StageCast: Experiments in Performance and Technology

StageCast: Experiments in Performance and Technology is an experimental showcase of performances to discover new forms of live, theatrical storytelling over the internet. Utilizing new technologies developed by students and faculty members from the Computer Science (CS) and Electrical Engineering (EE) Departments, the performance will feature four original, short works by various acclaimed playwrights performed by Stanford students with live music interludes in-between.

Join us for an investigation into digital storytelling, creative coding, and a melding of art and science!


A TV Pilot I Failed to Sell
by Kate Tarker

A TV Pilot I Failed to Sell highlights the journey of an aspiring writer as she navigates the complex demands of the TV industry. Through multiple zoom meetings, the struggling artist pitches her idea of a screenplay to four different executives. 

by Michael Yates Crowley

Unboxing, is a chaotic satire that pokes fun at influencer unboxing videos on YouTube. Meet a narrator, a lawyer, two box bros, a girlfriend and a… Homunculus?? Dive deep into the meaning of the box with this humorous play.

Loup Garou
by Kelley Girod

In New York City, during the first days of the pandemic and lockdown, two friends who thought they long left a tragedy behind them, find themselves lost in time. As they try to comfort each other through the strangeness of self-isolation, they realize that there is nowhere to run from a past that hunts them like the Loup Garou, or werewolf, that used to stalk their nightmares as children. 

Re-entry Camp
by Mike Lew

Re-entry Camp speculates about the (hopefully soon) transition to a post-COVID era where pandemic-scarred people emerge to re-enter society. This satirical play draws on tropes of the hoarders, the overly-cautious preppers, the zoomers acclimated to online reality, and the people who never cared at all. 


MICHAEL RAU | StageCast Project Principal Investigator and Director of Production

TAPS Assistant Professor and Artistic Director Michael Rau is a live performance director specializing in new plays, opera, and digital media projects. He has worked internationally in Germany, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the Czech Republic. He has created work in New York City at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, PS122, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, 59E59, 3LD, and Dixon Place. Regionally, his work has been seen at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland OH, and the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. He has developed new plays at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Lark and the Kennedy Center. Michael Rau is a recipient of fellowships from the Likhachev Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the National New Play Network. He has been a resident artist at the Orchard Project, E|MERGE, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Rau is a Forward/Story fellow and a speaker at Books in Browsers, StoryCode, and RailsConf2016. He has been an associate director for Anne Bogart, Les Waters, Robert Woodruff, and Ivo Van Hove. He is a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received his MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University.

TSACHY WEISSMAN | StageCast Project Principal Investigator

Tsachy’s research focuses on Information Theory, Data Compression and Communications, Statistical Signal Processing, Machine Learning, the interplay between them, and their applications, with recent focus on applications to genomic data compression and processing. He is inventor of several patents and involved in several companies as a member of the technical board. An IEEE fellow, he serves on the board of governors of the information theory society as well as the editorial boards of the Transactions on Information Theory and Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory. He is founding Director of the Stanford Compression Forum. Inventor of several patents and involved in a number of companies as researcher or member of the technical board. Honors include an NSF CAREER award, several best paper awards, Horev fellowship for Leaders in Science and Technology, Henry Taub prize for excellence in research, incumbent of the STMicroelectronics Chair in the School of Engineering, and IEEE fellow. On the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory. Founding Director of the Stanford Compression Forum. Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University since 2003.

KEITH WINSTEIN | StageCast Project Principal Investigator

Keith Winstein is an assistant professor of computer science and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering at Stanford University. His research group creates new kinds of networked systems by rethinking abstractions around communication, compression, and computation. He has received the SIGCOMM Rising Star Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Usenix NSDI Community Award, and the Applied Networking Research Prize. Winstein previously served as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and was one of the story consultants for HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”

SADJAD FOULADI | StageCast Project Software Lead

Sadjad Fouladi is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, working with Keith Winstein working on topics in computer systems and networking. His research interests include real-time video systems and the use of massive burst-parallelism for interactive computing.

DUSTIN SCHROEDER | StageCast Project Manager

Dustin Schroeder received a B.A. in physics and a B.S.E.E. in electrical engineering from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in geophysics from The University of Texas at Austin. He is an Assistant Professor of geophysics and (by courtesy) of electrical engineering with Stanford University. He is also a center fellow (by courtesy) with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His research seeks to approach problems from both an earth system science and radar system engineering perspective. He is a Science Team Member on the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-Surface (REASON) Instrument on NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission and the Mini-RF Instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He has participated in three Antarctic field seasons with the Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate (ICECAP) Project and NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge. His research interests include observing and understanding the role that subglacial water plays in the evolution and stability of continental ice sheets and its contribution to the rate of sea level rise, and also include the development, use, and analysis of geophysical radar remote sensing systems that are optimized to observe hypothesis-specific phenomena.


