Lauren Taslitz ’79 always loved musicals, but aside from singing in the high school chorus, she never was involved in theater. But these days, her life is all about the stage.
After earning a law degree at Harvard, she got married, moved to Winnetka, Ill., when her husband was offered a new job, and gave up her legal career to raise their three children. She volunteered at her children’s schools, helping in the classroom and serving on committees. When she wrote a few skits for a variety show at her children’s middle school, Taslitz discovered a new passion: writing musicals.
She has penned two: Join the Club, which she wrote with a friend, and After They’ve Gone: A Tale of Emptynesterhood, about how parents figure out what comes next when their children leave home. The first was performed in Illinois in 2012; the second has had two staged readings in Chicago and another at Reunions last May. Taslitz wrote the book and lyrics for After They’ve Gone, drawing on her own emotions — the fear and the excitement — as her children, now 27, 26, and 23, make their way in the world.
Taslitz is sending the script for After They’ve Gone to theaters and producers in hopes of getting the show onto the stage, and contemplating enrolling in a master’s degree program in musical theater. She relishes having found something new that she loves doing at this point in her life. “If I’m lucky, I have 20 years left where I’m healthy, and I don’t want to waste it,” she says.
When Taslitz was younger and thinking about a career, she wouldn’t have pursued theater, she says, “because I never would have been willing to starve to death. I’m way too practical a person. But now I can.”