Independent study project takes student to Chicago theater

By Kallie Delis

It’s impressive enough that third-year student Lily Tanner spent January working with a storefront theater company in Chicago for her New College independent study project. How she got there is possibly even more impressive.

Tanner interned with the NoMads Art Collective, a storefront theater company, for three weeks. She attended production meetings, assisted with a workshop for a new play the company is putting on, and helped the development team with a new campaign. She gained experience in fundraising, grant writing, facilitating community partnerships, and more.

Tanner got the gig by writing a play, Testing Gold, a one-act “coming-of-age” play. The plot follows a college student faced with the demands and confusion of navigating life, attempting to make sense of her past. Realizing she is trapped in an endless loop, she is forced to make a difficult decision. 

Tanner’s play won a contest hosted by Sarasota’s Urbanite Theatre. It was performed as a live stage-read for audiences.

Through the connection to the Urbanite, Tanner met Chicago playwright and actress Marjorie Muller. Muller is a member of the Artistic Council that leads the NoMads Art Collective, and participated in the Modern Works Festival at the Urbanite. Upon meeting Tanner and learning about New College’s ISP program, Muller invited Tanner to come up to Chicago and help with the theater company.

Tanner is thrilled she was able to pursue a passion, get course credit, and more importantly, experience that will help her with her goal of a career in the arts. 

Kallie Delis is a Public Affairs Student Assistant in the New College Office of Communications and Marketing.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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