by Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by JaMeeka D. Holloway
As the only Black business owners in the booming town of Athens, Edward and Mattie Berry have established one of the finest hotels in all of Ohio. People from all over the country stop in to dine on Edward's famous fried oysters and Mattie's homemade pies. So, it is no surprise when Theodore Roosevelt decides to stay at the Berry Hotel on his whistle stop tour through Ohio. While a visit by a former president, particularly one as popular as Roosevelt, should be a moment of pride and joy, this Bull Moose Republican has a racist record that still haunts him. The Black community has not yet forgiven him for discharging the Black infantrymen who were set up by Brownsville city officials. Roosevelt will find himself at odds with the city's most prominent Black citizens, and so will the Berrys if they choose to let him stay the night. This presidential visit unleashes scandal, political upheaval, and a menu to rival that of the finest of restaurants in all of Europe!
BY JACLYN BACKHAUS
DIRECTED BY SHANNON R. DAVIS
Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River.
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY DAVE MALLOY
ADAPTED FROM WAR AND PEACE BY LEO TOLSTOY
DIRECTED BY ALAN PATRICK KENNY
MUSIC DIRECTION BY BRENT FREDERICK
An electropop opera based on a scandalous slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Young and impulsive, Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow to await the return of her fiancé from the front lines. When she falls under the spell of the roguish Anatole, it is up to Pierre, a family friend in the middle of an existential crisis, to pick up the pieces of her shattered reputation.
BOOK AND LYRICS BY STEVEN SATER
MUSIC BY DUNCAN SHEIK
BASED ON THE PLAY BY FRANK WEDEKIND
DIRECTED BY ALAN PATRICK KENNY
CHOREOGRAPHED BY KELLEN STANCIL
MUSIC DIRECTION BY BRENT FREDERICK
Spring Awakening is an angsty pop-punk musical about the explorations & trials of adolescent life in 19th century Germany. The eponymous adaption of the groundbreaking play follows a group of teens trying to navigate sexual discovery in an ultra-conservative, sexually repressed world. Tantrum’s production juxtaposes scenes of an 1891 Germany with songs representing a 2021 reality: hybrid vignettes of theater, film & social media. These interludes express powerful inner-landscapes–tumultuous, shared moments of anguish and yearning. The result is a remarkable and celebratory journey, one that uplifts the power and necessity of youthful rebellion, self-acceptance & discovery.
BY DARIA MIYEKO MARINELLI
DIRECTED BY AMEENAH KAPLAN
This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic is a historical triptych following the development of our nation from courageous nomads to cash-strapped IKEA millennials.
Part dance-theatre, part card game, and part good old kitchen drama, This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic challenges the Usonian* mythologies of what it means to be a republic(an), how that’s changed over time, and what you should do when you discover your supposedly future life partner has just voted Republican. And you are not “a Republican.”
*Usonian: Of, and or related to The United States.
BY EUGÈNE IONESCO
TRANSLATED BY DEREK PROUSE
CO-DIRECTED BY JOSÉ CARRASQUILLO & JEANETTE BUCK
BE THE ONE LEFT STANDING, CONFORMITY IS NOT AN OPTION.
Ionesco’s celebrated absurdist satire transports us to a village where a rhinoceros crashes through the town on a rampage. As townspeople argue over the event, one by one they find themselves — untamed and rambunctious —transformed into the very beasts they fear. Witness Tantrum Theater’s interpretation of this timeless, Tony Award-winning comedy that’s been revered as “provocative” and “moving” by the New York Post and we bet you’ll find yourself weighing the costs and benefits of fitting in with the herd.
BY CHARLES SMITH
DIRECTED BY ALLEN GILMORE
HOW THE WORLD TREATS ITS REFUGEES.
Flee through West Africa alongside Shedrick Yarkpai in this harrowing true story, as he endures a savage escape from Liberia, grasping at the opportunity to live a fuller life in a land of peace, safety, and security. Written by Ohio University Distinguished Professor, Charles Smith, Objects In The Mirror provides an account of this brave Liberian’s search for civility; showcasing the lengths one person must go to reclaim identity and assimilate with dignity.
BY BEKAH BRUNSTETTERDIRECTED BY SHELLEY DELANEY
LOVE IS PATIENT, LOVE IS KIND. IT DOES NOT ENVY, IT DOES NOT BOAST, IT IS NOT PROUD.
Della believes there’s no problem so big it can’t be solved while eating one of her perfectly delicious cakes. When Jen, the daughter of a dear friend, returns home to get married, Della is thrilled to bake the wedding cake—until she discovers Jen’s groom is not a groom, but a bride. Della is torn between deeply held faith and her love for Jen, who struggles to reconcile her own conservative roots with her liberal life. In a nation deeply divided on social issues, this new play by Bekah Brunstetter (NBC’s This Is Us) is a delectable confection of humor, compassion, and Southern hospitality. How do we love when the political meets the personal?
