Rainbow Theatre will present six works directed or written by students this November as the troupe heads into its 14th season at UCSC.

Founded by Don Williams, director of Cultural Arts and Diversity for the Student Affairs Division, Rainbow Theatre is on a mission to create a greater understanding of the different cultures that make up the campus community.

"By giving students an opportunity to experience new literature and materials from other cultures through lectures and productions, Rainbow Theatre serves to enhance the cultural climate of UCSC," said Williams. "Our mission is to foster a spirit of unity by breaking down cultural walls, providing an outlet for creative talents of various ethnic groups, and focusing on the concerns of our communities."

Rainbow Theatre is both a class and a company of 115 students. Members may participate by writing, acting, directing, or producing, as well as working on sound, props, lighting and costumes for the annual productions. In class, they choose the plays and learn about the historical context of each work.

"We motivate students by giving them a better understanding of various cultures," said Williams. "For example, a lot of students don't know about the Japanese internment camps that were created after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. So we are doing a play about that, and we had a guest come to class who was actually in one of the camps and could give the students a personal sense of history."

Williams added that this year Rainbow Theatre has for the first time organized its own outreach group to perform off campus. Made up of 14 students, the group will perform a mix of spoken word, songs, and vignettes about life issues and political trends.

The 2007 fall shows include:

Chicano/Latino Production

Directed by Karla Flores and Yvonne Franklin

Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and Other Superhero Girls Like Me

By Luis Alfaro

Several beauties blossom on the streets of East Los Angeles as the playwright follows the journey of five young women as they struggle with pressing issues that arise in their lives. As they mature, all the wonders they fly through bring these girls together and empower them. These women bring the diverse community of East L.A. to the rest of the world through their message of sadness and strength.

Asian American Production

Directed by Quincy Surasmith and Rachel Bennish

12-1-A

By Wakako Yamauchi

Wakako Yamauchi's 12-1-A is a beautiful and poetic story of the Tanaka family's endurance, and identity, as seen through the context of day-to-day life. The Tanaka family, whose experiences mirror Yamauchi's own, is forcibly removed from its home and sent to an internment camp at the beginning of the U.S. entry into World War II. The family is sequestered alongside 120,000 other Japanese and Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States. Living in the barrack for which the play is named, the Tanakas deal with questions of loyalty, citizenship, rights, and their relationship to the United States and to each other. While the war continues and their futures remain uncertain, the Tanaka family members struggle to stay together, unsure of whether they will ever experience freedom once more.

African American Production

Directed by Lisa Evans and Antonio Glass

Taking of Miss Janie

By Ed Bullins

The Taking of Ms. Janie examines interracial relationships of the 1960s and '70s--one of the most socially turbulent times in American history. This era was a time of massive social change, and this play strives to discuss how the ideas, culture, and beliefs of the times affect the way blacks and whites interact, both romantically and socially.

Poets Corner

Directed by Sampada Aranke and Charley Fierro

By members of Poets Corner

A collective consisting of writers, dancers, singers, and artists who work together to write and create a showcase based on each member's own personal story. Because of the unique nature of Poets Corner, each year the final showcase depicts a different aspect of our multicultural community.

The Fifth Element

Directed by Valerie Gibbins and Zury Ruiz

Twilight

By Anna Deavere Smith

In 1992, a verdict was announced that acquitted four LAPD officers of the violent beating of an African American man, Rodney King. This sparked a series of events that have brought to light prejudices within the judicial system of Los Angeles and the nation. Twilight is a compilation of monologues derived from interviews with various people involved in the riots incited by the verdict. These monologues range from first-hand accounts to public speeches, each contributing to the depiction of the turmoil felt by the city of Los Angeles and the greater nation.

Community Outreach

Directed by Irlanda Pulido & Pedro Rivas

En La Tiendita

By Pedro Rivas

A play telling a story of untold stories seeking the impossible. The world of this play is enchanted with spirits and a metaphysical touch that spice up the internal thoughts and emotions of the characters. Guadalupe, an immigrant, is guided by spirits and an the ingrained faith of his ancestors in the quest of a "better" life.

PERFORMANCE DATES

Program A: Superhero Girls and The Taking of Miss Janie

--November 1 and 3 @ the Stevenson Event Center, 8 p.m.

--November 9 @ Santa Cruz High Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Program B: 12-1-A and Poets Corner

--November 2 and 4 @ the Stevenson Event Center, 8 p.m.

--November 10 @ Santa Cruz High Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Program C: Twilight

--November 16 and 17 @ the Stevenson Event Center, 8 p.m.

Program D: En la Tiendita

--TBA, Outreach Show

Tickets for all of the performances are $10 Adults, $7 Students w/ID, available at the door. For more information, contact Don Williams at (831) 459-1861, dwilliam@ucsc.edu, or rainbowtheatre@gmail.com.