Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Second Stage Laboratory Projects


Music Heals

Led by Irene Phillips

Sometimes one isn’t done with a feeling until their story is heard. Music Heals gives participants a chance to show how music has impacted their lives. Students will sing, either with an instrument or a track, in an evening split up into chapters highlighting specific emotional themes. Before each song, the performer will share a short original monologue about how the song has impacted them in a time of either Loving, Losing, Breaking, Healing, Growing, or Remembering.


Words, Words, Words

Led by Annemarie Andaleon

Shakespearean characters often fall into madness. This project explores a Shakespearean character’s descent into madness by using Shakespeare’s original text and slowly randomizing the order of the phrases: the beginning is in the traditional order, in the middle, the lines become randomized, and finally, the individual words themselves are put into a random order. Performers will work to convey the madness and emotional turmoil of a character’s words despite words increasingly becoming nonsensical. This is an exploration of performance, text, a splash of computer science, and storytelling using seemingly unfamiliar and difficult to understand text.


Coming of Stars

Led by Mikayla De Guzman

A workshop on the Visayan tale of Sun and Moon’s origins. “Coming of stars” is a stor exploring love, loss, and hope for a family. Students will explore traditional Filipino dance movements and music to explain the journey of the characters as their responsibilities take a dramatic shift.



Led by Lucy Myerscough

Inspired by last year’s Women in Theatre Ensemble Haunted tackles some of the trials and tribulations of women in the 1920s, such as domestic abuse, STDs, and financial difficulties.  The girls in Ms. Elenor's house, work together to confront the ghosts that plague their lives. It deals with the parts of these women's lives that haunt them, while also portraying an actual haunting of a women's boarding house. This project will focus on the process behind developing new material and creating strong coherent characters that work together in a story.


Long Form Improvisation Workshop with The Annoyance Theater

Led by Megan Crane

Often referred to as “the home of improv” Chicago’s deep history with this form of theater is what inspired this project. This workshop partners with The Annoyance theater and will focus on Long-Form Improvisation and the ideas of ethical and inclusive comedy.

Long-form improvisation differs from typical short-form improvisation as it is one continuous piece more focused on chapter building, building a story, and typically only includes one or two suggestions from the audience. Long-form improvisation focuses on establishing patterns and consistency when improving. 

The Annoyance was chosen as our partner because of its history with ethical comedy and its commitment to creating a space within a comedy that is for everyone regardless of identity. With alums like Steph Colbert, Aidy Bryant, and Jane Lynch, The Annoyance has become an integral part of Chicago comedy and comedy across the country! Read more about the annoyance here or check out their website!

This project will span over 3 weeks and will include four dates. The Annoyance has graciously offered as part of this workshop free tickets to one of their shows on 1/25. This show will be mandatory to participate in the workshop. The rest of the workshop will consist of three 90 min workshops.


Stained Glass Shattered

Led by Makenna Van Raalte

3-day staged reading of an original play dramatizing mental health institutionalization. Written and Directed by Project Leader,  Makenna Van Raalte.