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About Tantrum Theater

Tantrum was founded in the fall of 2015 by Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts. The theater is a professional company and serves as a training ground providing apprenticeships for students in the Theater Division. The name Tantrum Theater comes from a group of Ohio University graduate students who discovered that one of the collective names for a group of bobcats is a Tantrum. The mascot of Ohio University is the bobcat. Tantrum’s mission is to create and propel forward a resident professional theater company and training conservatory in a partnership with the Ohio University College of Fine Arts.


We seek:

  1. To connect and impact the Athens community through educational outreach and culturally diverse innovative programming that encompasses multiple theatrical disciplines
  2. To develop new work and offer new points of view on classic stories that have contemporary relevance, and
  3. To offer opportunities for intercultural exchange.


Meet the Staff

Rachel Cornish

Rachel Tillman Cornish

Founding Producing Director

Rachel is an arts administrator who has been working to advance early career artists and the field in non-profit theaters and academic organizations for over twenty years. Prior to joining the staff at the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University as Director or External Relations, she served as Associate Director of Marketing for Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. Rachel was the Co-founder and Co-producing Director of Epiphany Theater Company in New York, and holds an MFA in theater management from Yale University and a BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Rebecca VerNooy

Rebecca VerNooy

Director of Education

Rebecca is an Assistant Professor at Ohio University and specializes in movement for the actor and physical theater.  She spent twenty years in New York City as a movement theater artist—choreographing, acting, writing and teaching.

As the Artistic Director of VerNooy Dance Theater (1995 – 2006), she developed and performed original work at Ensemble Studio Theater, Dance Theater workshop, Joyce Soho, and many other NY venues.

She ran the Intern Program at Ensemble Studio Theater from 1994-2000, is the founder of the Movement Educator’s Research Group (MERGE), and a founding member of Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble in Southeastern Ohio.  She has created over a dozen original full-length works, including her most recently devised piece with undergraduates from Ohio University, Elbows Off the Table.  Her original one-woman show, Across Time, received the award for Best Movement at The United Solo Festival in NYC.

Contact Rebecca by email at vernooy@tantrumtheater.org

Michael Lincoln

Michael Lincoln

Artistic Director

Michael has been a driving force of Tantrum Theater and member of the leadership team since its inception in 2014. Michael first designed for the OHIO School of Theater as a guest artist in 1989 and his full-time teaching career began in 2003. Since 2012 he has served as Director of the Theater Division. Previously Michael taught for fourteen years at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and for two years at the University of Southern California.

Michael’s professional lighting design career numbers well over 300 productions in theatre, opera and dance. He has designed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally for almost 40 years. Highlights: Copenhagen on Broadway, Next to Normal and Caroline or Change for Tantrum, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin for Playwrights Horizons (NYC) and A Streetcar Named Desire for the Cleveland Play HouseHis multiple Broadway credits as an Associate Designer include hit revivals of Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes and original productions of City of Angels, Six Degrees of Separation and Lend Me a Tenor. Michael’s extensive regional credits include long associations with Indiana Repertory Theatre (since 1984), Alley Theatre in Houston and the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. www.michaellincoln.net

Jeanette Buck

Jeanette Buck

Production Manager

Jeanette Buck is an award-winning independent artist working in film and theater. She has written, stage managed, and directed for film and theater. She has taught stage management, directing, playwriting, and screenwriting at Ohio University, and stage management and acting and directing for the camera at Georgetown University.

As a DC based Equity stage manager, Jeanette has stage managed at the Kennedy Center, Theater J, Mosaic Theater, Studio Theater, Woolly Mammoth and Horizons Theater as well as regionally in Hartford and San Francisco. During her career she has staged managed regionally for music festivals, worked as the Associate Producer for Theater J and as the Director of Production at the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

Her film directing credits include: Heather Has Four Moms (shortlisted by the Kevin Spacey Foundation), Texting a Love Story, Kiss on the Bosphorus, Lie TogetherIn the Menstrual Hutand the feature Out of Season.  As a playwright, her one woman show There Are No Strangers premiered at Theater J in Washington D.C. and was later performed at The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.  Her theater directing credits:  Beautiful Thing, Rowing to AmericaMiraclesGretty Good TimeFather John does a Hail Mary, and Open Hearts.