Kelley Nicole Girod is an award-winning playwright (Atlantic Launch New Play Commission 2019, Sheen Center Fellow 2019, Stein and Liberace Fellow 2007, John Golden Fellow 2008) whose work has been developed/presented at Atlantic Theater Company, Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, The Fire This Time Festival, Harlem 9, Primary Stages, Project Y, Poetic Theater Productions, Classical Theater of Harlem, Frigid NYC, Planet Connections Theater Festival, The Field, and Dixon Place. Kelley has had the pleasure of working with Frederick Zollo, Keith Beauchamp and Michael JP Reilly as script consultant on Zollo Productions Film The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2018). Kelley’s essay “About Alice or When Social Distancing Ends” was recently published in The Flashpaper: Theater’s Thoughts on Right Now, and was also published in American Theater Magazine 2020.Kelley Nicole Girod also works a producer in NYC, and founded the OBIE Award winning, groundbreaking new play festival for Black playwrights, The Fire This Time Festival, going into its 12th season this year and is currently featured on PBS AllArts, NYtimes, and Playbill. She is also working with Bloomsbury Publishing on The Fire This Time’s first published anthology.Outside of the festival, Kelley has produced and curated at The Sheen Center and served as Producing Director at The Billie Holiday Theater from 2014-2015. She has also produced events with Frederick Zollo and Keith Beauchamp over the years. Kelley has also served as a guest lecturer at Yale School for Drama. Kelley is a 2008 Graduate of Columbia’s MFA Playwriting Program.Kelley’s favorite roles are as the mother of Penelope Evelyn and Noelle Anamaria, and wife of the amazing Dr. David L. Fernandes, who has been steadily providing care for patients at one of NYC’s COVID epicenters since the beginning of the pandemic.

MIKE LEW | Author

Mike Lew’s plays include Teenage Dick (Donmar Warehouse, Wooly Mammoth, Ma-Yi at the Public, and Artists Rep productions; Public Studio, O’Neill, OSF workshops), Tiger Style! (Olney, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill and CTG workshops), Bike America (Ma-Yi and Alliance productions), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act productions), Moustache Guys, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It (Richard Rodgers Award; La Jolla Playhouse, Jerome Robbins Project Springboard and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat “Triple R” workshops). He is a Tony voter, Dramatists Guild Council member, and resident of New Dramatists. He is a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ma-Yi and former La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence (both with Rehana Lew Mirza). Honors include Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships and the Kleban, PEN Emerging Playwright, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. He is former co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. He is married to fellow playwright Rehana Lew Mirza, who he met in Ma-Yi Lab. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003).


Kate Tarker’s plays include THUNDERBODIES (Soho Rep., NYTimes’ Unforgettable Theater Moments of 2018), Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man (The Wilma, FoolsFURY), and Laura and the Sea (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). Her work has been called “screamingly funny” (The New York Times) and “staggeringly original” (The San Francisco Chronicle).

Her works have been developed at The Lark, The Vineyard, Rattlestick, The Wilma, Ars Nova, NYTW, Magic Theatre, Cutting Ball, the Playwrights’ Center, Theatre503 in London, and The O’Neill, among others. She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the National Science Playwriting Award, Theater Masters’ Visionary Playwright Award, a PWCenter/NET Ensemble Collaboration Grant, and she has been featured twice on the Kilroys List. She’s been a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award, and the Relentless Award. Residencies: Tofte Lake Center, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow. Alum of Ars Nova Play Group, New Georges Jam, and Playwrights’ Center Core Writer. Tarker has also collaborated with Pig Iron and SITI Company Conservatory, and currently holds commissions from Theater Masters, Soho Rep., and Playwrights Horizons. Teaching: Wesleyan, University of the Arts, PlayPenn, and Playwrights’ Center. M.F.A. Yale.


Michael Yates Crowley is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer whose work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, Edinburgh, and elsewhere. His works for theater include The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B Matthias (Playwrights Realm at The Duke on 42nd Street); Gunplay: A Love Story (developed at NYTW and Ars Nova); Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (American Repertory Theater, Joe’s Pub); temping (premiered at the 53rd New York Film Festival, A.R.T.); The Dead, Inc. (Schlosstheater Moers); Evanston: A Rare Comedy (2013 O’Neill NPC selection, 2015 Alliance/Kendeda Finalist); and The Ted Haggard Monologues (published by S. Fischer Verlag; filmed by HBO). He is a former New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting fellow and member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Together with the director Michael Rau, he founded the narrative technology company Wolf 359.


