What is CAD?

The Cultural Arts and Diversity Resource Center (CAD) is a creative space for multicultural theater at UC Santa Cruz. In addition to housing both the African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT) and Rainbow Theater, CAD hosts lectures, workshops, and classes introducing students to multicultural productions. The director of CAD, Don Williams, pioneered AATAT in 1991, and has been the producer of Rainbow Theater for almost 28 years. 

CAD conducts both on campus and off campus outreach, with members of theater arts programs traveling to high schools across the Bay Area and Los Angeles encouraging underrepresented students to find their voice through theater and pursuing higher education. On campus, CAD strives to give back to its members through scholarship opportunities. Over the past 30 years, AATAT has given out $100,000 in scholarships, with hopes to continue growing African American representation on campus.

An illustration of computer windows displaying various logos and scenes.
Illustration by Jordan Moore.

Rainbow Theater:

Founded in 1993, Rainbow Theater was created to bring all cultures and communities to center stage at UCSC. Rainbow Theater holds to this mission by fostering a body of cultural unity in providing various artistic outlets for UCSC students.

The workshops hosted by Rainbow Theater provide students with education in elements of theater arts, various acting methods, and how the theater impacts cultural awareness. 

In spring 2021, Rainbow Theater hosted its first virtual production over the course of two weekends with four plays. 

You can read more about the Rainbow Theater spring productions here


As the only African American theater arts troupe within the UC system, AATAT brings to stage a distinct voice of UCSC’s campus. AATAT mission is to directly affect the quality of life of African American students. To achieve this goal, AATAT casts students from different backgrounds and experience levels, accepting both beginners and people from outside the UCSC community. 

AATAT shifted celebrations and productions to an online format over the course of the year. In winter 2021, AATAT shared their 30th anniversary party with members of the campus community with an online gala featuring prominent playwrights and alumni of Black Theater such as Woodie King Jr. and Niketa Calame. 

Their most recent production, “School Girls; or, The African American Mean Girls Play” aired online in winter of 2021 through Zoom.