The Program in Theater, part of the Lewis Center for the Arts, allows students to work with professional artists and critics, as well as with scholars in the area of performance studies, to familiarize themselves with the nature of practical work in theater and the role theater has played and continues to play in various cultures at various times. The program offers courses in playwriting, acting, directing, design, dramaturgy, performance history, and criticism. The program also offers a full season of theatrical productions, under the supervision of professional artists and technicians, in order to allow students to bring the kinds of talents they develop in class to a wider audience. Visiting guest artists often offer workshops in their specialties, as well as directing students in productions or designing program shows. Program courses are open to all undergraduates interested in exploring the art of theater, but the program also offers the kinds of courses and co-curricular activities that will allow the student, upon graduation, to move into the best graduate conservatories to pursue advanced training.
Students looking for an opportunity to incorporate their theatrical studies into their concentrations might want to consider the Theater and Performance Studies track in the Department of English or Area D in the Department of Comparative Literature, but certificate students usually come from the full range of concentrations the University has to offer.
Courses are open to students pursuing work in any department, whether or not the student plans to earn the certificate. Introductory courses in the program, whether at the 200 or 300 level, usually have no prerequisites and fulfill the distribution requirement in Literature and the Arts (LA). Other 300- or 400-level courses require applications and/or interviews. 200-level course have Pass/D/Fail option; all other courses in the program are letter-graded.
Students with a particular interest in and commitment to theater may want to obtain the program certificate. Believing that the best training for a career in the theater is a broad-based liberal arts education, Princeton does not have a concentration in theater. Instead, the certificate program encourages students, should they have the inclination, to make connections in their artistic work between their fields of concentration and their love of the theater. Normally, students apply to become a certificate student in the spring of their sophomore year, but applications are accepted through the spring of the junior year.
To obtain a certificate in theater, students must successfully complete:
(1) Four practical courses chosen from offerings in acting, directing, playwriting, design, dramaturgy, and criticism.
(2) One course in dramatic literature or performance history and criticism.
(3) Some kind of independent work in the junior or senior year. This work might take the form of a practical project, such as the direction of a major production, the study and performance of a major role, the writing of a play, or the design of a production, under the supervision of our faculty and professional staff. If the student's department permits, he or she might choose to complete one part of the departmental independent work (senior thesis or one junior paper) on a topic approved by the Program in Theater faculty dealing with some facet of theater in relation to that department's subject matter. This independent work could take the form of a textual, cultural, or theoretical study; or it may be a combination of research and practical work supervised by the program faculty and the student's department.
(4) A certain number of hours of technical work on theater productions staged by the program.
Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in theater upon graduation. Theater Program Certificate Form - https://lca.sharefile.com/d/s434d57720094f2fa
Advanced Creative Work. The Program in Theater offers certificate students with the appropriate course background the opportunity to do advanced creative work under the supervision of its faculty and staff. This work usually takes the form of a practical project, such as the writing of a play, the direction or design of a major production, or the study and performance of a major role. These projects may be pursued as extracurricular activities, or, as is more regularly the case, they may be used to fulfill the requirement for independent work in the certificate program. With permission of the student's department of concentration, such projects may also satisfy one of the requirements for independent work in the department, in which case it must consist of or be accompanied by written work, such as a scholarly or critical evaluation.
Related Courses. Various departments offer courses in dramatic literature, many in English and some in foreign languages. A list of such courses may be found on the program website. Additional topics are taught in seminars whose titles change yearly. For current descriptions, see listings under the appropriate departments.