Performing and Literary Arts

2014 Performing and Literary Arts Students

The performing and Literary Arts Track is a cross-disciplinary program for students interested in one or more aspects of creative accomplishment.

About the Track 

Students may focus on any of the creative arts, such as creative writing (fiction, poetry, playwriting), film-making, music composition/performance, visual art, photography, acting - or any combination thereof such as visual art and writing, musical composition and writing, photography and poetry, etc. The outcome will be a completed artifact and a public performance, held on campus and open to the college community and the community-at-large.

As is true for the other tracks in the University Honors College, Performing and Literary Arts is not a major, but a distinctive set of courses that adds breadth to, and reinforces, a student's chosen major. With the approval of the Track Director, each student selects five courses to assist him/her in both the preparation of the creative project and the formal presentation thereof. Two of the five courses will be the PLA Thesis courses in the student's final year. During these two courses, the student will develop and complete his/her project.

What projects have students completed in the past?

Students in the Performing and Literary Arts Track have produced theses with the following titles:

    • Jonah Arnault, Catching the Casting Bug: A Documentary on the Rise of Casual Broadcasting, 2021
    • Ruby Constantino, The Witching Hour: A Collection of Gothic Horror Stories, 2021
    • Paul Cuffari, An Introduction to Modern Music Production, 2021
    • Matthew De Martini, Everyone But You, 2021
    • Timothy Derkas, The Search (a Short Film), 2021
    • Tiernan Doyle, Viequense: A Firsthand Account of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, 2021
    • Lauryn Lupino, Grief, Grace, and Chocolate Cake; A One-Year Memoir, 2021
    • Anthony Salimbene, Images of New Jersey, 2021
    • Christian Sasso, 9, 2021
    • Kathleen Sillen, A Collection of Moments, 2021 (co-authored)
    • Cassandra Soto, A Collection of Moments, 2021 (co-authored)
    • Kyle Villareal, Limitations in Music: Creating with the Bare Essentials, 2021
    • Julian Worden, Poems of Sorts, 2021
    • Heidi Ahmed, Framework, A Collection of Poems, 2020
    • Joela Diaz, Without Hope, What is Left?: A Discussion About Suicide, 2020
    • Kristen Ditucci, A Collection of Poems, 2020
    • Taylor Douglas, Silent Spring, 2020
    • Tyler Greengard, "Quartet," 2020
    • Zachary Guida, The Two Sides of Theater: Comedy and Tragedy, 2020
    • Katherine Martinez, Life Lessons from Around the World, 2020
    • Joseph McCaffrey, Conversations in Jazz, 2020
    • Jesse Norman, Could the Brooklyn Nets Rebuild Change the NBA?, 2020
    • James Sharkey, Collection of Short Stories, 2020
    • Joseph Zazzara, Walk Among Us, 2020
    • Abbey Zollo, All the Lonely People, 2020
    • Faith Boonstra, The Blue Side of the Pink Ribbon, 2019
    • Briseyda Bravo, You do not Choose Family, but you Choose your Path: A Fiction Novel Based on a Real-Life Story, 2019
    • Sophia Candrilli, Into Ruin, 2019
    • Mackenzie Donnelly, That Which Blooms Amidst the Caldera: A Collection of Poetry and Prose, 2019
    • Jonathan Pinon, Desiderata, 2019
    • Richard Potenza, Bag Head, 2019
    • Christina Sakelakos, Self-Reflection, 2019
    • Erika Schiller, City of Burlington Documentary, 2019
    • Michael Topping, Four Pieces of Music for Four Poems, 2019
    • Christopher Von Essen, A Collection of Comedic Sketches, 2019

How do I enroll? 

To enroll in the Performing and Literary Arts Track, contact the Interim Director, Professor Martha Witt, at (973) 720-3052 or at wittm@wpunj.edu. You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at pinkstonj@wpunj.edu. A completed track application must also be submitted to the Honors College.

About the Track Director:

As Professor of English in both the B.A. and M.F.A. programs, and as coordinator for the department's internship program, Professor Witt teaches courses in Creative Writing, Literature, Composition, Book and Magazine Editing, and Professional Writing. Professor Witt writes novels, short stories, and flash fiction, all of which have received multiple awards. Professor Witt has translated two Italian plays and a novel; two additional translations, one from French and one from Italian, are scheduled for publication in 2022. Professor Witt has received national recognition and multiple residencies for both fiction and translation, and regularly serves on the panel of judges for the International Bridge Award for Fiction.