BA Projects

TAPS BA Projects Schedule

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Friday | March 29, 2024

  • 3:00pm in Logan 901 (Performance Penthouse) – A Cute Concert by Jake Schroeder
  • 4:00pm in Theater West – The In-between by Yifan (Megan) Zhao
  • 4:30pm in Theater West – Dealin' With It by James Nielsen
  • 5:00pm in Theater West – Drunk Tank Pink by Emma Linderman
  • 5:45pm in Theater West – To The Possibility of New Projects by Sanjna Narayan
  • 6:15pm – Dinner Break
  • 7:30pm in Theater West – An Unfinished Piece for the Mechanical Piano by Laura Mahaniah

Saturday | March 30, 2024

  • 5:00pm in Logan 201 (Screening Room) – Forever Hold Your Peace by Gwendolyn Laub
  • 6:00pm in Theater West – White Roses by Taiz Rodriguez
  • 7:30pm in Theater West – A Greater Chance for Glory by Carissa Greene

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A Cute Concert by Jake Schroeder

Jake Schroeder

A Cute Concert is a revue of all the musical theater pieces Jake has written throughout college.

Cast: Gwendolyn Laub, Alexander Stern, Maatkara Wilson, Lucy Carter, Rhea Madhogarhia

Jake Schroeder is an English major and a computer science minor with a huge interest in TAPS! His concentration in English focuses on Shakespearean feminist studies, but he also loves to concentrate on improvisational comedy, sketch writing, and playing piano! This year he wrote three hour-long musicals with his friend Harper (“Open Wide”, “Serve”, and “HORSEMEAT”) about the dentist, tennis moms, and the Trojan Horse. His B.A. project features songs from all of them! Yay!

The In-between 来去之间 by Yifan (Megan) Zhao

Yifan (Megan) Zhao

The In-between 来去之间 is a three-act performance centering around the complex relation between oneself and home. It maps the writer's journey from leaving home to deciding not to return and showcases the layers of emotion of that journey.

Yifan (Megan) Zhao is an astrophysics major and TAPS minor. Having dabbled in design and directing previously, this will be Megan's first time writing and acting. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her life story. After graduation, Megan is moving to Philly to pursue a PhD in astrophysics where she will continue working in theater as a hobby while studying the universe. She would like to dedicate her work to her friends, and she is thankful to everyone at TAPS for supporting her in expressing what she could not express before.

Dealin' With It by James Nielsen

James Nielsen

Dealin' with It is a short story centered around the loss of my 18-year-old cat who was put down without my knowledge. Taking place within a time loop, the story follows our main character reliving the day they learn they lost their cat, cycling through the stages of grief as they figure out a way to deal with their emotions to close the loop and move on from their grief.

James Nielsen is an actor, engineer, animal enthusiast, and rock climber who is majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Theater and Performance studies. Graduating with a specialization in Human Computer Interaction and having worked for notable entertainment companies like Roku, he thrives on the intersection of technology and performance.
After graduation, James plans to return to the vibrant tech hub of the San Francisco Bay Area – there, he is eager to leverage his skill set and interests to continue his career in computer programming and entertainment. He is thrilled to share his performance with you!

Drunk Tank Pink by Emma Linderman

 Emma Linderman

"Drunk Tank Pink" From a dentist’s office, and their respective childhood bedrooms, two young women reflect upon the past in anticipation of their increasingly daunting futures.

Cast: Abby Kanes as Nina, Taiz Rodriguez as Alma, Jake Schroeder as Dentist, Carissa Greene as Stage Directions

Emma Linderman is a Theater and Performance Studies Major and Cinema and Media Studies Minor. This is the first play she has written, but her past and upcoming theater credits include Amazons and Their Men (The Extra), Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Alanna Dale), The Laramie Project, Out Here (Josie), The Wolves (#00), The Ballad of Oedipus and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia).  She wants to thank all of her friends and the TAPS faculty for their support with this project. 

To The Possibility of New Projects by Sanjna Narayan

 Sanjna Narayan

To The Possibility of New Projects is a showcase of Sanjna's audition pieces, including one song with piano accompaniment and one contemporary monologue.

Sanjna Narayan is a fourth-year Public Policy major with a specialization in Economics and a minor in Theater and Performance Studies. Her project was the development of her actor portfolio website rather than a written piece, so she hopes that this interactive "performance audition" can provide a glimpse into the work she's completed over the past months before launching her site! Sanjna’s past theatrical experience includes credits with TAPS, University Theater, and the Dean's Men in both plays and musicals. Following graduation, Sanjna will be moving to New York City to begin her career in investment banking, with plans to stay connected to her theatrical passions during her free time! Sanjna would like to thank her family, friends, and professors for their endless support.

