Never enough theatrics

portraits-of-the-artists-1.jpgWeekend mornings are not the most popular times for students to venture out to the Reynolds Club—especially when the windchill drops below zero. But some outliers are dedicated to spending as much time there as they can.

These enthusiasts can be found on the building's third floor, which houses the University Theater lounge and the offices for the Theater and Performance Arts (TAPS) program. Participating in what director Heidi Coleman calls "cocurricular" work, majors, minors, and other students spend hours plotting lights, practicing dramatic monologues, and printing flyers. This year is the first that the program graduates theater minors (four of them, and a half-dozen majors), all of whom must produce a creative work in addition to their course work.

This past Sunday morning the rehearsal was for Urinetown, to be performed during ninth and tenth weeks. Urinetown, written by Mark Hollman, AB'85, and Greg Kotis, AB'88, had its off-Broadway premiere in 2001. The tongue-in-cheek show tells the story of a downtrodden, corrupt town where residents must pay to use the toilet. Aside from performing a production that began with connections made at Chicago, in Urinetown students can work with director Jonathan Berry, a professional Chicago director and 2008-09 TAPS lecturer. A professional design staff also mentors student assistants.

Rose Schapiro, ‘09

Besides performing in Urinetown, TAPS major Augie Praley, '09, wrote a play that opened this weekend at the Gorilla Tango Theater in Bucktown.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 28, 2009