Be More Chill
book by Joe Tracz, music and lyrics by Joe Iconis
based on the novel by Ned Vizzini
directed by Reese Klemm and Eleni Lefakis
Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about "The SQUIP," a super quantum unit intel processor from Japan that promises to bring him everything he desires most, a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year, and a chance to survive life at his suburban New Jersey high school. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk? Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill asks how we can find and become the best version of ourselves.
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Maggie Reyes (Jeremy Heere) is a fourth-year Anthropology and Spanish Language and Literature major in the College. She has previously worked on Company (Sarah) and The Laramie Project. She describes her experience on this show as “better late than never!” Maggie’s squip is Dolly Parton. Thank you to the cast/crew of BMC who held her hand though the scary bits!
Lily McHugh (Christine Canigula)
London Mahaley (Michael Mell) is a second-year TAPS major, and he is so excited to be making his mainstage debut with University Theatre’s Be More Chill! If you’re not much of an improv person, you might not have seen London around UT that much until recently, having just finished his time as a member of Off-Off Campus’s performing generation (36). Outside of UT, however, London has been doing theatre longer than he can remember and hopes to continue his professional career here in Chicago. He’s so excited to share what has genuinely been one of his favorite shows with you all, and he would like to thank his family for supporting his love of theatre, his mentors Dani Baldwin and Blake Wales for never leading him astray, and the cast and crew of Be More Chill—one of the most passionate and dedicated groups of people he’s ever had the fortune of working with. London changes his SQUIP’s settings often, but recently, it’s been set to Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place.
Surya Chinnappa (Jake Dillinger) is a first-year prospective Cognitive Science and Linguistics major. This is his first show with UT, aside from a brief appearance at Theater. Offstage, he likes to sing and play violin, guitar, and a variety of tiny flutes, as well as leave origami dragons in random spots around campus. His SQUIP would look like Conan Gray.
Rory McGann (Rich Goranski) is a second-year Molecular Engineering major and Creative Writing minor. He last appeared in the Dean’s Men production of Romeo & Juliet (Juliet) this past fall and currently serves on UT Committee. He would like to thank the cast & crew, his family & friends, and the ENT team at UCM for their help in making this show an excellent experience. His SQUIP might be something along the lines of Pascal from Tangled. This performance is dedicated to Niv Sparkes.
Gwendolyn Laub (Chloe Valentine) is a third-year TAPS and GNSE major! At the University she has previously been seen in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Lady Shirley, UT), The Trail to Oregon! (Son, UT), An American Killer in College (Jean, Maroon TV), Ghost Story (Amy, Fire Escape Films), and a variety of Off-Off Campus shows! Coming up you can catch Gwen in The Hotel Herrington (Eliza, Fire Escape Films), Leeching (Hailey, Fire Escape Films), and Smile and Dial (Sophie, BA Film). Gwen would like to thank her family for putting up with this theater nerd (though she thinks it’s more of a geek think) and the cast and crew for making the process so fun! If Gwen were to get a squip she believes hers would take the form of Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson. Gwen trusts her. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @gwendolyn.michelle
Abby Kanes (Brooke Lohst) is a second-year TAPS and Business Economics major. In UT she performed in Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt) and The Heirs Workshop (Aveline), as well as the TAPS Pro Show Amazons and Their Men (The Frau). Favorite musical credits include Legally Blonde (Margot), Mamma Mia (Tanya), Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle), and Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal). She has played bass in the pit orchestra for Trail to Oregon! and the Perfect Match Workshop. She is on TAPS Admin Staff as a Front of House Manager and also the Treasurer for UT Committee. Her Squip is Princess Leia!
Joelle Singer Jensen (Jenna Rolan) is a first year undecided major. She has previously worked on Perfect Match (Brittany) with UT but some of her other favorite shows she’s done include Into the Woods (Witch), Moon Over Buffalo (Charlotte) and The Last Five Years (Cathy). She’s so excited to be working with this amazing cast and crew, and if she were to have a SQUIP, it would take on the form of Rodrick from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies.
