Attending CMC can often feel like living in a world of jocks and athletes. To the casual observer, we’re the epitome of a sports culture. This is partly true, but we often overlook the increasingly relevant arts community, specifically theater arts. Many students, including myself, are very passionate about theater and extremely involved in the theater community on campus.
Christus Ahmanson ’16 is also one of those people. As the Vice President of Under the Lights (UTL), CMC’s only performing arts club, he knows a lot about how theater is done at CMC. UTL is the only source of theater arts directly for CMC. It’s a great club for both students who are very into theater, and those who’ve never dabbled but would like to. As an amateur theater company, UTL is focused on creating opportunities and, most of all, being entertaining. “We don’t take it easy and laugh enough [at CMC],” said Christus. “We work hard and play hard. UTL is an established, credible service for laid back entertainment.” This past weekend, on Friday and Saturday, UTL performed the Fall One Acts.
UTL, however, isn’t the only resource for theater-hungry CMC students. The Pomona Theater Department is also a wonderful source for 5C theater. David Leathers ’15 has been involved in both over the course of his college career. Leathers has participated in two UTL productions, and is currently starring in the Pomona Theater Department’s production of Spring Awakening. Comparing UTL and the Pomona Theater Department, he said UTL is “really fun because it’s a group of people that you already knew at CMC that you then learn are good at acting,” while the Pomona department is an “entirely new friend group.” Leathers is the only CMCer in the production, and he said that “the theater department at Pomona is one of the most under-utilized aspects of the consortium by CMC students.”
For students with a vision and a goal for something theater-related they would like to do, the resources available are extremely accommodating. Anoush Baghdassarian ’17 wanted to produce an original play, and found many resources for her to do so. She proposed the play to the Human Rights Center, got funding from the Elemental Arts Grant through Pomona, and was able to use UTL as a resource when she needed. “There were so many steps I had to take,” she says, “but there are so many resources, I never had to take no for an answer.”
Whether you’re new to theater and want to try it out, or an experienced individual in this field, CMC is far more accommodating than many would think. The important thing is to get the word out to the bright-eyed theater hopefuls about all of the opportunities they have. And remember to come support these individuals even if you are not a theater buff yourself! We promise we’re funny.