When Taber Onthank was a Staples High School sophomore, and Brittany Uomoleale was a freshman, they dated briefly.
Both were talented Players actors. They shared the stage in “Children of Eden,” “Urinetown,” “The Wiz,” “The Laramie Project” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
As they got older, their feelings for each other grew. Things got serious following — appropriately — “Romeo and Juliet.”
But after graduation in 2008 Taber headed to the University of Miami, to study music. Brittany majored in theater at Michigan. They visited each other at school, and got together on breaks in Westport. Still, Taber says, “we lived our own college lives.”
Taber stayed in Miami to play music. Brittany headed to Los Angeles, to act. Though farther apart than ever, Brittany says, they grew closer.
Taber moved west. He now writes songs for other artists and ad agencies, and has a recording studio in Santa Monica.
Brittany (known professionally as Britt Baron) was on several seasons of “Glow”; a new Netflix horror film is due out this summer. She’s done voiceovers for video games, and much more.
Brittany and Taber live together. They have a dog together. They spent a lot of time together during COVID. They talked a bit about marriage — nothing definite though.
But a while ago, Taber bought a ring.
They get back east a couple of times a year, to visit family and friends. Before their most recent trip, Taber told Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long his idea: He’d like to propose to Brittany at Staples. On stage — “where it all began.”
The directors were thrilled.
Roth enlisted recently graduated seniors. Some will attend Michigan; many will study theater. The plan was for Brittany to talk to them about acting as a career. Then they’d go on stage, for a “group photo.”
Brittany — who, Taber says, is “very hard to surprise” — thought something was up. But when she walked into the Black Box Theater and saw a group of students, she launched into her talk.
The new alums — who were all in on the ruse — “nodded along as I gave advice,” Brittany says. Hey, they are really good actors.
Soon, she walked on stage. Taber was there — lit dramatically, thanks to recent grad Brandon Malin.
Taber — uncharacteristically nervous — proposed to Brittany. Players watched from the wings. One girl cried.
Neither Brittany nor Taber remember much. Both call it a “surreal, out-of-body experience.”
But it was also very, very special.
“I hadn’t been in that auditorium in years,” Brittany says. “Our lives in L.A. are very different from our lives then. That seems so long ago — but on stage, it seemed like nothing had changed. That’s where we did so much together, where we made so many good friends, and where Taber wrote and performed a song for me.”
The stage was also where — more than a decade ago — Long took what Brittany calls a “stunning” photo of the couple — as actors. They had not yet started dating.
During and after the proposal, Long again took photos. “We came full circle,” Brittany says.
She and Taber give great props to Roth and Long — and to the Players who helped make the proposal work.
“They were so sweet and cute,” Taber says. “They’d already graduated. They were done. But they came back on a summer day, to help with this.”
The couple has not set a date for their wedding. They don’t even know which coast it will be on.
But that — like the rest of their lives together — is in the future. Right now, Brittany says, “I feel so lucky. Players gave me my career, my best friends, and now my fiance.”
Not to mention, a very cool proposal story. One they can re-en”act” for years.