SHADES Theater is an interactive, improvisational, multicultural peer theater ensemble. Students create, write, and perform scenes dealing with real life issues – sexual health, relationships, alcohol and other drugs, racism, homophobia, body image, and more. Performances include a facilitated discussion between the actors (remaining in character) and the audience. Performances create an alternative way to talk openly about critical and often untouched issues.

Meet our current SHADES Cast Members

Kunal Arora, SHADES Director
Cell Biology and Neuroscience, 2017
Favorite Song:  Just Dance by Lady Gaga

“I love doing my part in educating the Rutgers public. Being a member of Shades and SHA allows me to express my opinions in various matters while engaging the Rutgers Community in a fun way.”

Cynthia Cheung, SHADES Director
Pharmacy, 2017
Favorite Movie:  Requiem for a Dream

“I did theater in high school. Going into a theater element that had teaching that had healthcare and wellness made sense. I wanted to continue my role as an actor while being an educator.”

Shreya Shirodkar, SHADES Director (In-Training)
Finance, 2019
Favorite Song:  Cheap Thrills by Sia

“College can be a tough time, it is important to start these discussions. We deal with sexism, alcohol, and drugs.”


Sarah Ahmed
Dietetics, 2019
Favorite Song:  You Only Live Once by The Strokes

“I chose to be a Peer Educator because I want to increase awareness and valuable insight on important issues, and I think SHADES Theater does a great job at reaching people through realistic, relatable scenes!”

Emily Bliss
English, 2018
Favorite Song:  Fix You by Coldplay

“I really like the idea of theater being an engaging way to get a message across.”

Sarah Fichot
Microbiology, 2020
Favorite Song:  Hot Black by Oceanship

“I think it’s a good way to get information out in a unique way. Being a Peer Educator helps you learn too.”

Jenna Koose
Pharmacy, 2018
Favorite Song:  FloriDaDa by Animal Collective

“I like the idea of performing and the strong impact that it could have on the Rutgers Community.”

Sindhura Janjanam
Pharmacy, 2019
Favorite Song:  Youth by Troy Sivan

“I feel like the general public needs to be educated. SHADES is a very accessible way to spread issues. It’s important to have health advocacy. I feel like SHADES is a great method to do that.”

Rocheny Noizre
Biomedical Engineering, 2019
Favorite Song: All I Ever Wanted by Michael Palm

“Last year, as a freshman, I was looking to join an organization and it is a great community.”

Damiola Onifade
Political Science, 2018
Favorite Movie: Inception

“I get to live my dream of performing by being a SHADEs member! I love how I can always laugh and smile when i’m around other SHADEs members.”

KaDreamia Sims
Public Health, 2017
Favorite Movie:  Big Hero 6

“I wanted to branch out more and get out of my comfort zone and be outspoken.”

Megha Shah
Pharmacy, 2019
Favorite Song: Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie

“I loved acting and was originally part of SCREAM Theater. Cynthia posted in the pharmacy group about SHADES, and I became interested in it. I originally did it for the improv. We do improv skits. You learn so much and teach others about issues.”

Charity Smith
East Asian Studies, 2018
Favorite Show:  Avatar the Last Airbender

“I wanted to have a voice on campus and wanted to reach other people my age.”

Michael Strunk
Public Health, 2018
Favorite Song: Rite of Spring by Angels of Airways

“I like helping people and it’s good to educate individuals.”