The Stevenson Event Center buzzed with students from all over the UC Santa Cruz campus, united on Sept. 26 with one goal — participating in Rainbow Theater’s upcoming season.

Rainbow Theater’s 20th season auditions took place in the Stevenson Event Center, giving interested students the opportunity to meet the director of cultural arts and diversity, Don Williams, and the directors of this year’s productions and learn what exactly the student organization is all about.

Rainbow Theater president Brenda Covarrubias said talent was displayed throughout everyone’s auditions and numerous first-years came out for the chance to be a part of the theater troupe.

“I’m always blown away by all of the different talents our students have and how auditions feel like a show on its own,” Covarrubias said. “It was a very supportive environment and so many people were excited to audition and to be part of Rainbow Theater.”

Rainbow Theater was established by Don Williams, who was interested in utilizing the program to unite and represent the various cultures in our community. The members of the organization put on several productions and events throughout the year, as well as attending a five-unit class.

After over a hundred students took a number and picture to prepare for their audition, Williams explained to the many prospective members Rainbow Theatre’s main goals.

“I’m just looking for [people with] the willingness and desire to serve and showcase their talents,” Williams said.

Next, Rainbow Theater’s directors came to the stage to introduce themselves and their plays for this season. Rainbow Theater currently consists of dance group Rainbotz, a Chicano/Latino play, an Asian American play, Poets Corner and more, all directed by UCSC students. Fourth-year and Rainbotz co-director Aye Min Thant said this year will be different from others because Rainbow Theater alumni will be returning to celebrate the 20th season.

“We’re having a lot of alumni come back to see our show and to network with the students,” she said. “That will be a really cool opportunity for people to see how Rainbow has helped the students before and how it’s currently helping.”

Rainbow Theater will also be performing their first full dance show, which will incorporate contemporary, hula, hip hop, salsa and many more styles of dance together.

“We’re looking for a really good show that takes a lot of different types of dancers together and asks them to do things they’ve never done before,” Thant said.

Rainbow Theater’s dance troupe, Rainbotz, was initiated last school year. One of its founders, third-year and research production coordinator Leilani Salvador, is excited to share stories with the alumni this year.

“One thing I’m most looking forward to is getting to network with 20 years of alumni and other students who have shared similar experiences with me through Rainbow Theater,” Salvador said.

The auditions started at 7 p.m. and lasted until about 1:30 a.m, with each prospective member of Rainbow Theater giving a one to two minute audition. Salvador said this amount of interest from students shows how invested the community is with the student organization.

“We usually try to construe productions and plays that really promote cultural understanding, cultural awareness and sharing stories of marginalized communities,” she said, “so we do a lot of empowerment in the community.”


Rainbow Theater’s 20th season begins Nov. 1. Productions are free for all UCSC students and $10 for general admission. For more information on the program, go to or call the Office of Cultural Arts and Diversity at (831) 459-1861.