Program in Theater
- Jane F. Cox
- Michael W. Cadden, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Jane F. Cox, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Su Friedrich, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Aleksandar Hemon, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Brian E. Herrera, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Jhumpa Lahiri, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Yiyun Li, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Susan S. Marshall, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Moon Molson, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Paul B. Muldoon, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Kirstin Valdez Quade, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Joe Scanlan, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Susan Wheeler, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Jeffrey Whetstone, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Rhaisa Williams, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Stacy E. Wolf, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Will Davis, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Martha Friedman, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Rebecca J. Lazier, Lewis Center for the Arts
- Maysoon Zayid, Lewis Center for the Arts
Sits with Committee
- Shariffa Ali
- Elena Araoz
- Stacy E. Wolf
- Brian E. Herrera
Professor of the Practice
- Jane F. Cox
- Michael W. Cadden
- Shariffa Ali
- Elena Araoz
- David Bengali
- Yuval Boim
- Nathan A. Davis
- Sarita Fellows
- Vivia Font
- Tess James
- Sonoko Kawahara
- Aaron Landsman
- LaJuné D. McMillian
- Lawrence Moten
- Nehassaiu deGannes
Visiting Lecturer with Rank of Professor
- John M. Doyle
We hope to investigate questions about ourselves, others, and the events and systems that affect us all, through the imaginative and collaborative medium of theater. We center the making of theater through scholarly and embodied exploration and study with world class scholars and artists. We encourage students to explore theater from a liberal arts perspective - as a key component of world cultures, and as a genre that shapes and is shaped by history, economics, politics, and technology.
The program offers courses in many forms of writing, performance, directing, design, dramaturgy, performance history, theory and criticism. Visiting guest artists offer workshops and co-curricular classes, participate in theatrical explorations, and join students in conversation. In conjunction with music theater, we offer a season of theatrical productions and explorations for all students to participate in, produced in collaboration with professional artists and craftspeople. Our season operates on the principle that rigorous artistic practice is a form of research, innovation, discovery and intervention.
Most program courses are open and welcoming to all undergraduates interested in exploring theater at any level. The program also offers courses and co-curricular activities that will allow a student to move into graduate education to pursue advanced training. Certificate students come from the full range of concentrations the University has to offer.
Admission to the Program
The theater program is open to all students who are committed to theater practice and/or scholarship. Students may begin taking courses towards a certificate and fulfilling student show support requirements during their first year at Princeton. There is no application to become a certificate student — all students are accepted into the Program in Theater, and register for the certificate online. Students wishing to propose a realized theatrical project for the theater and music theater season are strongly encouraged to take the junior methods seminar during their junior year.
Program of Study
Requirements for the Certificate in Theater:
A total of five courses in the Program in Theater or crosslisted with the Program in Theater. For students in the class of 2025 and beyond, one of these courses must be THR 101, Introduction to Theater Making. Participation in THR 451 for credit can count towards the theater certificate only once. Students who wish to propose a realized theatrical project for our student driven theater season are strongly encouraged to participate in THR 402, a collaborative methods seminar focused around the process of making theater during their junior year. Various other departments offer courses in dramatic literature and history that are crosslisted with the Program in Theater. A list of such courses may be found on the theater program website. Please direct questions about courses to Joe Fonseca or Jane Cox. (Note: certain applicable courses taken to satisfy requirements for the Music Theater certificate can also be used to satisfy requirements for the Theater certificate)
2) Senior Independent work:
This work might take the form of a studio project, such as the writing of original theatrical work, the direction of a production, the performance or extended exploration of a large role, the design or dramaturgy of a production, or any other theatrical undertaking in the creation or production of theater, under the supervision of our faculty and professional staff, either in our senior year season, independently, or in conjunction with another campus-producing organization. Projects in the theater and music theater program season should fulfill the requirements of creative research - bringing new ideas and contexts to theater-making and taking intellectual and creative risks.
Students who wish to propose a realized project as part of the theater program season, using theater program equipment, space and/or staff, are strongly encouraged to participate in our collaborative methods seminar, THR 402, during their junior year, and are expected to participate in a research process that begins in the fall of the junior year. Please reach out to Jane Cox, Stacy Wolf or Elena Araoz for more information about proposing a realized project for our season. Not all student proposals can be accepted into the season.
Students who elect not to propose a realized project to the Theater Program’s season can complete senior independent work in two ways. One is by writing, acting, designing, directing, stage managing or participating in a project in the theater and music theater season that has been chosen by other students or by the program. The other is by proposing an academic theatrical exploration, independent performance studies project or any other project (such as writing original work that you do not expect to be performed) that does not require the use of theater program staff, space, or equipment.
If a student is working towards completing certificates in both theater and music theater, they should focus their senior year independent work on one theatrical project in which they take a significant leadership role, and fulfill the needs of the other certificate in a different way. Students taking both certificates may only propose one project for our season. Many students are able to combine their thesis for their major with senior year independent work in theater.
3) Student Show Support Requirement:
All students hoping to get a theater and/or music theater certificate must complete the Student Show Support Requirement (formerly known as tech credits) by supporting two program shows in a non-performance capacity. Students who would like to propose a realized theatrical project for their senior year independent work must have completed at least one of their student show support requirements prior to the proposal deadline, usually early March in the junior year, and have a plan to complete all of the requirements prior to the end of their junior year. Through supporting two theater program projects, you will get to know our students, our staff, our venues and our practices, and become a more well-rounded and educated member of our community. For more information about the Student Show Support Requirement, please reach out to Production Stage Manager Carmelita Becnel.
(Note: students also earning the certificate in Music Theater only need to fulfill one set of Student Show Support requirements)
4) Community meetings and events:
Given that collaboration is at the heart of theater making, a successful theatrical education has to be rooted in an engaged community. At the start of each academic year, students will be required to attend a meeting of all theater and music theater certificate students. In addition, the theater program will require very occasional certificate student attendance at workshops aimed at supporting our ability to create art in a collaborative manner and at informational meetings. Each year, the theater program hosts, produces or presents a variety of theatrical events and symposia; certificate students are expected to participate in or attend at least one significant theatrical event in each of their junior and senior years. The theater program also provides a wide array of workshops, events and trips to the theater for our certificate students.
Certificate of Proficiency
Students who fulfill the above requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in theater upon graduation.
Theater and Music Theater Season:
The Lewis Center for the Arts operates on the principle that rigorous artistic practice is a form of research, innovation, discovery and intervention. The Program in Theater and Music Theater’s season exists to support our students’ artistic practice. We hope to investigate questions about ourselves, others, and the events and systems that affect us all, through the embodied, imaginative and collaborative medium of theater. We strive to interrogate accepted wisdom and explore the underknown in order to better understand our shared humanity, to engage each other in dialog, and to expand knowledge in the theater field. We seek for our theatrical research to be in service of a more caring, just and sustainable world.