The musicians this evening are members and frequent guest artists of the Wet Ink Ensemble, a NYC-based collective of composers, performers and improvisers dedicated to adventurous music-making. Named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by The New York Times, Wet Ink’s work is rooted in an ethos of innovation through collaboration, from the unique performance practice developed in the “band” atmosphere of Wet Ink’s core octet of composer-performers, to projects with a broad range of renowned creators and underrepresented artists. Wet Ink recently released two acclaimed albums: Smoke, Airs (Huddersfield Contemporary Records), and Glossolalia/Lines on Black (Carrier Records), which was named one of the Best Albums of 2020 by Bandcamp Daily. For more info, please visit

GELSEY BELL | Musician, Vocals

Gelsey Bell is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and scholar. She has released multiple recordings, including This is Not a Land of Kings and Home by the Chutneys, and received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts award for music/sound. Recently she has been making soundwalks, including Cairns (2020) for Green-Wood Cemetery and Meander (2021, with Joseph White) for Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is a core member of thingNY, Varispeed, and the Chutneys. She is or has been a resident artist at the HERE Arts Center, Mount Tremper Arts, Roulette, and the Kinosaki Arts Center. Her works include Bathroom SongsScalingOur Defensive Measurementsshuffleyamamba (with Yasuko Yokoshi), Prisoner’s Song (with Erik Ruin), SubtracTTTTTTTTT and This Takes Place Close By (with thingNY), and the acclaimed adaptation of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (with Varispeed). Performance highlights also include Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway) and Ghost Quartet, Robert Ashley’s Improvement and Crash, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler’s River of Fundament, Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens, and Gregory Whitehead’s On the Shore Dimly Seen. She has a PhD from New York University in Performance Studies, is the Critical Acts Co-Editor for TDR/The Drama Review, and an Associate Editor for The Journal of Interdisplinary Voice

JOSH MODNEY | Musician, Violin

Josh Modney is a violinist and creative musician working at the nexus of composition, improvisation, and interpretation. A “new-music luminary” (The New York Times) hailed for “jaw-dropping technical skill…” (Bandcamp Daily), Modney has collaborated closely with leading composers of his generation including Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Eric Wubbels, and Rick Burkhardt, and with major figures including Kaija Saariaho, Mathias Spahlinger, Helmut Lachenmann, George Lewis, and Pauline Oliveros. As an improviser, Modney has performed and recorded with acclaimed artists such as Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe, and Patrick Higgins (Zs). His triple-disc debut solo release, Engage (New Focus Recordings), featuring works written for Modney alongside music by Anthony Braxton, J.S. Bach, and Modney’s own solo violin music, was lauded by The New York Times as “one of the most intriguing programs of the year”, and was recognized on Best of 2018 lists by Sequenza21 and Bandcamp. His writing on Just Intonation and collaborative musical practices has been published on Sound American and New Music Box. Modney is violinist and Executive Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble and a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

MARIEL ROBERTS | Musician, Cello

American cellist Mariel Roberts is widely recognized not just for her virtuosic performances, but as a “fearless explorer” in her field (Chicago Reader). Her ravenous appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work which bridges avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised, and traditional music. Roberts is widely recognized for her “technical and interpretive mastery” (I care if you listen) and for performances which seethe with “excruciating intensity” (The Whole Note).
Roberts has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across four continents, most notably as a member and co-director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by The New York Times), as well as with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Mivos Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars, and Ensemble Signal. She performs regularly on major stages for new music around the world, and has been featured wide variety of outstanding recordings. Roberts’ compositions have been performed at venues such as Merkin Hall and Miller Theater in New York City.

Roberts has released three solo albums of new works. The first, “Nonextraneous Sounds” (2012), was noted for it’s “technical flair and exquisite sensitivity” (Composers Forum). 2017’s “Cartography” (2017), solidified Roberts’ position as “one of the most adventurous figures on New York’s new music scene—one with a thorough grounding in classical tradition but a ravenous appetite for and tireless discipline in new work.” (Bandcamp).



March 04-06, 2021
7:00pm PT




This performance is free and open to the public. 




This production will run one hour. The four pieces will be presented without intermission.




National Science Foundation CNS-1909212


Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence


Stanford McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

Stanford Compression Forum

The May Ellen Ritter Production Fund

The Pigott Fund for Drama

Stanford Compression Forum




These productions include references to death, suicide, and depiction of gun violence.



Project Principal Investigator + Director of Production
Michael Rau

Project Principal Investigators
Tsachy Weissman
Keith Winstein

Assistant Director
Chloe Chow
Emily Saletan

Sierra Porter

Costume Design Advisor
Becky Bodurtha

Lighting Design Advisor
Tony Shayne

Video & Sound Designer
Asa Wember

Project Software Lead
Sadjad Fouladi

Project Manager
Dustin Schroeder

Software Team Members

George Hosono
Richard Lin
Michaela Murray
Akshay Srivatsan
Andy Wang


Justine Kaneda
JJ Kapur
Audrey Mitchell
Sam Howell Petersen
Aiyana Washington


Gelsey Bell

Josh Modney

Mariel Roberts


Stage Manager
Alexa Luckey

Assistant Stage Manager
JJ Sutton

Lighting Operator
Cleopatra Howell

Sound Operator
Morgan Gwilym Tso

Video Operator
Jess Fry

Captions Operator
Jaimi Salone