Sanjna Narayan (The SQUIP) is a third-year Public Policy major with an Economics specialization, and TAPS minor. She’s so excited to be in her first show ever with UT! Some favorite previous roles/shows include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Edwin Drood), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia), and MacBeth (Witch I). Sanjna is thrilled to be here, and wants to thank her family, friends, and the incredible cast and crew of Be More Chill for all of their support. She’s learned enough to never take a SQUIP, but if she had to have one it would certainly be Anderson Cooper.
George Corrin (Mr. Heere/Mr. Reyes/Stockboy)
Elena Gill (Keyboard 1)
Daniel Arad (Keyboard 2)
Kelly Mao (Violin) is a second-year Computer Science and Mathematics major. Her previous UT credits include The Heirs (Production Manager) and The Laramie Project (Calling Stage Manager, SM Collective™). She enjoys deep conversations and long walks on the beach at sunset. Her SQUIP would be former Chair of UT Committee Spencer Ng.
Brandon LaCrosse (Trumpet)
Daniel Brous (Drums) is a fourth-year Math and Economics major with a minor in Computer Science. He has previously worked on Perfect Match (Drummer), and currently performs with the X-Tet and Percussion Ensemble.
Julia Fink (Guitar)
Jack Cramer (Bass Guitar) is a fourth-year Music and Philosophy major. He has previously worked on Laika’s Coffin (Vocal Director), The Physicists (Sound Designer), Original Sin (Music Director, Arranger, etc.) and more! Jack is also a composer. Be sure to check out the premiere of his new piece for the UChicago New Music Ensemble on May 28th! Eddie Izzard would be his SQUIP.
Reese Klemm (Co-Director) is a fourth-year Economics major and Cinema and Media Studies minor. Her previous credits include The Trail to Oregon! (Director), The Old Man and The Old Moon (Assistant Director), The Winter’s Tale (Assistant Production Manager), a handful of credits in various Theatre sketches, and two long years of being on University Theatre Committee (General and Treasurer). Reese is incredibly excited to show everyone the show that has occupied her thoughts for over a year and thanks her Jannotta cohort, Dhirpal, Tate, and Dave, for their continued support! She would also like to thank her co-director, Eleni, for being so chill. Bonus Content: Reese would 100% take dating advice from a Schmidt from New Girl SQUIP.
Eleni Lefakis (Co-Director) is a second-year TAPS and Data Science double-major. Her other UT MainStage credits are The Heirs (Stage Manager), The Trail to Oregon! (Assistant Director/Dramaturg), Romeo & Juliet (Co-Production Manager), Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Assistant Director/Dramaturg), MacBeth in Space (Dramaturg), The Laramie Project (SM Collective™), and Twelfth Night (Pre-Production Manager). She is also currently serving her second term on Committee and helps run the UT social media. Her upcoming UT projects are The Taming of the Shrew (Stage Manager), Falsettos (Dramaturg), and Strings Attached (Co-Director/Choreographer). She would like to tell the crew she loves them and thank the actors for putting up with her ballet corrections, party shenanigans, and STEM-related questions. Eleni’s Co-SQUIPs are her childhood ballet teacher, Dimitra Kouremeti, and her favorite UChicago YouTuber, Reese Klemm, the only two real-life people she lets tell her what to do.
Guilherme Galhardo (Co-Vocal Director) is a fourth-year Comparative Human Development major, and is very excited to be returning to UT for their second production. Gui has previously vocal directed for Trail to Oregon!, and he’s very excited for you to enjoy all of the actors’ hard work over these last few months! Gui would like to thank their co-vocal director Isabel Schmitz and assistant Emma Herzig, stage managers Ariana Baginski and Danielle Yablonovskiy, actor Maggie Reyes (Jeremy) for stepping up and doing a fantastic job as our lead, and their boyfriend, Bryant, for helping keep their head on their shoulders and for his tireless love and support during the entire production process. His co-SQUIPS would be SZA and Megan Thee Stallion.