An Unfinished Piece for the Mechanical Piano by Laura Mahaniah

Laura Mahaniah

An Unfinished Piece for the Mechanical Piano is an exploration of devising as a method of translation, this piece is a collection of scenes translated and adapted for stage from the Soviet film An Unfinished Piece for the Mechanical Piano, which is in turn inspired by Chekhov's unfinished play often known as Platonov.

Ensemble: Ahan Raina, Albie Aevaliotis, Alex Nobert, Belle Nahoom, Bob Webb, Emma Linderman, Griffin Bonnin Jones, Gwendolyn Laub, Harry Franklin, Jo Selmeczy, Joseph DePaula, Laura Tutondele Mahaniah, Natalie Floreancig, Sophia Balabanova, Zander Galluppi

Laura Tutondele Mahaniah is a TAPS major minoring in Linguistics and Russian and Eastern European Studies with experience in university, community and regional theater as a director, dramaturg, actor, dancer and movement director. Despite having fallen in love with Chicago, after graduation Laura plans to head to Germany to study dramaturgy. Excited by this first venture into devising as a method of translation, Laura hopes to continue to build this practice. This showcase is a glimpse into the ongoing process, project and practice that is Laura’s relationship with translating, devising, and this film. You can find Laura on instagram @lauratutondele

Forever Hold Your Peace by Gwendolyn Laub

Gwendolyn Laub

Forever Hold Your Peace explores the story of a Bride doubting her marriage after her wedding is interrupted by an objector hired by none other than her incompetent groom. This 20-minute piece is the culmination of Gwendolyn’s writing, directing, and acting skills learned while at the University of Chicago.

Cast: Gwendolyn Laub, London Mahaley, Tatiana Jackson-Saitz, Jennifer McHugh, Collin Kavanaugh, Taiz Rodriguez, Lily McHugh, Alexa Norman, Emma Linderman, Gabriel Brumberg, Lucy Whitehead, Olivia Ward, Sanjna Narayan, Zander Galluppi
Crew: Isaak Tarampoulous, Luke Delaney, Alondra Romero, Tyler Sookralli, Rebecca Sias, Matthew J. Park

Gwendolyn Laub is so excited to share her BA Project with everyone! A combination of her two majors, Theater & Performance Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies, Forever Hold Your Peace occupies a special place in her heart. At UChicago, she has previously performed in several TAPS/University Theater productions, Fire Escape films, and Off-Off Campus shows. Looking ahead, Gwen is moving to Los Angeles where she will pursue an acting career! She’d like to thank her family, her friends, and everyone she has worked with at the University of Chicago. They have made her time here an unforgettable experience.

White Roses by Taiz Rodriguez

Taiz Rodriguez

White Roses  A classroom of American students explore the lasting effects and trauma of school shootings where the past and future begins to blend into a tragically common reality. When does it end?

Cast: STUDENT 1: Taiz Rodriguez, STUDENT 2: Gwendolyn Laub, STUDENT 3: Jake Schroeder, STUDENT 4: Laura Mahaniah, STUDENT 5: Emma Linderman, TEACHER: Sanjna Narayan, PARENT/POLITICIAN 1: James Nielson, POLITICIAN 2: Belle Hart

Taiz Rodriguez is a TAPS and Media Arts and Design double major with a minor in Architectural Studies. She is excited to share this piece that has been living with her for almost seven years. In the aftermath of this life-altering tragedy, she used art to help her through her grief, and now she hopes to use art again as a tool to continue to understand and heal her recurring pain. After graduation Taiz will move to Los Angeles where she will begin to work in the theater and film industry as an actor, writer, and video editor. Instagram: @taiz_rodriguez

We must do better for the future and honor those we could not protect in the past. Forever #AztecStrong🎗️

A Greater Chance for Glory by Carissa Greene

Carissa Greene

A Greater Chance for Glory  It's 1946, the war is over. Esther Harmond, the USO's biggest star, returns home from Europe to sell her family's boarding house after the death of her father. There, she meets the last remaining boarders: two veterans and childhood friends who embody the victory and tragedy of a country trying to pick up where it left off. The three are tangled up in one another as they fight to find peace after years of fighting for their lives.

Cast and Crew: Director - Olivia Ward, Stage Directions - Lucy Whitehead, Esther Harmond - Belle Hart, Pat Buchanan - Josh, Nkhata Eddie, Dixon - James Nielsen, Michael Esposito - Gabriel Brumberg, Celia Harmond Davis - Emma Linderman, Alfred Meier - Jake Schroeder, Lise Meier - Clara Bennett

Carissa Greene is a TAPS major and a Florida boy trying their absolute best. Thank you for coming.