This new play by contemporary Asian-American playwright Diane Oh centers on a writer, musician, and actor who confronts the Gr8 American Theater. Through ranting, laughing, singing, pleading, evoking history, making fun of, calling out, and deeply loving, our protagonist gives us a play-by-play critique of theatre – its diversity panels, fundraising galas, playbills, white leads, Shakespeare, and more. It is a fierce, joyful, relentless h8-filled love-fest that generously invites all of us to take a look at the institution to which we’re so devoted.
My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre is a TAPS-sponsored production and is not affiliated with University Theater.
The following program is inspired by Thing 3: Programs, which will make sense once you watch the show.
Omar Almakki (Ensemble)
Does the scene of sun on that soft saddening screen of fiction secure you where you are?
Alisa Boland (Ensemble)
You know what you’re thinking of you and your thoughts on the other side and you have a great time with your friends I hope this week I can get together for you.
George Corrin (Ensemble)
Ling Lin (Ensemble)
Laura Mahaniah (Ensemble)
I think I'm a bit late to the game, but I recently learned about the existence of the Djungelskog and I couldn't be happier.
Lauren Melton (Ensemble)
Level 12 Damsel in Distress.
Nick Schwarz (Ensemble)
I wish we threw paper airplanes off tall buildings at least three times more often than we currently do.
Dara Weinstein (Ensemble)
Rushed and sloppy and irritated and alive.
Brandon Zang (Ensemble)
Be gay do crime (also avoid!! dairy)
Sally Rose Zuckert (Ensemble)
I think it’s funny because you know what you’re doing and you know you’re not wrong with me and I'm sorry I can’t keep it myself I just believe this.
Diana Oh (Playwright)
Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (Director)
My latest coping mechanism: I have compassion for nighttime thoughts and gently tell them to go to sleep, and if they've got something to say in the morning, I promise I’ll listen.
Aileen Wen McGroddy (Dramaturg)
Caring is good dramaturgy. Care better, care faster, care stronger, care more about the people than you do about the things. Care more about the doing than you care about the done.
Izumi Inaba (Scenic, Costumes, Props Designer)
What did Sushi A say to Sushi B?
Steve Labedz (Video Director)
In order of importance, humans care about water, food, shelter, and stories. The rest of life is superfluous.
Paul Deziel (Assistant Video Editor)
Jason Lynch (Lighting Designer)
Joyce Murphy (Sound Designer/Audio Manager)
Joyce Murphy is the the TAPS Audio Manager
A. Raheim White (Choreographer)
Razor Wintercastle (Production Supervisor)
Razor has worked in the world of production for years and is very pleased to work on this project. Razor also mentors teens to get involved with Backstage Production.
Brian Maschka (Production Manager)
Experience: Steppenwolf, Chicago Childrens, Dance at UIUC, Barrington Stage, BAM, Playwrights Horizon, Zipper, Daryl Roth Theatres, Florida Rep, Weston Playhouse, and Mint. Education: Saint Mary’s University and CalArts.
Ben Caracello (Technical Director)
Has been hating writing bios but enjoying working with UChicago students for over 15 years.
Nathan Rohrer (Costume Shop Manager)
Nathan Rohrer is the TAPS Costume Shop Manager
Heather Sparling (Lighting Manager)
Heather Sparling is the the TAPS Lighting Manager
Jenny Pinson (TAPS Props Manager)
There is a you who exists that is already done with the hard thing you're doing, and you get to be that person. It's a promise. And that's how I get anything done.
Samantha Rausch (Covid Compliance Manager)
Samantha Rausch is the TAPS North Theater Manager
Ruthie Dworin (Assistant Director)
Melaina Leung (Assistant Dramaturg)
linger / synchronicity / melancholia / kaleidoscope / remembrance / violet / exploratory / supernova / liminal / dream / excavation / moonlight / sapling / annihilate / tenderness
Nicola Lustig (Assistant Production Manager)
Spencer Ng (Stage Manager)
NOTE: This play was made in a pandemic. But because it's artist-driven and not patron-driven, this process with the gr8est cast and crew was just as fun and rewarding. Enjoy!
Ethan Schondorf (Assistant Scenic Designer)
Rea Brown (Assistant Costumes)
All I really want is to create things that are beautiful. And to have people see those things. Want to see?: rea_jamesdesigns (Instagram).
Ariana Baginski (Assistant Sound Designer)
In these “uncertain times” there are so many complications and obstacles but nevertheless, we persevere. Thank you everyone working on this show for coming together to create something amazing!
Julia Fennell (Assistant Stage Manager)
You are my genesis.
Carolyn Johansen (Wardrobe Manager)
Like the play itself, the production is honest and inspiring, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to create in these ~unprecedented~ times.
Seraphina Halpern (Assistant Video Director and Camera Operator)
I'm 19 and I ended up here after watching the documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars.
Justice Yoo (Assistant Video Director)
Sharvari Sastry (Assistant Lighting Designer)
I love that I get to live with the lights!