Theater Courses


Introduction to Theater Making

THR 101 / MTD 101 · Spring 2023

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

Instructors: Aaron Landsman · Nehassaiu deGannes

Introduction to Theater Making is a working laboratory, which gives students hands-on experience with theater's fundamental building blocks — writing, design, acting, directing, and producing. Throughout the semester, students read, watch and discuss five different plays, music theater pieces and ensemble theater works.

Beginning Studies in Acting

THR 201 · Spring 2023

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM and Thursdays, 2:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Chesney Snow

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.

Introduction to Choreopoem

MTD 202 / THR 202 / AAS 205 / DAN 205 · Spring 2023

U01 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 11 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Chesney Snow

A creative performance lab that engages spoken word, storytelling, devised theatre and physical movement to explore domestic and international structures of liberation, expression, oppression, social movements, and political power.

Black Performance Theory

THR 203 / AAS 204 / DAN 203 / GSS 378 · Spring 2023

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

Instructors: Rhaisa Williams

We will explore the foundations of black performance theory, drawing from the fields of performance studies, theater, dance, and black studies. Using methods of ethnography, archival studies, and black theatrical and dance paradigms, we will learn how scholars and artists imagine, complicate, and manifest various forms of blackness across time and space. In particular, we will focus on blackness as both lived experience and as a mode of theoretical inquiry.

Body and Language

DAN 208 / THR 208 / GHP 338 · Spring 2023

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

In this studio course open to all, we will dive into experiences in which body and language meet. We'll think about these from aesthetic, cultural, political, medical, personal, and philosophical perspectives. We'll explore language from, in, around, and about (our) bodies.

Acting and Directing Workshop — Acting

THR 218 · Spring 2023

U01 · Fridays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Elena Araoz

This course develops basic acting technique which focuses on the pursuit of objectives, given circumstances, conflict, public solitude and living truthfully under imagined circumstances. Practical skills are established through scenes performed for classroom analysis.

Page to Stage

THR 226 · Spring 2023

U01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Maysoon Zayid

If no one will cast you, create a role for yourself. Maysoon Zayid's "Page to Stage" will teach you how to write your way into the spotlight. Students will be divided into three writers' rooms. Each room will pen a comedic one-act play that the writers themselves will star in. For their final, they will perform a full production of the three original vignettes in front of a live audience.

Contemporary French Theater

FRE 228 / THR 227 · Spring 2023

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

Instructors: Florent Masse

Contemporary French Theater will introduce students to the vibrant and diverse scene of contemporary theater in France. Every week we will read a new play by a celebrated or an emerging living playwright, and examine their shared topics of interest and writing styles.

Playwriting II: Intermediate Playwriting

THR 305 / CWR 309 · Spring 2023

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Nathan Davis

A continuation of work begun in Introductory Playwriting, in this class, students will complete either one full-length play or two long one-acts (40-60 pages) to the end of gaining a firmer understanding of characterization, dialogue, structure, and the playwriting process. In addition to questions of craft, an emphasis will be placed on the formation of healthy creative habits and the sharpening of critical and analytical skills through reading and responding to work of both fellow students and contemporary playwrights of note.

Introduction to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Arts

DAN 306 / GSS 367 / THR 367 · Spring 2023

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.

Mediated Lives: Caribbean and Latina Women Rewriting History and Theater

LAS 308 / THR 370 / AMS 298 / LAO 308 · Spring 2023

L01 - Lilianne Lugo Herrera · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

This class will look at the works of Latin American and Latinx women playwrights who have created works that are either adaptations of mythical Greek heroines or reinterpretations of the historical Latin American and Caribbean record. These works challenge our visions of history: they use the power of the canon to make us think about the weight of tradition, and use that weight to shatter our preconceptions of gender, race, and identity.

The Arts of Urban Transition

DAN 310 / HUM 344 / THR 323 / URB 310 · Spring 2023

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Aaron Landsman · Aaron Shkuda

This course uses texts and methods from history, theatre, performance studies, and dance to examine artists and works of art as agents of change in New York (1960-present) and contemporary "Rust Belt" cities.

Advanced French Theater Workshop

FRE 311 / THR 312 · Spring 2023

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Florent Masse

In Advanced French Theater Workshop, students will focus their work on three main French playwrights: one classical, one modern, and one contemporary. This year, students will rehearse and perform excerpts from the great works of Molière, Alfred de Musset, and Pascal Rambert.

Dance in Education: Dance/Theater Pedagogy

DAN 316 / THR 328 / HUM 317 / TPP 316 · Spring 2023

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Rebecca Stenn

Dance/Theater Pedagogy Seminar explores the connection between engaged dance and elementary school literacy, mathematics and social studies while allowing students the opportunity to be civically engaged and contribute to the community. The course combines teaching dance and movement classes to public school students from underserved communities in the Princeton region, while collectively engaging in an in-depth exploration of Dance in Education with an emphasis on recent developments in the field. Fieldwork takes place weekly at designated out-of-class times.

