Amherst College is a member of the Five Colleges, a consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts. The consortium facilitates curricular and extracurricular opportunities that complement the distinctive qualities of each of its members. Several Five College initiatives help to broaden the work of the Amherst Theater and Dance Department:

  • Five College Dance is one of the most extensive and integrated programs of the Five Colleges. 
  • The various theater programs have open auditions and coordinate special events.
  • Mosaic: The Five College Multicultural Theater Committee, works on multicultural opportunities and exchanges. Each year, it hosts the Word! Festival of new play readings by students on multicultural themes.


five college dance logo

Established in 1978, Five College Dance (FCD) is a creative and intellectual collaboration organized between the dance departments and programs at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke Colleges and University of Massachusetts Amherst. We are a community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars and artists. FCD creates and ampifies access to rich, varied artistic and academic opportunities in dance. Five College Dance is the largest academic program of the Five College Consortium.

Five College Dance advances embodied practice as a critical mode of inquiry, expression, and civic engagement across cultural and historical contexts. FCD also cultivate new generations of artists, scholars, and practitioners to shape the field of dance and dance studies.

For more information on the full range of dance courses, faculty, visiting artists, auditions and performances under the Five College Dance umbrella, visit the Five College Dance website.


Mosiac is charged with furthering multicultural perspectives in theater in our community. For nearly three decades, it has done so by supporting visits from guest artists, five-college productions, and workshops that foreground the experiences of people of color.

Our work falls into three categories:

  • Artist Residencies: Artists and projects selected by the committee will teach and present on at least three of the five colleges culminating with a public presentation of their work.
  • Mini-Grants for student-centered productions: The committee will award matching funds to support productions, newsletters, and honoraria for workshops and guest artists. Awards are normally no more than one half of the total budget for the event.
  • WORD!: Our annual multicultural student play-reading festival designed to encourage student writers who engage multicultural themes in their work. Each year in the spring semester, up to ten short, original works are selected to be presented as staged readings. Their authors receive an award from the James Baldwin Memorial Fund. A different campus hosts the festival each year.

For more information, visit the Five College Multicultural Theater Committee website.

You may also contact the Chair of the Amherst Department of Theater and Dance.


Five Colleges, Inc. (general info)