The Ballad of Oedipus

Oedipus Art

January 22, 2024 | 7:30PM

The Ballad of Oedipus

Image removed.

Based on "Oedipus The King" by Sophocles 
Music by Nygel D. Robinson  
Adapted, Directed, and Lyrics by JC Clementz 

February 22-25, 2024 | 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Logan Center, Theater East

Experience the timeless tale of King Oedipus in The Ballad of Oedipus, where hubris meets destiny, resulting in a haunting downfall. This unique adaptation unfolds against the backdrop of the Great Depression's Dust Bowl, capturing the essence of Americana folk traditions. The Greek chorus weaves original folk music into the narrative, echoing the voices of a restless society yearning to be heard. Join us in this poignant exploration of fallen rulers and the indomitable human spirit.


Narrator/Tiresias – Gwendolyn Laub
Gwendolyn Laub is a fourth-year TAPS and GNSE major! At UChicago, she has previously been seen in The Wolves (#7), Be More Chill (Chloe, UT), Remember Paul? (John, Fire Escape Films), Otherworld (Maislie, Fire Escape Films), and a variety of Off-Off Campus shows. Looking ahead, Gwen’s BA Thesis, Forever Hold Your Peace, premieres the second week of Spring Quarter! Not only will there be a showing of her short film, but there will also be a formal Red-Carpet event preceding the film and a Q&A following it. Gwen would like to thank her friends and family for always supporting her and the cast and crew for making this show a wonderful experience! Email: Instagram: @gwendolyn.michelle

Oedipus – Gabriel Brumberg
Gabriel Brumberg is a second-year Fundamentals and TAPS double major. He is thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team on his first pro-show! Previous academic credits include: UChicago Dean's Men: Twelfth Night (Feste); Edmund Burke School: Urinetown (Bobby). Other credits include: Shakespeare Theatre Company: Noura (Yazen); Pallas Theater Collective: Assassins (Billy); Variations Theater Company: Capriccio Radio (Noah).

Creon – Laura Mahaniah
Laura Tutondele Mahaniah is a fourth-year undergraduate studying Theater and Performance Studies and Linguistics. She has worked on a variety of University Theater, TAPS, Cup of Theater, Dance Council, and Hyde Park Community Player productions as a performer, choreographer, dramaturg, and director. Ongoing projects include assistant directing Court Theatre’s Antigone and her BA thesis project, which will showcase at the end of March. You can find her @lauratutondele on instagram.

Jocasta – Sanjna Narayan
Sanjna Narayan is a fourth-year Public Policy major and TAPS minor. Her previous roles include The SQUIP (Be More Chill) and Katherine (Taming of the Shrew). She is so thrilled to show off the hard work of this cast and crew, who are some of the most talented people she has ever gotten the opportunity to learn from. Sanjna is always grateful that she has so many people in her life encouraging her, and would like to thank her family, friends, and boyfriend for their unwavering support of her sometimes far-fetched endeavors. Thank you to everyone coming out to see her last college show!

Citizen/Herdsman – Zander Gallupi
Zander Galluppi is a PhD candidate in the Committee on Immunology. He has performed in over 20 UT/TAPS productions--some of his favorite UChicago credits include Peter and the Starcatcher (Smee), Animals Out of Paper (Andy), The Physicists (Newton), and Amazons and Their Men (The Man). Zander also performs regionally in Chicago where his credits include work with Mercury Theatre Chicago, the Beverly Arts Center, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, This Moment Productions, Underscore Theatre Company, and Dominican University as a professional guest artist. You can catch him appearing next in the TAPS BA thesis projects this Spring!

Citizen – Belle Hart

Citizen – Abby Kanes

Citizen/2nd Messenger – Emma Linderman
Emma Linderman is a fourth-year TAPS major and Cinema and Media Studies Minor. Previous UT/TAPS and regional credits include Amazons and Their Men (The Extra), Yivdak (Zahara), Scientific Method (Makayla), Marian or the True Tale Of Robin Hood (Alanna Dale), The Laramie Project, At Your Own Risk, Out Here (Josie), and The Wolves (#00). She is also a member of UChicago’s independent improv group, Occam’s Razor.

