2021-22 Pomona College Catalog 
    Nov 26, 2021  
2021-22 Pomona College Catalog

Theatre and Dance

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TBD, department chair
Associate Professor John Pennington, dance program coordinator

Professors Shay and Taylor
Resident Artist and Professor Leabhart
Associate Professors
Lu, Pennington
Assistant Professors Mills2, Ortega, Ratteray
Post MFA Fellow Ross
Lecturers Cano, Cummins, French, Hurtado-Pierson, Jolley, Knox, Koenig, Mackensen, Mendoza, Pizarro, Portillo, Schulz, Souly, Wenten 
(TBD), Theatre program administrator
Mary T. Rosier, Theatre administrative assistant
TBD, Theatre production manager
Ashanti Lamar Smalls, Dance academic coordinator


The Department of Theatre and Dance embodies the liberal arts education. Through a synthesis of body, mind and spirit, theatre and dance celebrate the community of world cultures. In an atmosphere of freedom, discipline and passion, students, faculty and staff approach intellectually and artistically great creations of the human spirit both in the classroom and in production.


1On leave fall 2021 2On leave spring 2022 3On leave 2021-22


The Pomona College Department of Theatre serves as the theatre program for all five undergraduate Claremont Colleges. The curriculum includes the study of performance, theatre history and dramatic literature and design and technology.

Theatre students become proficient in devising creative solutions to complex problems. They also develop sensitivity to the interpersonal relationships inherent to the collaborative process. Thus, they are prepared for a wide variety of careers in organizations and enterprises that value these qualities. While encouraging such broad development, the department also prepares students for further study on either the graduate and/or professional levels. Many department graduates have become successful members of the professional community as actors, dancers, designers and technicians, producers, writers, dramaturgs, teachers and administrators. Students may major or minor in theatre.

Many full credit Theatre courses fulfill General Education Area 1 (Criticism, Analysis, and Contextual Study of Works of the Human Imagination). Students may choose to satisfy General Education Area 6 (Creation and Performance of Works of Art and Literature) through a full credit course or a combination of partial and half credit courses. Refer to courses for information regarding Area 1 and Area 6 qualification. There are also theatre courses that meet the Speaking Intensive, Writing Intensive, and the Analyzing Difference overlay requirements.

The Department presents four major productions and a dance concert each year in the modern Seaver Theatre Complex. Students from all of the Claremont Colleges, majors and non-majors alike, serve as performers and production personnel. The Department also co-sponsors a dynamic season of student-generated productions.

The Philbrick Fund, a bequest of distinguished theatre historian Norman Philbrick ‘35, supports the Department’s Distinguished Visiting Artist/Lecturer Series. Past artist/lecturers have included author and director Luis Valdez, theatre scholar Martin Esslin, designers William and Jean Eckart, director/playwright George C. Wolfe ‘76, actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, actor Karl Malden, director-writer Eugenio Barba, The Shanghai Beijing and Shanghai Kun Chinese Opera companies, The Martha Graham Dance Company, performance artist Rachel Rosenthal, director Peter Sellars and residencies by Actors from the London Stage. The Marion and Charles C. Holmes Fund provides additional support for department activities.



Dance is an interdisciplinary art form that involves elements of theatre, music, design and the visual arts in a variety of cultural contexts. Instruction is available to students who wish to study dance as one of the liberal arts, as well as to those who aspire to professional careers in dance performance or related fields. The Dance Program challenges students to develop concentration skills, observational and analytical abilities and capacities for working with broad aesthetic concepts and fine details while developing their creative instincts. Solid foundations in modern, ballet, and experience in non-Western dance forms, composition and repertory are designed to build strong technique and artistic expression.

Within the dance major, there are two areas of emphasis: Performance Studies and Movement Studies. The performance emphasis, which requires technique study at the advanced level, culminates in a senior choreography/performance project, while the movement studies emphasis culminates in a senior project/written thesis that may or may not involve performance. Although encouraged to take technique throughout their four years, movement studies concentrators are not required to perform at the advanced level of technique and are encouraged to combine their work in dance with other disciplines.

The department also offers a minor in dance.


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