How to navigate the Northwestern theater scene


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

A performer from a StuCo production.

Rebecca Aizin, Summer Managing Editor

Northwestern is known for having one of the best theater programs in the country, but outside of the major, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in the robust drama scene on campus. 

While each board or theater group has a different petition or audition process, all are eager to recruit freshmen in the fall. Whether you want to be involved in the cast or crew, there is a place for you at NU theater — including in unexpected roles like public relations liaisons or marketing directors. 

We included some of the most prominent theater organizations on campus to give a taste of what each opportunity may provide. Sip your throat coat, memorize your lines and get ready to audition for some of the most unique opportunities our campus has to offer. 

SIG Theater

This primarily Chinese-interest focused theater group was created for the purpose of diversifying theater at NU. They primarily service Evanston and the greater Chicago area. 


The Student Theatre Coalition consists of nine student theater groups, including Lipstick Theatre, Spectrum Theatre Company, Purple Crayon Players, Jewish Theatre Ensemble, Lovers & Madmen, Sit and Spin Productions and Wave Productions. The coalition oversees each of these groups, all of whom have different focuses, from Shakespeare’s plays to intersectional feminism. 

Freshman Musical

This theatre group is exactly how it sounds — a musical created by and for freshmen. The group is a perfect way for freshmen to immerse themselves into the theater community and make new friends. 

Ground Floor Theatre Company

This theater group prioritizes the rehearsal process and provides opportunities for all-inclusive theater. Actors of diverse backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to audition as education is a core tenet of the programming. 

Radius Theatre 

Founded in 2018, Radius Theatre is dedicated to celebrating the work of non-White artists. The group prioritizes activism-centered art and putting artists of color to the forefront. 

Seesaw Theatre 

Seesaw Theatre was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing accessible theater to people with disabilities, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder. The group goes beyond sensory-friendly performances and provides each guest with an “adventure guide” who plays with them throughout the production. 

The Dolphin Show 

As the largest student-produced musical in the country, the Dolphin Show works on one musical per year. With over 150 undergraduate cast and crew, the show puts together a Broadway level professional show, performed at the end of the year. 

The Panini Players 

Performing in the unique style of “commedia dell’arte,” a physical comedy emerging from the Italian Renaissance, the group provides commedia to NU with workshops and performances. 

The Waa-Mu Show 

As the “greatest college show in America,” according to the Associated Press, NU’s oldest musical tradition takes place in The Waa-Mu Show. Over 150 undergraduate students combine to create an original musical every year. 

Vertigo Productions 

This group is dedicated to providing solely original work, with the goal of supporting student writers. Every year they host a 10 Minute Play Festival in which students write and produce their own short plays. 

Between joining a large board like STUCO or participating in a more specialized ensemble like Seesaw Theatre, there is a place for the musical performer in you at NU. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @rebecca_aizin

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