Arts & Entertainment on Campus

Annette Stonebarger

Need a break from the academic work and stress culture that we’re all too familiar with? Take a break from your exams to join or watch any of Columbia/Barnard’s amazing performing arts clubs and add a little creativity to your life! With over 78 performing arts clubs on campus, finding your creative outlet is only one listserv away. Here are four of the many incredible clubs on campus to get you started:


Have you ever wanted to see or perform new and original works by your peers? NOMADS is the student theatre group for you! In their words, “NOMADS (New and Original Material Authored and Directed by Students) is the student theater group at CU dedicated to presenting work written by current Barnard/Columbia students. Since 2003, NOMADS has provided students a unique space for the creative development of expressive, imaginative, and challenging new theater, ranging from workshop readings to fully staged productions of original dramas, comedies, musicals, and interdisciplinary works.” This semester NOMADS will be presenting one staged reading and one full production. The staged reading is entitled Lucky and was written by Phanesia Pharel (BC  ‘21) and directed by Lucas Gomes (CC ‘20) and Lexis Rangell-Onwuegbuzia (CC ‘22). The full production is Imperson All, written by Amanda McDougall (CC ‘21) and directed by Abigail Smith (BC ‘21). For more information and specific show dates, visit their Facebook page at NOMADS Columbia.

Black Theatre Ensemble

If you’re looking to get involved in one of Columbia’s identity-based performance groups, look no further than the Black Theatre Ensemble! “BTE is a teaching ensemble, intent on developing the knowledge, talents and interests of people of color as they relate to theatre arts and productions.” This semester, BTE will be hosting a Black Arts Showcase with the intention of “uplifting and engaging the work of [their] community members.” Don’t identify as a student of color? “BTE is a space predominantly focused on cultivating a space for Black theatre,” however the Black Arts Showcase “is a night to take in and share Black creativity in its many forms -- poetry, music, performance pieces, visual art, and beyond.”  The Black Arts Showcase is set to take place on Friday, April 26, 2019 from 8-10 pm in the Glicker-Milstein Theater. For more information, visit their Facebook page at Black Theatre Ensemble (CUBlackTheatreEnsemble).


Meet Orchesis: A Dance Group. Orchesis is Columbia’s largest dance group on campus with well over 100 members. No dance experience? No problem! Orchesis seeks to create an inclusive environment for all levels of dance and values enthusiasm over experience. Student choreographers create dances for all levels in all styles. If that doesn’t make you want to get up and boogie, Orchesis is also well known for their clever and punny show titles. For example, the past two semesters have featured performances titled “Love is an Open DoORCHESIS” and most recently, “Versace on the FloORCHESIS.” For more information on Orchesis’ spring show, visit their Facebook page Orchesis: A Dance Group (CUorchesis).

Columbia Pops

Think orchestral music is only for the classics? Think again! “Columbia Pops plays a diverse repertoire to include film and television scores, Broadway hits, jazz tunes, popular classical works, video game soundtracks, original student works, and more!” Their goal is to “engage students not only as performance artists but also as conductors, arrangers, leaders, and much more. Columbia Pops welcomes members from all four undergraduate schools and the ensemble currently boasts a diverse group of talented musicians and is committed to performing original student arrangements.” For more information on their shows and to watch past performance, visit their website

Didn’t find one here that interests you? Remember that this is just a start! There are so many amazing performing arts organizations on campus; surely one will fit your interests. For more information on all of Columbia’s clubs visit or go the extra mile and start your own!