A comedy play about a comedy game show



Senior digital media production major Laney Kraus-Taddeo writes and directs “Pat,” showing in the Interpreters Theatre Nov. 1 to 3 at 7:30 p.m.

LEZIGA BARIKOR, Campus Life Editor | [email protected]

The lines between reality television and real life will be blurred in the new Interpreters Theatre play “PAT,” premiering this Thursday, Nov. 1,  at 7:30 p.m. and showing through Saturday, Nov. 3.

Writer and director Laney Kraus-Taddeo, a senior digital media production major, said the show was inspired by some of her own life experiences.

“There are some stories in here that are true, some are exaggerated,” Kraus-Taddeo said.

The play is about a daughter and mother who enjoy watching game shows together. While watching an old game show rerun, they become intrigued with the life of a particular contestant. They make up a fake life for this contestant, Pat. They become so fascinated with her life after the show that they go on a road trip to find her, and also see their own favorite game show, “Let’s Make a Deal,” along the way.

The main character, Lizzie, is inspired by Kraus-Taddeo’s persona.

“My mom and I are really close, and we actually watched a game show [and] made up this fake life about someone named Pat,” Kraus-Taddeo said. “And I was like, ‘Wait, what if there was a story? Like, a road trip movie where they go across the country to find her?’ And that idea kind of took hold when I was in my playwriting class.”

Although Kraus-Taddeo and her mom didn’t really make that road trip, they did get to see “Let’s Make a Deal” this summer to gain further inspiration for her play. Kraus-Taddeo also spoke with host Wayne Brady about her project and he remembered UNI’s campus from when he visited with “Whose Line is it Anyway?” She invited Brady to the performance, but he had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.

The whole idea of turning her play, originally written for a playwriting class, into an actual production was a long shot, according to Kraus-Taddeo. She said she applied on a whim to direct her play through the Interpreters Theatre and did not think her idea would be accepted.

“I like long shots, and I think this show is a lot about long shots too,” Kraus-Taddeo said.

Once her application was accepted, Kraus-Taddeo began the work of adapting her 30-page, one-act play into what will be performed this week. Minor tweaks were made to the overall story to expand it into an 80-page play.

“I made some scenes longer, and I added some scenes. I didn’t take away a log,” Kraus-Taddeo said. “What I depend on is witty, fast-paced dialogue, and it’s a lot more of that.”

The play was fully auditioned and cast in September. The cast did their first table read that month.

“There’s nothing like a table read because there are words that I have in my head for so long, and then give them away to the actors,” Kraus-Taddeo said. “It has its own life.”

While this is Kraus-Taddeo’s first play production at UNI, last spring she also hosted her first short film production, “The Merge.” It was a dramatic comedy about a high school girl and her creative writing persona learning to come together.

Besides now writing and directing her own play and short film productions, in the spring of 2017, Kraus-Taddeo won the Crystal Pillar Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter for College Editor for her work.

Kraus-Taddeo describes her play as endearing and invites students to “come enjoy the small moments of life.”

She and her cast and crew have been working all semester and feel prepared for their opening night. Tickets are free, but must be reserved ahead of time online because of limited seating.

“Hopefully they laugh, and laugh at the right moments,” Kraus-Taddeo said.

Students can visit the Interpreters Theatre website for more details.