Plays and Musicals


Cassie Nowik, Reporter

Taft has one of the largest theater departments in the Chicago Public School area. Taft hosts seasonal plays and musicals; such as the play Everybody which played from Oct. 18 through Oct. 21, 2023.

In addition, they have the first musical (Little Women) to ever be performed in the Freshman Academy between Nov. 16 through 18. Through Dec. 13 through 16 the Sir Earless Society Presents; in the parlor, a penguin. On March 15, is the I(B)des of March Showcase. There’s also Hello, Dolly! starting on April 18 and ending in April. 21. 

There is so much more to come in the future, on average shows cost about five dollars depending on if the person has a student ID. Staff and students alike share a positive mindset and are excited to host these performances. 

Rosalia Locascio, is a junior who’s been taking drama since sophomore. Last year, she played in the Taft musical 9 to 5. She is hoping to audition again this year in Hello, Dolly!

Locascio said, “ Taft drama should be promoted, I personally feel that Taft only promotes very little of their other circulars other than sports; and when they do promote sports it’s always football, very rarely do I hear of new sports or activities being promoted at Taft.”

She continued, “Taft Drama is fun and I know so many people who would love to participate in it by either joining or simply watching a performance, Taft should advocate more for its programs that way students can try it.”

Both students and teachers from the taft theater department, work hard for weeks in preparation of these school plays. They spend a great deal of time rehearsing, building props and costumes and in addition making the decision of who is best suited for each role.

Locascio said, “ The teachers do a great job at trying to make everyone feel comfortable no matter what they are doing. About 90 percent of the time, the teachers allow us to give feedback… they will go the extra mile for students and the show.”

Taft senior, Matthew “Gibby” Gibson-Pometta who recently acted in the play Everybody commented on his experience.  He played the role of Friends in the play Everybody, which depicted how in life you are responsible for your own actions and can’t expect people to always be with you.

Everybody was one of the most fun and exciting productions I’ve been in! The stage being closer to the audience is such an intimate experience, and being able to really see the crowd smile and enjoy the performance is truly a wonderful feeling!” said Gibson-Pometta.

Overall, the students had positive feedback about their teachers and how they organize the plays and musicals. On the opening night of Everybody, students, teachers and family members showed up to watch the performance and all left with a smile on their faces. This is all thanks to the performers and teachers who host these performances.

“My teachers always get so excited when I tell them I have a show, and they are always asking me when the next show is. Their anticipation to see the little old me really inspires me to put on a good show,” said Gibson-Pometta.

Drama teacher, Jonathan Cohen, who recently directed the play Everybody and teaches multiple acting and theater productions classes such as comedy and performance. He provided the behind the scenes to the process of starting a theater production and how he feels about the Taft Drama community.

“Choosing the show is the first process. I look for a script that excites me. My job as the director is to recognize genius and edit when I don’t. I try to include student input and have discussions about their character, I don’t like to dictate-it’s a collaborative process,” said Cohen.

Cohen continued, “ All funds collected goes into paying off production costs, which can cost up to several hundreds of dollars. The money also goes into costumes, props, and equipment.”

“Taft theater has a lot to offer! Whether an individual wants to participate in the acting process or watch a theater performance- If you want to do theater, we will do theater with you… we strive to create a positive community that is accepting of everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, background and so on,” said Cohen