Citizen/Poet – London Mahaley
London Mahaley is a third-year TAPS major, and he is so excited to be making his Theatre East debut with The Ballad of Oedipus! Having spent the majority of his first two years involved in University Theatre both as a member of Off-Off Campus’s 36th Generation and as Be More Chill’s Michael Mell, this year, he can be found exploring new facets of vocal performance with UChicago’s Voices in Your Head and jealously cleaning teeth in Off-Off Campus’s original musical, OPEN WIDE (by Jake Schroeder and Harper Learmonth). While not performing in one way or another, London enjoys, writing, coding, reading for his political theory classes… and that’s pretty much it! He’s so excited to finally show you why his guitar-playing fingers are more calloused than ever before, and he hopes you enjoy this show, which has been made possible by the love and hard work of what has been one of the most insightful and dedicated groups of artists he has ever worked with. He’d like to thank JC Clementz and Nygel D. Robinson for their incredible direction and support (as well as patience with an insane schedule) and, as always, Dani Baldwin and Blake Wales for never leading him astray.

Citizen/Priest – Alex Nobert

Citizen/1st Messenger – Taiz Rodriguez
Taiz Rodriguez is a fourth-year Theater and Performance Studies and Media Arts and Design double major with a minor in Architectural Studies. She has been a part of The Laramie Project (University Theater), Laika's Coffin (TAPS Pro Show directed by Seth Bockley), The Wolves (#2, TAPS Pro Show directed by Ericka Ratcliff) and The Ways of Necessity (assistant stage manager, Durango PlayFest directed by Jon Tenney). She is currently writing and directing a play for her B.A. Project titled 'White Roses'. After graduation she will begin to work in the theater and film industry as an actor, writer, and video editor. Instagram: @taiz_rodriguez

Citizen – Olivia Ward
Olivia Ward is a third-year Cinema & Media Studies and Law, Letters, & Society double major. She has previously worked on Theater 24 (Actor, Spring 2022), New Work Week (Co-Director, Spring 2022), and the staged readings of "Twenty Something or Other" (Director), "Take Me with You" (Eileen), and "A Greater Chance for Glory" (Celia), the last of which she is excited to return to in the Spring as a director. Olivia would like the audience to know that while the crutch she is using on stage is fake, she was in a CAM boot until the Tuesday of tech week. She is thrilled to be a part of her first TAPS Pro-Show and is so grateful to JC, Ozzy, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew for making this such an incredible experience!


Bass Jack Cramer

Drums/Guitar/Concertina Julia Fink

Fiddle/Guitar – Jules Vance

Production Team

Adapted and Directed – JC Clementz
JC Clementz is the Director of Casting and Artistic Operations at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a freelance stage director. He has cast productions out of Chicago and New York over the past decade including the Broadway productions of Linda Vista, Pass Over, and The Minutes. As a director, his credits include the Associate Director for the pre-Broadway run of The Devil Wears Prada: A New Musical (Broadway in Chicago), Director of The Nerd, The All Night Strut!, Murder for Two, Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, The Doyle & Debbie Show, Forever Plaid (Milwaukee Rep), Waiting: A Song Cycle (The World’s Stage/Cherry Lane, NYC), and Murder for Two (Merrimack Rep). He holds an MFA in Directing from Western Illinois University and is a proud member of SDC and the Casting Society.

Composer & Music Director – Nygel D. Robinson
Nygel D. Robinson is a composer/ lyricist based in Chicago, IL. He is the co writer of Mexodus, which is receiving its world premier next spring at Baltimore Center Stage and Mosaic Theatre. He was recently at The Hartt School workshopping a New Orleans themed Romeo and Juliet along side Kevin Ramsey. He is also composer/lyricist of a new untitled piece conceived by Ken-Matt Martin that was a joint commission by 10 regional theaters across the United States. Nygel is thrilled to be the composer of this incredible folk adaptation of Oedipus Rex! He’s grateful for The University of Chicago and JC for this amazing opportunity.

