What is Lion Theater?

Columbia's Theater Portal

Lion Beats is the Columbia community’s resource for student-curated playlists and an open hub for any student to showcase their musical talent. Playlists are always created almost exclusively based on student submissions and requests and Lion Beats reflects the overarching mission of The Lion to create space for unabashed and uninhibited student input.

Lion Beats is The Lion’s new project to support music on the Columbia campus. We plan to feature curated playlists from Columbia students, interviews, events in the city, and a whole host of productions.

To contact or join the Lion Beats team, email team@columbialion.com.

Laura Elizabeth Hand

Creative Director

Laura Elizabeth Hand (CC’19) is majoring in Applied Mathematics, Comparative Literature, and English. In her spare time she makes art, advises high schoolers on the college process, and makes frankly awful dad jokes. She loves journalism and designs with a consuming, fiery passion (re: Raiders of the Lost Ark). 

Malik Drabla

Director of Technology

Malik (SEAS ’20) is a rising sophomore in Columbia Engineering studying Computer Science and minoring in History and Applied Math. Originally from Chicago, he enjoys exploring nightlife in New York City and taking classes outside his intended fields of interest.

Timothy Diovanni


I am a musician and musicology student in my third year at Columbia College. I write program notes for The North Shore Symphony Orchestra and maintain a blog called How Eye Hear It. When I am not reading about the 20th-century French composer Germaine Tailleferre, I can be found in the practice room—in search of the perfect reed.
I can be e-mailed at td2467@columbia.edu and tweeted at @howeyehearit.

Yael Turitz


Yael Turitz (BC ’19) hails from Silver Spring, Maryland, but has always considered herself a citizen of the magical world of Hollywood. She is studying Religion and Education, and dreams of simultaneously inspiring young Jewish minds and winning an Oscar for the next greatest screenplay. She’s not technically qualified to critique entertainment, but she’ll offer her opinion to you anyway because she’s just that kind of gal. Take it or leave it, but this column will provide you with the most deep, thoughtful, and hilarious entertainment commentary you’ve ever experienced.

Veronica Roach

Managing Editor

Veronica Roach (CC’20) is the Managing Editor for the Lion. A resident of South Florida, she loves to take advantage of all New York has to offer–from food, to museums, to theater–and hopes to memorize the entire subway system so she can call herself a New Yorker without reservation.

Remington Free

Director of Business Operations

Remington Free (CC’20) studies astronomy, math, and statistics. She is from Corpus Christi, Texas, but has also lived in Toronto, Canada. On campus, she is a soprano in the Columbia New Opera Workshop and a member of Columbia Blueshift.

Jamie Withorne


Jamie Withorne is a junior at Columbia studying Political Science, focusing specifically on International Relations. She is currently active with the Columbia European Society and Nourish International here on campus, when she is not running around the Upper West Side as a dog-walker. Originally from South Dakota, Jamie is constantly fascinated by life in New York. In her free time she likes to travel, find instagram-able coffee shops, and read Nordic murder mysteries.

Jamie is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, focusing on terrorism and counterterrorism from a European perspective.

Cesar Herrera Ruiz


I come from Riverside, California. I am a first year in Columbia College planning to study Economics. In High School, I attended workshops with the Press Enterprise (the main newspaper of my area of California), and was a part of a college access program at Pomona College for three years. These two experiences have impacted my world view significantly. Through these workshops, I learned how information that may often seem dry can be delivered effectively and precisely, while remaining interesting and engaging. My experiences at Pomona College have taught me to see things through a critical, but attentive lens. I hope to apply all of these experiences in this column.

Zhanna Kitbalyan

I am a junior at Columbia College, majoring in architecture. I am Armenian, but was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. My interests include anything from art history to mathematics, but I am particularly passionate about food, exciting new technologies, and 20th century avant-garde art and architecture.

Barry Shikun Ye

Barry is a sophomore at SEAS majoring in Applied Math, with a minor in Political Science. Originally from Hangzhou, China, he enjoys exploring cross cultural adventures outside the quantitative field where he is studying. He is interested in topics of international relations, economy, scientific development, and traveling. During his free time, he likes cooking and playing guitar.

Heather Macomber


Heather is a senior in Columbia College, majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. In addition to writing for the Lion, she is the Vice President Emeritus and Research Coordinator of the Columbia Neuroscience Society, researches perception using mouse models in the Bruno Lab, edits for the Columbia Science Review, and serves as a peer advisor for the Neuroscience major. She is passionate about making neuroscience accessible and mentoring the next generation of neuroscientists, and she hopes to spend her life unraveling the mysteries of the brain.

Yael Turitz

Director of Campus Outreach

Yael Turitz (BC’19) is the Director of Campus Outreach for The Lion. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, she is planning to study English and Religion at Barnard. She is involved in Jewish campus life and theater on campus and loves working for publications like The Lion!

Arlena McClenton

Editor in Chief

Arlena McClenton (BC ’19) is the Editor in Chief for the Lion. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she is studying Comparative Literature. On campus, she’s a Writing Fellow and a mentor for the Columbia Mentoring Institute. She enjoys reading, drinking tea, and exploring the city.

Cindy Liu

Director of Music

Cindy Liu is a sophomore pianist pursuing a double major in English and Sociology with concentrations in Business Management, Eating Like a Queen, and Being Unashamedly Outspoken.

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William Essilfie

Former Editor in Chief

William Essilfie (CC ’18) is the Editor in Chief for The Lion. Originally from Seattle, Washingon, he is studying Computer Science and Business Management. On campus, he is a member of the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee as well as ASA.

Joshua Burton

Director of Operations

Joshua Burton (CC ’18) is the Director of Operations for The Lion. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he is studying Political Science. On campus, he is a member CU Dems as well as a mentor for Q-FLIP. He enjoys reading about politics and following European affairs.

Michele Lin

Director of Technology

Michele Lin (CC ’18) is the Director of Technology for The Lion. Originally from New York, New York, she is studying Economics and Computer Science. On campus, she is an active member of the Columbia community. She enjoys drawing and listening to music.

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