Theater at Hopkins is like a grain of salt in a glass of water. It may seem small, yet it has a huge effect… or something like that. I have been lucky enough to contribute to the art of some of them and have gotten to know the amazing people that define this community. It’s an outlet for the creation and exposition of the best form of art, and I am ecstatic to show it to you! Here’s a guide of the fabulous Theater groups at Hopkins:
This is the largest and oldest theater group on campus. They produce six shows a year, which are the Orientation Show, the Fall Mainstage, the Freshman One-Acts, the Intersession Show, the Spring Musical and a Shakespeare play. Not kidding. They’re amazing! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in this year’s One-Acts, which are short one-act plays directed by upperclassmen and acted entirely by freshmen. It’s a Hopkins tradition that every freshman interested in theatre should consider, since it’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the theatre community here.
The Branstormers are also the only group on campus that hires a professional directors for shows like their last Mainstage, “Is He Dead” by Mark Twain.
They also hire music directors for their Spring Musical. With past productions like “Sweeney Todd” and “Carousel” as an example, they really know how to stage a good show! So if you’re interested in acting, directing, doing tech or simply enjoying really good theatre, check them out.
A home for the creatively gifted and the wonderfully edgy, Witness is the only group on campus that does student-written only plays. Members get the opportunity of writing, directing and acting in completely original productions that never fail to amaze. The group stages two showcases of short plays, an Orientation show, an Intersession show and a 24-Hour show. They are open to submissions from any student, no matter your theatre experience and virtually anyone can audition for their shows.
I am proud to say that Witness was my first theatre experience at Hopkins. Not gonna lie, I was terrified. Yet the group took me in like one of their own and introduced me to the incredible, close-knit community of theatre lovers at Hopkins. Here you can find students studying anything from ChemBE to International Studies, as long as they have a true passion for art and an affinity for really good word play.
What do SNL, bananas, and “breadsticks dipped with malice” have in common? The JHU Throat Culture Sketch Comedy group. Just like the classic TV show, TC does student-written hilarious sketches on anything from “His first Pumpkin Spice Latte” to “An Interview with the Queen’s Corgis”. This is a completely original group that will tickle your funny bone every single time. They produce showcases, 24-Hour shows, an Orientation show and online video sketches.
The Buttered Niblets
The Niblets are Hopkin’s best and only improv group. They’re flawless, hilarious, and just the right amount of weird. That’s all you need to know.
The Dunbar-Baldwin-Hughes Theatre Company
The Dunbar Baldwin Hughes Theatre Company produces African and African-American plays, skits, monologues, poetry recitals, and creative dance presentations. It aims to uplift the Johns Hopkins University student community through exposure to the traditions and experiences of African-Americans while supplementing the experience, training, and exposure of the company’s actors.
Finally, Hopkins has an Undergraduate Theater Minor program that aims to enrich the student’s
theatre experience and teaches everything from acting to tech to directing. It’s a great academic addition to any student passionate about the dramatic arts. The program also stages various plays during the year in the Merrick Barn and the Meyerhoff Auditorium.
So no matter if you have theater experience before, or if you prefer the soundboard over the stage, or if your thing is enjoying the show on the first row, explore the amazing JHU Theater experience.