The theater arts community at UC Santa Cruz is alive and thriving, with multiple shows being produced and performed throughout the quarter — many going on simultaneously in different venues. “On the Hill” productions are shows that are put up on the three stages in the theatre arts department — Mainstage, Experimental Theater and Second Stage. These are the main productions made with the help of faculty, a larger budget and the main production shops, such as costumes, props and scenic.
Behind these productions, there are many people involved in the process of creating and putting on a production. The director is generally in charge of the artistic vision for the production they plan to direct — and delegates these visions to their artistic team — which is made up of costumes, props, scenic, lighting, sound and media. Stage managers are also an integral part of the production process — they assist the director with rehearsals, act as a messenger between the various teams involved and coordinate all aspects of the show to ensure a successful run. Once a show is opened to the public, front of house coordinates with the stage managers to organize a streamlined season, along with the cast and crew.
In addition to these productions, there is a plethora of student organizations within the theater arts community. African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT) is a student-based organization, under the leadership and direction of Don Williams, that seeks to unify and create visibility of the African American culture here at UCSC. AATAT gives students from different backgrounds and experiences a chance to be involved with the program. Barnstorm is another student-run organization and production company that gives students the opportunity to produce original work, well-known works, one-nighters, dance shows, improv shows and more, as a venue to explore and develop as artists alongside other students with similar goals.
UCSC offers students many opportunities to create, produce and perform, allowing both a flourishing community and program to exist.