Isabel Schmitz (Co-Vocal Director) , soprano, is a fourth-year undergraduate studying Music and Comparative Human Development. Opera: Ensemble in HMS Pinafore (Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company), Chorus in Suor Angelica/Opera Scenes Showcase at Music on Site 2022 (Wichita, KS), Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (AAMA Salzburg 2022), chorus in Hänsel und Gretel (Berlin Opera Academy 2021). Singing, acting, and (assistant) vocal directing in various UT shows. Upcoming: senior solo voice recital (May 14, 2023), Zweite Knabe in Zauberflöte / Despina role study in Così fan tutte (BOA 2023). Voice: Patrice Michaels. UChicago Motet Choir: soprano section leader, featured soloist. Voice teacher and Communications Director for the South Side Free Music Program.
Ophelia Dominguez (Co-Music Director/Conductor) is a second-year Biology and Anthropology double-major. She has previously worked on Trail To Oregon! (Synthesizer), and Perfect Match (Music Director). In her free time she enjoys baking bread, tap dancing, and stroking stingrays.
Elena Gill (Co-Music Director/Rehearsal Pianist) is a third-year Public Policy and Linguistics student. She has previously worked on Queen of Spades (Pianist), Trail to Oregon! (Piano 1/Rehearsal Pianist), Yivdak (Music Composition/Direction), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Assistant Sound Designer). Outside of UT, she has an unhealthy obsession with strangers’ vowels.
Andrei Thüler (Production Manager) is a second-year Data Science major. This is either his third UT credit after Director (Theater) and Lighting Designer (Ah Wing Workshop), or twenty-seventh counting Videography (Every UT Show Since Fall 2021). Outside of UT, he enjoys making short films and grading data science papers.
Ariana Baginski (Co-Stage Manager) is a fourth-year Molecular Engineering major on the Bioengineering track and TAPS minor. She has previously worked for several UT productions including The Laramie Project (Stage Management Collective™), Macbeth in Space (Assistant Scenic Designer), Romeo & Juliet (Lady Capulet), The Trail to Oregon! (Co-Stage Manager), My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre (Assistant Sound Designer), The Old Man and the Old Moon (Assistant Scenic Designer), and The Winter’s Tale (Assistant Scenic Designer). She would love to take space to individually thank each member of the cast and crew for rolling with the punches so well but will save you the time and effort of reading all of that. Here are the highlights: Thank you to Cilcan and Elaine for constantly being on top of the odds and ends of stage management! Thank you to Maggie, London, Sanjna, Gwen, Lily, Abby, Joelle, George, Rory, Surya, and Nico for bringing this show to life and continually impressing her with your talent!! Thank you to Reese and Eleni for inviting her back to SM again but also just being some of the closest friends she has ever had!!! Last but certainly not least, thank you to Danielle for not only being the other half of her brain but also just being her rock throughout this process and this year!!! There is no way to do this without you! While Ariana is incredibly indecisive at times, her SQUIP would probably look like Althea Li.
Danielle Yablonovskiy (Co-Stage Manager) is a third-year Economics and Psychology major. She has previously worked on The Trail to Oregon! (Co-Stage Manager), Perfect Match (Stage Manager), Ah Wing Workshop (Stage Manager), Welcome Back to My Channel (Asst. Stage Manager), and Scientific Method (Asst. Production Manager). She would like to thank the amazing company of Be More Chill for letting her to do her very favorite thing in the world and loving her all through it. She would like to give a special shoutout to Elaine and Cilcan for jumping right into the crazy world of stage management and always having her back, to Maggie, Lily, London, Surya, Rory, Gwen, Abby, Joelle, Sanjna, George, and Nico for being the center of her life for the past few months in the best way imaginable, to Reese for trusting her day after day and year after year, to Eleni for staying by her side for one more rodeo, and to Ariana for being the best partner in crime she could have ever imagined. You can ask anyone, there is certainly no doubt that her SQUIP would be Cristiano Ronaldo. SIUUUUUUUUUUU!!!
