Drama and Theater Student Organizations

College drama organizations let students explore the world of theater – whether onstage or backstage.

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Do you have a passion for the performing arts, drama and theater? It is highly likely that your school has at least one drama and theater student organization.

Drama clubs differ from acting classes in that you are almost exclusively working on specific productions. Instead of spending time on acting exercises and classwork, you’ll be devoting yourself to rehearsals and performances.

If you’re relatively inexperienced in any facet of acting or production, look into free classes and workshops.

Each school and group has its own requirements for membership. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you do not need to be a performing arts major to join the Undergraduate Theatre Association (UTA). However, auditions might be required if you are hoping for a role in one of the groups performances.

Specialized College Theater Groups

Depending on the size of your school and interest among the student body, you may find various groups that each focuses on a specific area of the performing arts. Here are some examples…
  • The Princeton University Players (PUP) is a student-run club that performs five to six Broadway-style musicals each year.
  • Wellesley College’s Shakespeare Society performs the most celebrated and lesser-known works from the greatest playwright in the history of the English language.
  • The Stanford University Asian-American Theater Project showcases Asian-American drama productions. Membership is open to people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
  • Beyond Therapy at Kenyon College is a sketch-comedy troupe that writes and performs two shows per year.
  • The University of Southern California has an all-female theater group, the Women’s Theatre Organization (WTO). The group meets every Friday, and new members are welcome to join at any time.

This is just a short list of some of the drama clubs you’ll find in college. Check with your school to learn more about getting involved.

Drama Clubs: Tips and Tactics

  • Acting is not the only way for you to get involved with college theater. You can work on set and costume design, makeup, music, sound and lighting. Each of these areas are just as integral to the success of a production as the acting itself.
  • Be upfront with your schedule. You may not have the flexibility to take a leading role, but if you talk to the head of your theater group, you can often work out a role that fits with your schedule.
  • If you’re relatively inexperienced in any facet of acting or production, look into free classes and workshops. In addition to productions, the University of Wisconsin UTA hosts tech and production workshops to teach students about stage lighting, set design and sound.

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