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Finding Music in Shakespeare, Suffragists and Mitch McConnell

She was an acting major. But one night a classmate, Sam Pinkleton (now a choreographer), suggested she check out an elective taught by Ms. Swados, who was pushing students to create their own work. That was transformative for Ms. Taub, who not only began writing furiously but also joined Tisch’s experimental theater wing. She even met the man who is now her husband, Matt Gehring, a comedian, in Ms. Swados’s class.

Her potential was recognized quickly. Her senior project — a musical called “The Daughters,” about three Greek goddesses — was seen by artists who have become patrons: Ms. Chavkin, who later cast her in “Great Comet” and “Hadestown”; Rachel Sussman, who brought the subject of suffrage to Ms. Taub and became that project’s lead producer; and Shanta Thake, the director of Joe’s Pub.

She graduated N.Y.U. in 2009, booked a TheaterWorksUSA tour of “Seussical,” (she played Gertrude McFuzz), took jobs as an accompanist and eventually landed in Las Vegas (and then Cambridge, Mass.) with a Teller/Tom Waits “Tempest,” San Francisco (and then New York) with “Old Hats” and New York with “Great Comet” and “Hadestown.”

While performing, she kept writing. The Yale Institute for Music Theater supported a workshop of “The Daughters.” Ars Nova made her a composer in residence. In 2014, she won the American Theater Wing’s coveted Jonathan Larson grant for early-career songwriters.

“Her talents are manifold — or maybe it’s womanfold,” Ms. Chavkin said. “She is also a radically and joyfully stubborn person, with a clarity about what she’s interested in and what she’s not interested in.”

Those interests are informed by politics, and her opposition to what she calls the “fascist monster regime of Trump.” The song that has become her standard, “When,” is a cri de coeur about gun violence. “Huddled Masses,” inspired by a Nicholas Kristof column, is a critique of American refugee policy.

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Finding Music in Shakespeare, Suffragists and Mitch McConnell


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