Student-led theatre at the 5Cs

Theatre at the Claremont Colleges takes many forms, to the point where it can be difficult to keep track of all of the different types of theatrical opportunities! There are improv groups, theatre festivals, and Pomona Theatre Department-run productions — but my personal favorite are the student-led opportunities that are available to students of the Claremont Colleges.

There are a couple of different ways to engage in student-led theatre. The most obvious (and likely the most common) way to get involved in student-led theatre is to join one of the student-led theatre groups on campus. The largest of those groups are the Green Room, Spotlight Musical Theatre, and Under the Lights, all of which are open to students at all of the Claremont Colleges regardless of their major or minor. The Green Room puts on 1-2 productions each semester and is often in charge of various exciting theatre festivals, like the Short Play Festival and 24-Hour Play Festival!

Spotlight Musical Theatre is the student-run musical theatre group on campus, which I am a board member of! Spotlight focuses on musical productions specifically, and puts up 1-3 musical productions and/or revues each semester. A lot of our theatre is student written as well, which is really exciting for our community! For example, last semester I was able to put on a jukebox musical that I wrote! 

Finally there is Under the Lights, a group that was formed initially at CMC that now welcomes students from all of the colleges. Under the Lights often does one acts or series of one acts performed together. Because of these multiple smaller performances, there are often plenty of people involved in the different productions!

Outside of involving oneself with one of the productions led by students, there are two other major options. One is to be involved in senior theses. Theatre majors will often create senior thesis projects that exist outside of different theatre groups, and these productions will often take a subversive approach to theatre to represent the specific interests of that senior. The final major option, and the one that I feel can be the most exciting, is to propose a project to a theatre group or to the Pomona theatre department and put it on yourself! As long as there’s space for you, you can put anything on you want!

Regardless of where you get involved, going to Scripps means having access to so many creative individuals and so many unique theatre opportunities. Being a part of student-led theatre is especially fun due to its more independent nature, as well as the understanding and unique opportunities for techniques that come from working with peers. It’s hard to go wrong!