Weekend of Workshops offers a stage to directors, devisers and performers hoping to exercise and explore their craft. This fall, audiences will encounter new work and old, original and revised. A Weekend of Workshops commits each and every inhabitant of this intimate space to the expansion of the limits of their artistry. Join us for Queen of Spades and Harlesden High Street!

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Harlesden High Street by Abhishek Majumdar, directed by Antrita Manduva & Maya Ghosal

Harlesden High Street follows the lives of Rehaan, Ammi, and Karim, three first and second generation Pakistani immigrants, as they strive to create a living amidst the hustle and bustle of West London. It is a witty and heartfelt exploration of the South Asian diasporic experience that captures the everlasting conflict between nostalgia and belonging - the struggle to define home in a foreign country while reminiscing about the bittersweet memories of one’s origin.


Aman Shah (Rehaan) is a third-year Economics and Public Policy major. This is his first time acting in a production at college. He is passionate about geography, reading, and soccer.

Ahan Raina (Kareem) is a third-year Philosophy and Law, Letters, and Society major. This is his first time being involved in a University Theater production. Outside of theater, you can probably find him talking about philosophy and social theory, cricket, film (especially the Indian film industry), Sufi music and poetry, and memes. He would also like to remind you that Central Jersey exists, and will not tolerate any New Jersey slander whatsoever.

Mayurakshi (Maya) Ghosal (Ammi)

Production Staff

Antrita Manduva (Co-Director, she/her) is a second-year majoring in Statistics, co-directing the show with wonderful Maya! She’s loved working with the cast & crew to bring Harlesden High Street to life, and hopes everyone enjoys the show! She’s happy to tell South-Asian stories through UT and grateful for getting to work with her friends! Catch her grinding at Mansueto or drinking mocha at Hallowed anytime.

Mayurakshi (Maya) Ghosal (Co-Director) is a third-year majoring in Computer Science. She has previously acted in UT’s Chaos Theory as part of the 2022 Winter Workshops. For this year’s Winter Workshop, she is very excited to co-direct scenes from Harlesden High Street as well as play the character of Ammi in it. When she’s not reading a play or performing a monologue, Maya likes to watch psych thrillers, scroll through TikTok, eat good food, and spend time with her roommates!

Riya Bindlish (Stage & Production Manager) is a third-year Public Policy and Economics Major. This is her first time working in theatre and loves backstage work! Outside of theatre, Riya enjoys dancing (she’s on the UChicago Bhangra team), traveling, hanging out with her roommates, and writing. She is also a coffee addict.

Madhav Vats (Videographer)

Aurélie Roubinowitz (Lighting Designer)

Spencer Ng (Projection Designer)

Queen of Spades by Amelia Simonoff, adapted from the short story by Alexander Pushkin, directed by Laura Mahaniah

A new musical by UChicago alumna Amelia Simonoff, Queen of Spades is an adaptation of Alexander Pushkin's short story of the same name. In this tale, the supernatural seeps into the parlors, ballrooms and gambling dens of Imperial Russia as Hermann.


Annie Leonard (Countess) is a fourth-year Psychology major. She was also in workshops last fall, has acted in some short films with Fire Escape, and is involved with Survivor Chicago (apply for season 4 at instagram.com/survivorchicago)!

Kat Mokedi (Princess Pauline)

Suttyn Simon (Lizaveta) is a second-year Art History and Political Science double major. For the past five years, she’s been a company member with the Florida Classical Ballet and a trainee with the Ruth Page Civic Ballet Company and has performed principal roles in a variety of ballets such as The Nutcracker, Les Corsaire, Don Quixote, and more. Additionally, she was Suor Dolcina in OperaFusions’ Suor Angelica and performed as Mary Poppins for Florida Children’s Theatre. She’s very excited to be in her first UT workshop! In her free time you can find her exploring museums in Chicago, desperately searching for lentil soup in Pret, and studying in the Smart museum.

Caroline Lopez (The Bishop) is a second-year chemistry major. With the university, she has previously worked on The Trail to Oregon! (u/s mother) and Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood. She is grateful to everyone who helped bring this workshop together, and she hopes you love the show!