MUSIC BY TOM KITT
BOOK AND LYRICS BY BRIAN YORKEY
DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY ROBERT BARRY FLEMING
CATCH ME, I’M FALLING.
Father, mother, sister, brother. The Goodmans may seem like a comfortable family, but they’re just trying to make it through another day. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Awards, this emotional rollercoaster of a rock musical twists through suburban life in contemporary America with honesty and heart. Examining one family’s struggles with mental illness, medication, and grief, Next to Normal offers hope for self-acceptance even when nothing is truly normal.
BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
DIRECTED BY DANIEL C. DENNIS
THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER DID RUN SMOOTH.
Father knows best in the stifling city, but outside in the woods—anything happens, everything goes. In Shakespeare’s most uproarious and delicious comedy, four teens fool their fathers and skip town to elope in an enchanted forest. But it’s night and confusing, and the fairies are feuding, and who knows who you’re smooching. Topsy goes turvy, bottom is top, and a donkey is king. Just when the whole world feels mad, we wake from the dream to a spanking new day—true selves are discovered, true lovers uncovered. Join in on our fantasy and experience the delight of midsummer!
BOOK AND LYRICS BY TONY KUSHNER
MUSIC BY JEANINE TESORI
DIRECTOR ROBERT BARRY FLEMING
CHANGE COME FAST AND CHANGE COME SLOW.
It’s 1963 in Louisiana, and for Caroline Thibodeaux the world is changing too fast. The president has just been shot and a fight for racial justice is sweeping the nation. Caroline, a black maid serving a Jewish household, desires only a good night’s rest and a decent life for her children. A melodious moon provides the commentary as her relationship with young Noah, the precocious son of her employers, becomes complicated by pocket change. With its moving rock, gospel, and klezmer score, this magical, Tony Award-nominated musical is a riveting statement addressed to a nation still gripped by inequality.
BY GREG BANKS
FROM THE SCREENPLAY BY JIM SHERIDAN
MUSIC BY THOMAS JOHNSON
DIRECTED BY JEN WINEMAN
A WHITE HORSE, A LOST MOTHER, AND THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME.
Ally and Finn settle in the big city of Dublin, expecting a better life. But, trapped in mourning for their mother, they merely take care of Pa, who tries to drink away her memory. When a mythical horse trots into the scene, they race off into the Irish countryside. At the end of their journey is the sea, their father transformed, and even a bit of what they’ve lost. With just three actors playing sixty roles, and with live music throughout, Into the West bursts with imagination and heart–and it’s perfect for the whole family.
BOOK AND LYRICS BY HOWARD ASHMAN
MUSIC BY ALAN MENKEN
BASED ON A FILM BY ROGER CORMAN
SCREENPLAY BY CHARLES GRIFFITH
DIRECTED BY DANIEL C. DENNIS
JUST YOUR TYPICAL COMEDY-HORROR-ROCK MUSICAL ABOUT A BOY, A GIRL, AND A CARNIVOROUS HOUSEPLANT.
Poor, hapless Seymour only wants to impress the girl of his dreams. Perhaps cultivating a blood-thirsty plant will gain him the fame and fortune he needs? Just a few bodies later, and suddenly Seymour is standing in a flower shop on skid row battling a deadly threat to humanity’s very existence. Bring your green thumb and join us for this delightfully twisted cult-movie romp about love, murder, and the American Dream.
The Columbus Dispatch called our production Little Shop of Horrors “an impressive central Ohio debut,” said that it “delivers the goods— and the laughs,” and predicted (quite smartly, we think) that Tantrum would offer “more high quality entertainment to come.”
A NEW PLAY BY MERRI BIECHLER
DIRECTED BY DENNIS LEE DELANEY
Tammy Faye Bakker was the sweetheart of Christian television in the 1980s until fraud and sex scandals brought her world crashing down. In this fevered dream at the end of her life, Tammy Faye enlists the men she loved to help her get back on TV and tape one last media extravaganza. Merri Biechler’s new play wipes clean the mascara and tears to make known the naked truth, and ask: to whom, and for what, do we so desperately devote ourselves?
The Columbus Dispatch heralded Tammy Faye’s Final Audition as “touching, amusing, and ultimately inspiring,” said that it “packed a punch,” and it rained praise down upon our “superb two member cast.”
BRIAN FRIEL’S AWARD-WINNING IRISH MASTERPIECE
DIRECTED BY SHEILA DANIELS
CAN LOVE SET YOU FREE?
Journey to the heart of Ireland to experience the pulsating energy of a Celtic harvest festival, and remember for a moment a simple life filled with laughter and hope. In one of Ireland’s most beloved and powerful plays, five indomitable sisters dance through memories of family, tenderness, and heartbreak—as the world tumbles towards revolution.
The Columbus Dispatch praised our director saying she “made the play shine,” and that our choreographer created “elegantly simple” choreography especially in one “breathtaking” scene. We like to think so, and agree that it complemented the “dreamlike” set. Overall, the Dispatch thought it was an “exercise in nostalgia come tensely alive.”