Tantrum Theater Announces 2017 Summer Season

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Tantrum Theater proudly announces its 2017 summer season, featuring three exceptional plays, 55 separate performances, and a slate of new play readings, in the Abbey Theater, Dublin, Ohio between May 30 and Aug. 19.

Tantrum’s second season opens with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, directed by Tantrum’s Artistic Director, Daniel C. Dennis, May 30–June 17.

Then, the critically acclaimed musical Caroline, or Change, written by Tony Kushner, with music by Jeanine Tesori, and directed by Robert Barry Fleming, July 5–22.

Finally, timed to coincide with the annual Dublin Irish Festival, Into the West, adapted for the stage by Greg Banks, from the screenplay by Jim Sheridan, originally commissioned and produced by Travelling Light Theatre Company, UK, the director to be announced shortly, runs Aug.  1–19.

Artistic Director, Daniel C. Dennis, Founding Producing Director, Rachel Cornish and Producing Director, Ian Wolfgang Hinz present a new season of plays designed to excite, enthrall and engage audiences on many levels. Additionally, a series of new play readings called “Rising Voices,” has been developed to expand upon Tantrum’s desire to showcase new talent and visions.

“Theater can be a place where we interact with people who have never before been to the stage, as well as longtime theater goers. I want to see people at our theater who love going to the movies, and want to experience a story unfold with people right in front of them. I want to see old friends at our theater, and I want to make new ones. The theater provides an opportunity to interact with folks that I disagree with, as well as those with whom I might share political views—with all kinds of people. At our theater all are welcome—women and men, young adults, kids, and older audiences,” said Daniel C. Dennis.

“Tantrum is committed to non-traditional casting, which means when you come to our shows, you will see folks of all ethnicities, genders, ages and abilities on stage. We aim to share stories that are culturally specific and speak to our society. We hope the diversity on stage and in the plays we produce is reflected in our audiences.”

“Our first season gave me so much hope for what we can create in the Dublin and Columbus communities. We have been welcomed with open arms, and I look forward to meeting more and more people who make their homes in central Ohio,” said Dennis.

“We have grappled with programming season two over the course of four months, and I am excited about the selections we have made. Join us at the theater and take part in the conversation!” said Dennis.

“Our first play, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a story that will appeal to teenagers and twenty-somethings who can relate intimately to its characters, and that parents will understand on multiple levels. As a parent to a teenager and a soon-to-be teenager, I find the play hilarious! Our production will bring this great play to life in exciting new ways, including a fairy band incorporating as many kids from Dublin and the Columbus area (as possible), alongside a professional cast of actors from Ohio and across the country.”

Caroline, or Change, written by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Angels in America, debuted on Broadway in 2004 and was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. At the time, there was nothing else like it—a fully sung-through musical, there are no scenes without music. It is intimate and heartfelt in a world that is changing.”

“The story looks back at the Civil Rights movement and the changes that swept our country in the early 1960s, changes that in many ways are just coming to a head today. In the volatile political climate of today, including the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ended the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is vitally important that Tantrum Theater return Caroline, or Change to the stage and to the public conversation.”

Into the West moves at breakneck speed, with its small cast animating a long list of characters, and the whole thing accompanied, driven really, by a live musician. Though not a musical, music is the life and the breath of this play. Ally and Finn, dealing with the loss of their mother, meet a magical white horse that gets them into trouble and leads them on a journey of self-discovery. The play is written for a family audience, and will delight theater-goers of all ages,” said Dennis.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Daniel C. Dennis
May 30–June 17
—“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, 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!

Caroline, or Change
Book and Lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
Direction and Choreography by Robert Barry Fleming
July 5-22
— “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.

Into the West
By Greg Banks
Music by Tom Johnson
From the screenplay by Jim Sheridan
Originally commissioned and produced by Travelling Light Theatre Company, UK
Director to be announced shortly
Aug. 1-19
— “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.

Rising Voices, new play reading series (plays to be announced)
Tuesday, June 6, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Tantrum’s second season brings “Rising Voices,” a new series of play readings aimed at providing a space for plays in-development, plays not often produced, plays being considered for future season programming and plays Tantrum loves and wants our audiences to hear out loud. “Rising Voices,” are new visions by rising talented playwrights, offering our audiences the opportunity to witness the creative work so crucial to the making of powerful theater. These events will be pay-what-you-will on the Tuesdays after opening nights.

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 as well as an artistic home to professional artists across the nation. 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 Dublin, Ohio in a partnership between the City of Dublin, Dublin Arts Council, and the Ohio University College of Fine Arts.

For tickets and a full calendar visit
All shows will be performed at the Abbey Theater, Dublin Rec Center, 5600 Post Road, Dublin, OH 43017. Season subscriptions and single tickets will go on sale soon at
Adult tickets will be priced at $28.Senior tickets will be priced at $26 and student tickets will be priced at $10 (valid I.D. required).
All preview performances for each show will be pay-what-you-will performances.