Laura Mahaniah (Co-Choreographer) is a third-year student at UChicago 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 productions. Some of her favorite credits include The Physicists on Silks (Director/Production Manager), Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Will Scarlett/Fight Captain), and the 2022-23 TAPS Dance Showcase (Dancer). Ongoing projects include assisting research for the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project and Beshrew Me! and organizing From the Ashes, a Chicago-wide open-style dance battle taking place in Ida Noyes April 28th. Laura Tutondele’s SQUIP would either be Winnie the Pooh or Rob Inglis’ disembodied voice. Email: email@example.com Instagram: @lauratutondele
Althea Li (Co-Choreographer) is a third-year Music and Statistics double-major. This is her first show with UT, but she has been actively involved in theatre since age 12, whether as a performer, music director, or choreographer. She’s been dancing with UChicago Dancers since first year, and serves as their Assistant Director. She is also currently co-composing an original musical named Strings Attached with Adrian Lo, with book and lyrics by Jefferson Lind. She’d like to thank the cast for doing some excellent cooking with her these past few months, with special thanks to her Chef de Cuisine, 3 Sous Chefs, Saucier, Rotisseur, Friturier, Pattisier, and Commis chef. Althea’s SQUIP is probably Mike Wazowski from Monster’s Inc.
Jules Fennell (Dramaturg)
Thomas Nielsen (Scenic Designer)
Belle Nahoom (Costume Designer) is a second-year Art History and Data Science major. Her previous theatre credits with UT include The Heirs (ASM), Marian (ASM), The Intruder Workshop (Costume Designer), Scientific Method (Costume Designer), Macbeth in Space (Hair & Makeup), the Queen of Spades Workshop (SM & PM), The Laramie Project (SM Collective™), and the B.A. Thesis, Yivdak (Jared), as well as the upcoming 12th Night (Hair & Makeup). She is also capocomico of the Commedia Dell’Arte improv troupe on campus.
Daisy Marshall (Props Designer) is a third-year in the College, studying Sociology among other things. They’ve done prop design for a handful of UT shows, such as Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood, and The Trail to Oregon!. Daisy comes in second place to the entirety of the cast in the superlative “amount of Mountain Dew improperly handled”. They are immensely grateful to the cast and crew for their hard work.
Izzy Martino (Sound Designer) is a fourth-year Creative Writing major. He has previously worked on The Heirs (Sound Designer). Outside of University Theater, he does the sound design —and occasionally lighting design— for Le Vorris and Vox Circus. His SQUIP would take the form of Brennan Lee Mulligan, naturally.
Carolyn Heinzer (Lighting Designer)
Alexander Gappert (Assistant Director) is a first-year veteran scholar and Economics major. He has previously served in the US Navy as an air traffic controller and had experience working on the TV show Jack Ryan (Background Actor). Alex’s Squip would be Ted Lasso.
Emma Herzig (Assistant Vocal Director)
Rosemary Li (Assistant Production Manager)
Cilcan Pierce (Assistant Stage Manager)
Elaine Liang (Assistant Stage Manager) is a third-year Philosophy and Allied Fields (Biological Sciences) major and Chemistry minor. She has previously worked as the Assistant Costume Designer on The Laramie Project, and has since been spellbound by the wondrous world of theater. Her Squip is Rosalind Franklin, a brilliant scientist whose untimely death offers just the right hint of tragedy.
Konstantin Shmarko (Assistant Dramaturg)
Dia Atluri (Assistant Costume Designer) is a first-year Public Policy and Economics major. Be More Chill is the first show she is working on.
Tirzah Cobb (Assistant Costume Designer) is a 1st year working as an assistant costume designer for the show. This is her first production at the College.
Emily Curran (Assistant Lighting Designer) is a first-year double major in TAPS and Public Policy. Previous credits include Romeo and Juliet (ALD), Macbeth in Space (LD), and Twelfth Night (LD) which you should all come to next week! She’s so excited for y’all to see the show and lovingly believes Coco to be her SQUIP.
Julia Fink (Assistant Sound Designer)
Nathalie Lam (Assistant Sound Designer)
Rory McGann (Fight Captain)
Gwendolyn Laub (Dance Captain)
Coco Liu (Committee Liaison)
Abby Starr (Tech Staff Liaison)