, dialogue, language and behavior.

Storytelling with Technology for Performance

THR 210 / STC 210 · Fall 2022

C01 — David Bengali + LaJuné McMillian · Mondays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: David Bengali

Telling stories through performance is human nature, but how can we use technology to enhance, frame, or reveal new perspectives on stories told? Students will learn about tools and techniques from design professionals, and will engage directly and collaboratively with technology to design experiences focused around live performance. Areas covered may include projections and multimedia, lighting, interactivity, and programming for creative applications. This class hopes to bring together students with arts and STEM backgrounds, and does not require prior experience.

French Theater Workshop

FRE 211 / THR 211 · Fall 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Florent Masse

FRE/THR 211 will offer students the opportunity to put their language skills in motion by exploring French theater and acting in French. The course will introduce students to acting techniques while allowing them to discover the richness of the French dramatic canon

Theater and the Plague

THR 220 / COM 246 / ENG 226 / GHP 320 · Fall 2022

S01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Michael Cadden

Theater relies on the physical and emotional vulnerability of live bodies to experience the pity andterror that plague, war, systemic injustice, and more ordinary forms of disease and death inflict. As we face the twin pandemics of our own time, what can "plague drama" (prompted by outbreaks of typhus, bubonic plague, cholera, AIDS, etc.) tell us about how writers use literal and metaphorical diseases to give shape to a given cultural moment? We'll look at a wide variety mostly theatrical texts to explore how playwrights use the medium of the theater to literally embody and thus make visible physical, social, and metaphysical "dis-ease".


DAN 221 / THR 222 · Fall 2022

U01 · Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:20 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

In a universe filled with movement, how and why and where might we find relative stillness? What are the unique aesthetic, political, and daily life possibilities while school as we know it is on pause? We’ll dance, sit, question, and create practices and projects. We’ll play with movement within stillness, stillness within movement, stillness in performance and in performers' minds. We’ll look at stillness as protest and power. We’ll wonder when stillness might be an abdication of responsibility. We'll read widely within religions, philosophy, performance, disability studies, social justice, visual art, sound (and silence).

Brujería is (not) Witchcraft: Religiosity, Power, and Performance in LatAm and Caribbean Imagination

LAS 228 / THR 233 / SPA 244 / REL 204 · Fall 2022

L01 · Mondays + Wednesdays, 1:30-2:50 PM

Instructors: Staff

This course explores Latin American and Caribbean culture and its connections with Europe and Africa through references to witches, witchcraft, and other forms of religion and power exercised by women, including practices from Santería, Palo Monte and other Afro-Caribbean religions. With a wide lens on how many women and queer bodies have been considered deviants, dangerous, and deemed punishable, this class will look at how colonialism and its aftermath shaped discourses around religion in the Americas, and how legal documents, visual arts, film, novels, and theater, have represented and contested those discourses and bodies.

Introduction to Irish Studies

ENG 228 / THR 228 · Fall 2022

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Fintan O'Toole

This interdisciplinary 200-level course offers a broad introduction to the study of Irish literature, history and culture.

Message in a Bottle

THR 231 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Maysoon Zayid

Messaging is an art and most people are bad at it. Maysoon is here to teach you how to effectively amplify your message using social media, written word, and public appearances as well as how to do damage control. Students will participate in panels, mock interviews, and will design their own podcast. They will develop a 7 minute talk on their message that will be performed in front of a live Princeton audience.

Shakespearean Hip Hop

MTD 232 / THR 232 · Fall 2022

U01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Chesney Snow

Was the Bard the original master of ceremony straight out of Stratford-upon-Avon? This performance laboratory explores the intersection of Shakespeare's language and plays with the culture, style, and artistry of Hip Hop. Students will use performance alongside an examination of the art, storytelling, and poetry of Hip Hop's greatest artists to develop a unique and immersive understanding of Shakespeare's greatest hits.

Introduction to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Arts

DAN 306 / GSS 367 / THR 367 · Fall 2022

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez

Disability is front and center in a global social justice revolution. But who are the disabled artists and ideas behind this movement? How can we embrace Radical Accessibility and Care in our daily artistic practices? This course invites all artists, from choreographers to theater makers, film makers, visual artists, writers and composers to immerse in a highly collaborative, improvisational, experimental and inclusive community to explore Disability Justice as a framework for creative, dramaturgical and curatorial practices.

Shakespeare: Toward Hamlet

ENG 320 / THR 310 · Fall 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Bradin Cormack

The first half of Shakespeare's career, with a focus on the great comedies and histories of the 1590s, culminating in a study of Hamlet.