Music Co-Director – Christie Chiles Twillie

Choreographer - Laura Mahaniah

Scenic Designer – Eleanor Kahn

Costume Designer – Johan Gallardo
Johan H. Gallardo (He/They) is very excited to join UoC TAPS for another production as Costume Designer. Johan is a Chicago-based Freelance Costume Designer/Artist. Chicago costume design credits include The Whistleblower (Theatre Wit), Laika’s Coffin, At Your Own Risk, (UoC TAPS), Last Hermanos (A Red Orchid Theatre) and Tommy On Top (PrideArts). Associate designer credits include ¡Bernarda!, The Dream King (Teatro Vista) and Trouble in Time (Timeline Theatre). Assistant designer credits include Chlorine Sky, I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (Steppenwolf Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (American Players Theatre), and An American in Paris (Music Theatre Wichita). Design Assistant credits include King James, Seagull, The Brother Size (Steppenwolf Theatre) and Chicago (Music Theatre Wichita). Additionally, they serve as the Resident Costume Designer at Evanston Township High School for their 23/24 season. They graduated with a BFA in Design/Tech from the University of Central Florida in 2019. Visit

Lighting Designer – Lee Fiskness
Lee Fiskness (he/him) is based in Chicago. Highlights include: Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Drury Lane, Marriott Theatre, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Raven Theatre, and Lightscape at Chicago Botanical Gardens. Regionally: Kennedy Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Mark Taper Forum, Cincinnati Playhouse, Emerson Colonial Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Rep. Opera: Lyric Opera, San Jose, Dallas, Colorado, Portland, Kentucky, and Florentine Opera. International; The Jurassic World Exhibition (China), Marriage of Figaro (Japan), Movement Stories (Abu Dhabi). Education: MFA in Design, Northwestern University. Lee was the Lighting Director at The Santa Fe Opera where he worked for 18 seasons. Lee is a member of United Scenic Artists. 

Sound Designer – Forrest Gregor
Forrest Gregor is excited to be working with the University of Chicago again after programming projections for Fen at Court Theatre! Recent design credits include: Frida Libre (Northwestern); What the Constitution Means to Me (Paramount); Little Voice (The Gift); What the Constitution Means to Me, Campaigns Inc., The Chinese Lady (TimeLine); Andy Warhol in Iran (Northlight); Tiger Style! (Writers). Recent Asst. Design credits: Emmet Otter (Studebaker), Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Paramount), Ring of Fire (Drury Lane). Forrest is also the current audio supervisor at Music Theatre Works and recently received his BFA in Sound Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Visit

Projections Designer – Rasean Davonté Johnson

Props Designer – Lily Ann Berman
Lily Anna Berman is excited to be props designing at the University of Chicago for the first time. She is a Chicago-based designer/director/producer for theater, exhibits, and immersive experiences. Lily has worked with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Adler Planetarium, Chicago Scenic Studios, Original X Productions, Northlight Theater, and more. With Sage Creative Group, she serves as a project manager and set dresser for immersive experiences and touring exhibitions, including Harry Potter: Magic at Play, The Office Experience, The Friends Experience, and Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. Lily is a graduate of LaGuardia HS of the Arts (Acting Major), Vassar College (Drama & Political Science Majors), and the Moscow Art Theater NTI Program.

Stage Manager – Oswald Avile
Oswald Avile is excited to be back with U of C's TAPS program, working on this production. Born and raised in Chicago, Oswald has been working in theatre since high school. Past work includes "Tatjana in Color" (Prologue Theatre Co) "Fefu and Her Friends" (Halcyon Theatre), "The River" (BoHo Theatre), "Hersel and the Hanukkah Goblins" 2021 and 2022 (Strawdog Theatre), "The Secretaries" and "Botticelli in the Fire" (First Floor Theater). In his spare time, Oswald works as a Director of Operations for a not-for-profit organization.

Dramaturg – Alexandra Hu

Assistant Music Director – Jack Cramer

Assistant Director – Kassie Rivera

Assistant Stage Manager – Lucy Whitehead

Associate Projections Designer –  Yifan Zou

Associate Projections Designer –  Andres Fiz

Assistant Props – Clara Bennett

Assistant Props – Rachel Linton

Associate Master Electrician – Arman Olgun

Assistant Production Manager – Eleni Lefakis

Assistant Production Manager – Helena Xu

Lightboard Programmer/Operator – Lydia Gafford

A1 – Abbey Nettleton

A2 – Jo Selmeczy