Kent Place senior Katie Moore-Gillon of Madison will present her Independent Study project, a one-woman show titled What’s That, Mr. Jazz Hand?, on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Kent Place School Hyde and Watson Theatre.

The opportunity to participate in an Independent Study at Kent Place is offered only to seniors. The projects allow students to develop a course of study that extends beyond coursework already taken.

Katie says she decided she wanted to participate in the Independent Study program when she saw a former student create a one-woman show as her project two years ago.

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“I’ve always loved writing, especially comedic pieces, and after seeing [the former student’s] show I realized this could be an option for me too,” stated Katie. “My favorite thing to do in Performance Company was writing funny monologues. I loved it so much that I found myself writing in my free time, so it made sense for me to dedicate a class to this.”

What’s That Mr. Jazz Hand? is written and performed entirely by Katie. The show features the stories of several women characters, all of which, Katie says, are not entirely comfortable in their own skin. She says the characters have to cope with this feeling throughout the show.

As part of the Independent Study program, Katie meets with Theater Department Chair Bob Pridham several times each week to review her writing and to make edits. Katie credits her success with this project to the Kent Place Theater Department and especially the Upper School Performance Company, which has allowed her to explore her writing, performance and to learn how to better give and respond to constructive criticism.

What’s That, Mr. Jazz Hand? is a free event and is open to the public. Please note: this work contains some material not suitable for younger audiences.

The Independent Study program at Kent Place provides opportunities for students to pursue interdisciplinary work and to apply knowledge and skills in venues beyond their individual classrooms. For more information please visit