MTD 335 / THR 335 / MUS 303 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays, 7:30-10:20 PM

Instructors: John Doyle

This is a workshop based class for those interested in multi-skilled performance and in how performance skills can illuminate new forms of theatre making.

Casting: History, Theory, Practice

THR 339 / AMS 439 / GSS 349 · Fall 2022

S01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Brian Herrera

This course surveys the history, theory and practice of casting within U.S. entertainment industries over the last 150 years to evince the creative, industrial and social features of the always-evolving casting apparatus.

American Musical Theatre: History and Practice

MTD 348 / THR 348 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: John Doyle

This course will explore the history and practice of musical theatre. Starting with the American musical's roots in minstrelsy and burlesque, the class will continue with Show Boat, the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, and contemporary shows.

Black Dramatists in the English-Speaking World

ENG 354 / THR 351 / AAS 354 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays, 7:30-10:20 PM

Instructors: Nathan Davis

This course will survey plays written by Black playwrights in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will explore dramatic works of writers from Africa, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Plays and Films of Martin McDonagh

THR 359 / ENG 447 · Fall 2022

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 pm

Instructors: Fintan O'Toole

We explore McDonagh's extreme imagination, its roots in Irish Gothic, Grand Guignol, the Grimm Brothers, Antonin Artaud and the theatre of the absurd and its uncomfortable use of race and disability.

Race in French Theater

FRE 390 / THR 390 · Fall 2022

C01 · Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Florent Masse

Race in French Theater will investigate the question of race and diversity on the French stages. We will study efforts made in recent years to diversify representations both on stage and in the audience, and examine the concrete steps taken by major institutions, subsidized national theaters, festivals, drama schools, and commercial theaters. We will compare similar current undertakings in the world of dance and at the Paris Opera, and broaden the scope of our inquiries by looking at representation and inclusion in French cinema.

Films about the Theater

THR 391 / COM 391 / VIS 391 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Michael Cadden

Some of the best movies ever made focus on the how and why of theatermaking. This course will focus on five classics of Global Cinema that deploy filmic means to explore how theaters around the world have wrestled with artistic, existential, moral, cultural, and professional issues equally central to any serious consideration of moviemaking.

In Living Color: Performing the Black ’90s

THR 392 / AMS 350 / GSS 392 / AAS 347 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-2:50 PM

Instructors: Rhaisa Williams

From Cross Colours to boom boxes, the 1990s was loud and colorful. But alongside the fun, black people in the U.S. dealt with heightened criminalization and poverty codified through the War on Drugs, welfare reform, HIV/AIDS, and police brutality. We will study the various cultural productions of black performers and consumers as they navigated the social and political landscapes of the 1990s. We will examine works growing out of music, televisual media, fashion, and public policy, using theories from performance and cultural studies to understand the specificities of blackness, gender, class, and sexuality.

Theatrical Design Studio

THR 400 / MTD 400 / VIS 400 · Fall 2022

C01 · Fridays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Lawrence Moten · Sarita Fellows · Tess James

This course offers an exploration of visual storytelling, combined with a grounding in the practical, communicative, collaborative and anti-racist skills necessary to create physical environments for live theater making. Students are mentored as designers, directors or creators (often in teams) on realized projects for the theater program season. Individualized class plans allow students to design for realized productions, to imagine physical environments for un-realized productions, or to explore contemporary visualization techniques, depending on their area of interest, experience and skill level.

Baby Wants Candy: Creating Comedy for Television

ATL 494 / CWR 494 / THR 494 · Fall 2022

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Al Samuels · Scott Eckert

In this course, led by critically acclaimed comedy writer Albert Samuels, students will participate in the in-process television pitch used by Samuels' cutting-edge improvisation group, Baby Wants Candy, including finalizing concept and script and developing a strong pitch. Students will also work with and be mentored by guest artists and will develop their own original television concepts both in teams and individually, and also create shorter material - e.g., desk bits for late night shows, online content, etc.

Sex Variants

ATL 499 / GSS 499 / THR 499 · Fall 2022

C01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jessica Mitrani · Steve Cosson

Theater writer/director Steve Cosson and multimedia artist Jessica Mitrani collaborate with students on a theatrical interrogation of the book "Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns." The book features interviews with LGBTQ+ individuals in the 1930's. The class is a creative deep dive into these autobiographical accounts, manifesting strategies to adapt the text into performance, with close consideration of narrative; staging, acting/representation; design elements including video; music; etc., as well as how this historical material can be contextualized for the present. The class culminates in a collaborative workshop performance.