Modern Irish Theatre: Oscar Wilde to Martin McDonagh to Riverdance

THR 316 / ENG 217 · Spring 2023

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Fintan O'Toole

This course explores the many different ways in which the whole idea of a distinctively Irish theatre has been transformed every few decades, from Wilde and Shaw's subversions of England, to the search of Yeats and Synge for an authentic rural Ireland, to the often angry critiques of contemporary Ireland by Murphy, Friel and Carr. Plays of the Irish diaspora (O'Neill and McDonagh) are examined in this context. The course will also explore the ways in which ideas of physicality and performance, including the popular spectacle of Riverdance, have conflicted with and challenged Irish theatre's peculiar devotion to poetic language.

Sondheim’s Musicals and the Making of America

AMS 317 / MTD 321 / ENG 249 / THR 322 · Spring 2023

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Stacy Wolf

In this course, we'll examine the musicals of Stephen Sondheim from Company (1970) to Road Show (2009) as a lens onto America. We'll explore how Sondheim and his collaborators used the mainstream, popular, and commercial form of musical theatre to challenge, critique, deconstruct, and possibly reinforce some of America's most enduring myths.

Lighting Design

THR 318 / MTD 318 / VIS 318 · Spring 2023

U01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tess James

An introduction to the art and craft of lighting design for the stage and an exploration of light as a medium for expression. Students will develop an ability to observe lighting in the world and on the stage; to learn to make lighting choices based on text, space, research, and their own responses; to practice being creative, responsive and communicative under pressure and in company; to prepare well to create under pressure using the designer's visual toolbox; and to play well with others-working creatively and communicating with directors, writers, performers, fellow designers, the crew and others.

Devising for the Stage

THR 329 · Spring 2023

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Yuval Boim

A progressive journey through the art of devised theater. Students learn improvisation techniques and creation tools, which they apply while making their own pieces, both individually and in collaboration with others. This course transforms the classroom into a playful space of exploration, with the performer—their body and imagination—as a hub for theatrical innovation.

Inventing Performance

DAN 351 / THR 374 / MTD 374 · Spring 2023

C01 · Fridays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

Students from across fields who are interested in slowing down the art-making process to explore the nature of devising, developing, revising, and performing are invited to join. We'll delve into the often-intermingled roles of creator, performer, designer, technician, and audience member. This studio course culminates in student-created performances in the Roberts Theater at the end of the term.

Performance as Art

VIS 354 / DAN 354 / THR 354 · Spring 2023

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper

This studio class will explore a broad range of approaches to art-based performance: from instruction pieces and happenings, to the body as language and gesture, to performance as a form of archiving.

Dramaturgies of Care in Contemporary Performance

DAN 393 / THR 393 · Spring 2023

S01 — Jaamil Kosoko + Dahlia Li · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

We all need more care. That much is clear. As it pertains to artmaking, the imperative to incorporate systems of care and healing into the greater conversation within the frameworks of modern performance making has increased dynamically since 2020. It has become even more vital for contemporary artists to consider holistic care models as an utmost concern while creating work in the age of global crisis. But how do we practice care within performance? This seminar examines how contemporary artists and creative researchers consider dramaturgy as a radical act of care within contemporary performance practice.

Advanced Studies in Acting: Scene Study and Style

THR 401 · Spring 2023

U01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Nehassaiu deGannes

In the 20th and 21st centuries, playwrights such as Brecht, Beckett, Churchill and Jacob-Jenkins have written plays that challenged conventional notions of how theater works. This course is a scene study class in which we'll explore a variety of ways to act these plays.

Theater Making Studio

THR 402 / MTD 402 · Spring 2023

U01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jane Cox · Shariffa Ali

This theater making studio is intended to support students creating theatrical projects, at Princeton and beyond, in a time of seismic change in our field. We'll address your creative process and collaborative skills, develop inclusive practices and support your growth as visual storytellers and critical thinkers.

Creative Intellect

THR 405 / MTD 405 / GSS 414 · Spring 2023

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Brian Herrera

Creative Intellect is a collaborative workshop course designed to bridge the critical and creative dimensions of performance research.

Topics in Drama: Performing Hamlet

ENG 409 / THR 410 / HUM 409 · Spring 2023

U01 · Fridays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tamsen Wolff

This class will investigate William Shakespeare's play Hamlet through discussion and performance. Students will explore and rehearse an adaptation of the play to understand Shakespearean characters, narrative, and language, and to consider the play's resonance in the current moment.

Acting and Directing Workshop — Directing

THR 418 · Spring 2023

U01 · Fridays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Elena Araoz

Directing assignments will be created for each student, who will work with the actors in the class and whose work will be analyzed by the instructor and other members of the workshop.

Early Modern Amsterdam: Tolerant Eminence and the Arts

ENG 448 / THR 448 / HUM 448 / COM 440 · Spring 2023

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

Instructors: Nigel Smith

Inter-disciplinary class on early modern Amsterdam (1550-1720) when the city was at the center of the global economy and leading cultural center; home of Rembrandt and Spinoza (Descartes was nearby) and original figures like playwrights Bredero and Vondel, the ethicist engraver Coornhert, the political economist de la Court brothers and English traveling theater. We go from art to poetry, drama, philosophy and medicine. Spring Break is in Amsterdam with museum visits, guest talks and participation in recreation of traveling theater from the period.

Theater Rehearsal and Performance

THR 451 / MTD 451 · Spring 2023

U01 · Fridays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tess James

Taking THR 451 will involve participating in one of two focused rehearsal processes, led by faculty directors, culminating in public performances.