The Department of Dance and Theatre
Visit the official website of the Theatre and Dance Department
Recent Theatre Productions
- Stand and Deliver (Ramon Menendez and Tom Musca)
- Krunk Fu Battle Battle (Qui Nguyen)
- Kindertransport (Diane Samuels)
- A Doll House (Henrik Ibsen)
- Frozen (Bryony Lavery)
- There’s One in Every Marriage (Georges Feydeau)
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rebecca Feldman and William Finn)
- Othello (Shakespeare)
- Zoot Suit (Luis Valdez)
The Pomona College Theatre Department for The Claremont Colleges is the only five-college theatre department in the country. It continues a lively tradition of studying and producing world theatre. All students, regardless of major, may participate as performers, playwrights, designers, dramaturges, backstage crew, directors and/or audience members.
Curriculum for theatre majors and minors includes the study of theatre history and dramatic literature; performance; and design and technology. A regular schedule of student- and faculty-directed plays and one-acts is presented throughout the year, and each semester, students present senior projects in which they are involved as actor, director, designer or playwright. All productions provide opportunities for students to work behind the scenes as well as on stage, and there are work-study opportunities in the box office, Theatre Department office, costume shop, prop shop, scene shop and library.
Surrounding a beautifully landscaped courtyard, the award-winning Byron Dick Seaver Theatre Complex houses a 335-seat thrust-proscenium theatre, the 100-seat Virginia Princehouse Allen “black box” theatre, and two performance-ready studio classrooms. The main theatre was designed to enable audience-actor integration with runways, overhead galleries and adaptable caliper stages for flexibility. Performance facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, sound and projection equipment.
A design studio, smart classroom, scene shop, costume shop, recording studio, makeup and dressing rooms, greenroom, offices and a well-stocked theatre library complete the Seaver Theatre Complex. Built in 1990, the building received an award of merit in 1995 from the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology, which noted its handsome courtyard and flexible, non-intimidating teaching spaces, inside and out.
Opportunities in Southern California
Pomona College’s proximity to Los Angeles creates countless opportunities to engage with theater, TV and film production. Los Angeles offers world-class theater-going opportunities, from national productions at the Ahmanson Theater and Mark Taper Forum to original and experimental theatrical works at smaller venues to improv groups like the Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City Los Angeles.
Being near Hollywood, the world’s filmmaking capital provides unique opportunities for internships, field trips, and guest artists and speakers at the College. The entertainment field is full of alumni connections, too – the Claremont Entertainment Mafia keeps everyone in contact through an active LinkedIn and Facebook groups and networking events.
Community Engagement Through Theater
The Pomona College Department of Theatre has a long history of working with the community, from professors like Betty Bernhard working abroad in India on social theater work to providing educational opportunities to local schools. When applicable, students from local schools have been invited to campus to see plays like Zoot Suit and Stand and Deliver, provided educational materials, and led in discussions about the works.
Theatre for Young Audiences is a collaboration between the Department of Theater & Dance, Fremont Academy for Engineering and Design, and The Draper Center for Community Partnerships wherein both Pomona College students and local middle school students engage with and learn from one another through theater.
Pomona College students spend one month of skill building in this for-credit class, and then spend one session each week at Fremont Academy working with middle school students. The Fremont students not only perform in the production, but are instrumental in the creation of the piece. The play is created with their writing, which highlights their lived experiences around the chosen theme. The Fremont students also make decisions about staging, acting, costume design, and general production needs. Pomona students develop theater literacy, mentorship and teaching skills, and are involved in every aspect of the middle school sessions and the final production at Pomona College. They co-create curriculum, lead activities and small discussion groups, and support the creation and performance of the production.
The Claremont School of Theatre Arts, a collaborative effort between Pomona and local nonprofit The Curtain Raisers of the Claremont Colleges, offers students entering grades 6-9 the opportunity to study theatre during the summer for five weeks, concluding with a public production. Over the years, participants have enjoyed classes as varied as voice training, scene study, improv and mime, as well as the unique opportunity to learn and perform in our professional theatre spaces.
10-Minute Play Festival
The 10-Minute Play Festival is a lively event that has been running for more than five years and draws in students from all five undergraduate Claremont Colleges (5Cs). Each year, a call for play entries based on a particular theme is put out to students, staff and faculty of the 5Cs. Past themes include songs and Elemental Arts initiative themes like water and earth. Five plays are selected and then produced by student directors and actors. The plays are presented during Family Weekend.
Outside the Classroom
As with most disciplines at Pomona College, there are varied opportunities to engage with theater through extracurricular activities. Student theater and performance organizations include 5C Late Night Stand-Up Comedy, the Bottom Line Theater and Without a Box (improve and experimental theater).