Collin Polasky (Hermann) is a second-year Computer Science and Economics Major. This is his first show with UT and he is excited to be back on stage performing after a brief hiatus from theater during his first year at UChicago. Special shoutouts to Jon, who’s come all this way from the physics building to be here, and to my castmates, who always remind me why I enjoy theater in the first place. Enjoy the show!

Genevieve Evans (Tomsky) is a first-year prospective Creative Writing major. She has previously worked on Guys And Dolls (General Cartwright), Puffs (Professor McG/Professor Lanny/Xavia Jones), The Sound Of Music (Mother Abbess), Almost, Maine (Hope), Pippin (Cast), Oliver (Cast), Beauty And The Beast (Cast) and As You Like It, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in various roles. She is a passionate singer, writer, actress and performer who also dabbles in composition.

Production Staff

Laura Tutondele Mahaniah (Director) is a third-year at UChicago studying TAPS, Anthropology and Linguistics. At the University, she has previously worked on Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Will Scarlett), Romeo & Juliet (Dramaturg), King Lear (Old Man/Knight), Fields of Asphodel (Syd), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline) and My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre (Ensemble). Laura Tutondele is currently working on the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project and Beshrew Me! as a research assistant, as well as Be More Chill (Choreographer) and The Physicists (Director, Production Manager). When not in rehearsal, Laura Tutondele can usually be found rushing between dance studios Email: lauratutondele@gmail.com Instagram: @lauratutondele

Belle Nahoom (Stage & Production Manager) 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), and the B.A. thesis Yivdak (Actor). She is also involved with the Commedia Dell’Arte improv troupe on campus. She would like to send a big thank you to all the members of TAPS pro-staff and the amazing cast and crew!

Isabel Schmitz (Vocal Director, she/her) , soprano, is a fourth-year undergraduate studying Music and Comparative Human Development. Opera: Chorus in Suor Angelica and Opera Scenes Showcase at Music on Site 2022 (Wichita, KS), Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with AAMA Salzburg 2022, chorus in Hänsel und Gretel at Berlin Opera Academy 2021 Opernfest. Upcoming: Ensemble in HMS Pinafore (Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company), Zweite Knabe in Zauberflöte and Despina role study in Così fan tutte (Berlin Opera Academy Opernfest 2023). UChicago Theater: Tinder Men/Doctor/Rose and Assistant Vocal Director in Perfect Match, soprano vocalist in Yivdak, Assistant Vocal Director on Be More Chill (April 2023). Isabel will also be singing her own voice recital in May 2023. She has been a member of the Vocal Studies Program since first year, studying with Patrice Michaels, and has been a member of Motet Choir under the direction of Dr. James Kallembach since first year, and started as soprano section leader in the winter of 2022. She teaches voice with and is the Communications Director for the South Side Free Music Program, a UChicago RSO, for which she has taught since first year.

Emma Herzig (Assistant Vocal Director) is a second-year Linguistics and Astrophysics student. She previously acted in two of UT’s Workshops: The Fields of Asphodel and The Intruder. Outside of UT, she has experience in Shakespearean acting, choir, and vocal performance. This is her first time being on Crew for a show. Outside of theater-related activities, she also enjoys playing guitar, baking, and falling into research rabbit holes that are entirely tangential to whatever subject she is actually supposed to be researching.

Elena Gill (Pianist) is a third-year Public Policy and Linguistics Major who spends far too much time on theatre given that it has no association with her professional plans. She has previously played piano in UT’s The Trail to Oregon! and the TAPS thesis show Yivdak. She also composed music and music directed Yivdak. She also was the assistant sound designer on the Dean’s Men’s Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Carolyn Heinzer (Lighting Designer) is a second-year Computer Science and English major. They have previously worked on The Intruder (Co-Stage Manager), Perfect Match (Assistant Lighting Designer), The Trail to Oregon! (Assistant Lighting Designer), and written for four rounds of Theater[24] (most recently Love In the Time of Monstertrucks).

Amelia Simonoff (Writer)

Committee Liaison

Abby Kanes is a second year TAPS and Business Economics major. In UT she performed in Romeo & Juliet (Tybalt), and the TAPS Pro Show Amazons and Their Men (The Frau). She has played bass in the pit orchestra for The Trail to Oregon! and the Perfect Match Workshop. She is on TAPS Admin Staff as a Front of House Manager and this is her first time being a Committee Liaison. She thanks everyone for their hard work on this show!