Northwestern’s only multicultural theatre board launches with a colorful mission


Rebecca Shaid/The Daily Northwestern

VC2 executive board members hosted information sessions this week for prospective members.

Ashton Goren, Reporter

On a late evening during Fall Quarter, a group of freshman theatre majors sat in the hanging egg chairs of Shepard Hall’s basement, sharing their experiences as students of color at Northwestern. By the end of the night, they imagined creating a theatre organization dedicated to multicultural productions.

Several months later, these students are bringing their vision to life.

Vibrant Colors Collective, the University’s only multicultural theatre board on campus, aims to highlight underrepresented stories and provide a creative space for students of color.

Communication freshman Ferdinand Moscat said he looks forward to VC2’s celebration of diversity through storytelling. 

“We are excited to explore how this group can act as a response to the fact that we are at a predominantly white institution and that we are marginalized theatremakers,” Moscat said. “A lot of times (when) you enter a rehearsal space, there’s this implicit expectation for you to whitewash yourself.”

VC2 recently hosted two informational nights to spread the word about their mission on campus. They plan to organize bonding events this quarter where prospective members can participate.

During the second information session Monday night, students on the executive board said VC2 prioritizes its community first. Communication freshman Sam Hernandez said VC2 is a safe space for students of color to share their stories.

Unlike other theatre groups, VC2 will appoint board members dedicated to social events and bonding activities. Some team members will manage productions and fundraising initiatives while others will spend more time building community.

School of Communication Prof. Henry Godinez, chair of the theater department and faculty advisor for VC2, said collaboration with artists of color has been central to his work as a director and theatremaker. He said he was thrilled to be approached by the VC2 founders.

“There are stories that need to be told in order to see the common threads that we share as human beings,” Godinez said. “Right now, they are not being told with the compassion and urgency that this theater company is going to be able to tell them.”

Next year, VC2’s anticipated season includes a fall open mic, a fully produced winter cabaret and a spring show in Shanley Pavilion. Communication freshman Nathan Hiykel is one of VC2’s co-artistic directors, and he said he is looking forward to creating process-driven productions.

“Our organization is trying to change the theatre landscape in the sense that theatre right now is very product-driven,” Hiykel said. “We want to be a place where people can have fun and be creative throughout the process and not worry about the product being perfect.”

VC2 is still building its foundations. The group has successfully received funding from the Student Organization Finance Office, but it is still trying to join the Student Theater Coalition. StuCo currently includes nine theatre boards, and it is the primary body of student theatre on campus.

Communication freshman Yuni Mora said she is excited for VC2 to officially join StuCo. The executive board also wants to reach out to non-theatre majors interested in the performing arts. She is eager to help students of color find a sense of community on campus.

According to Mora, the NU theatre community is supportive but may feel hard to break into. In order to branch out, VC2’s executive board will connect with affinity groups on campus.

“If you’re not an actor, or you don’t know how to work a stage light, anyone in this community can make theater because they can bring their life,” Hiykel said. “They can bring their story.”

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Twitter: @ash_goren 

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