Ann Mahoney of AMC’S The Walking Dead and Loyola Theatre Arts Students Producing Sizzle Reel of Mahoney's “DRAMA DEPT”

This semester, Ann Mahoney and six Loyola Theatre Arts and Dance students have joined forces to create the first “Making a Film” workshop within the department. Mahoney, Loyola’s “Acting for the Camera” professor, has wanted to create a class in which students make a film from start to finish for some time now. At the end of last semester, Mahoney, and several students who wanted to continue studying under her guidance, decided to go for it!

Zachary Boylan, Shelbi Copain, Javier Mederos, Nicole Miller, Emily Patrick, and Madeline Taliancich are the six students meeting each week with Mahoney. Operating under the name Tadah Productions, a name that calls on the team’s roots in the Loyola Department of Theatre Arts and Dance (TAD), the students are crafting a sizzle reel of “Drama Dept,” a TV dramedy about college theatre majors written by Mahoney.

“The story is near and dear to our hearts,” said sophomore Madeline Taliancich. “I’ve never seen a TV show about theatre kids that wasn’t making fun of them in some capacity. This is about the theatre kid experience from our POV.”  Mahoney added, “I often have people ask me about the life of an actor, and the assumption is that acting is something just anyone can do.  This show is a love letter to the craft of acting, and a fly-on-the-wall view into how demanding and competitive the training process truly is.”

For most of the students involved, this is their first time stepping behind the camera. Each student has several titles and jobs to do, multi-tasking more than the average film-maker. Senior Nicole Miller is an actor first, but is now getting to try her hand at Art Direction. “I wouldn’t have an opportunity like this otherwise,” said Miller of the project. “It’s very exciting to get an inside look at this side of things.”

Each Friday, students and Mahoney meet to discuss each aspect of the film, ranging from budgets to costumes to casting. They started with Mahoney’s pilot script and made drastic edits from there, cutting a 40-page script down to 17. With a cast of more than fifteen chosen from professional and student actors, as well as the crew, made up of students from both TAD and Loyola’s film school, the sizzle reel promises to be an exciting opportunity for all those involved.

It is two weeks out from the first shoot date and the group is hoping to raise more funds through gofundme to make this dream a reality. Donations are being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/f/qqd6t-drama-department

In addition, Tadah Productions is looking for opportunities to pitch the finished sizzle reel and pitch packet to potential streaming and network channels.