By Arianna Puopolo
Campus News Co-Editor

Rainbow Theater is the off-Broadway of UC Santa Cruz.

And this Friday, the curtain will open on the New York City-inspired play written by UCSC alumnus Edy McWilliams.

For 15 years, Rainbow Theater has written, directed and produced plays independent of the campus theater arts department. Every fall, the theater troupe puts on a show series of five plays.

This year the final play — the “fifth element,” as Rainbow calls it — is McWilliams’ brainchild. The UCSC alumnus wrote the script for “The Underground,” which depicts racial discrimination and the socioeconomic divide in NYC, all from the perspective of subway commuters.

The performance is delivered as a free-form, rhythmic poem with flashes of a cappella singing and dancing.

In anticipation of the opening night, Rainbow Theater is flying McWilliams out to Santa Cruz to view the show.

Don Williams, director of cultural arts and diversity for the Student Affairs Division, founded Rainbow Theater a decade and a half ago to promote awareness and cultural diversity at UCSC.

Today, Rainbow Theater continues to produce plays that discuss social issues in today’s society. “The Underground” exemplifies this with a well-done and moving performance.