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Tantrum Theater Announces New Musical Development Partnership with NYC's Musical Theatre Factory

Tantrum Theater Announces New Musical Development Partnership with NYC's Musical Theatre Factory

Tantrum Theater, Ohio University's professional theater company, announces an innovative new collaborative partnership with Musical Theatre Factory (MTF), a leading non-profit organization focused on developing bold and inclusive new musicals by early career artists. The first new work from this partnership will be a developmental reading of the new musical Eighty-Sixed by Sam Salmond and Jeremy J. King, with a public performance on January 18, 2020.

The partnership serves Tantrum Theater's mission to bring world-class artists to work directly with students and enhances the School of Theater's longstanding commitment to developing new theater works through its boundary-pushing new musical theater track in the B.F.A. in Theater Performance.

MTF is a vibrant and essential organization, whose sole mission is to develop new musicals and early career NYC theater makers while creating a deeply inclusive organizational community dedicated to art-making to make change. MTF is a resident company of Playwrights Horizons, and has organizational partnerships with Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, Bushwick Starr, The Shed, JACK, and many other influential NYC non-profit theaters, and has developed 130+ new works and served over 900 artists in its five year history, including Joe Iconis (Be More Chill) and Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop).

Emily Penick, Theater M.F.A. directing alum, collaborated with OHIO's head of musical theater, Alan Patrick Kenny to build this new collaborative partnership between MTF and OHIO. "As a theatre professional focused mainly on developing new plays and musicals, I immediately recognized Alan's visionary approach to the new musical theater curriculum. A symbiotic developmental relationship then emerged, in which OHIO's students could have a tangible bridge to the New York new musical scene, and MTF artists could benefit from the fantastic students, faculty, and resources at Ohio University."

Kenny says, "While most of the performance opportunities for college students in musical theater programs focus on works of the past, most young professionals upon graduation will frequently participate in developing new works, which requires a very specialized skill set and the ability to collaborate with writers to create new forms and stories. I'm thrilled to set up this relationship with MTF to bring new works and brilliant artists to Athens to climb into the incubator with our students to build new things."

This pipeline for new works currently in development by MTF will provide writers and creative teams a crucial step in the development process of their musicals away from the commercial and critical pressures of NYC, and will provide students across the School of Theater opportunities to lend their voices and talents to the refinement of word and music, and preparation for their first major production. MTF, Penick, Kenny, and Tantrum Theater plan collaboration on hand-picked projects already in development to serve both MTF's programs and OHIO's student artists.

MTF Producing Artistic Director Mei Ann Teo says, "We at MTF are excited to build this relationship with OHIO and Tantrum, to share nationally our vision of making art that dismantles oppressive ideologies towards collective liberation."

The first project chosen to launch the new partnership will be a reading of the new musical "Eighty-Sixed," a musical based on the novel by David B. Feinberg, with music and lyrics by Sam Salmond and book by Jeremy J. King. Set in the mid 1980s during the height of the AIDS crisis, is a story of friendship, intimacy, and fear amongst gay men in a changing world where human connection is difficult but more essential than ever before. King directs the reading of the musical after a week-long residence with Salmond, with Penick as dramaturg and Kenny serving as music director. A free public performance of the work will be held on January 18, 2020 in Kantner Hall's Baker Theater Stage. The residency concludes with a demo recording session featuring the student cast.

King notes, "Developing a new musical is exciting, but the long process can often leave creatives searching for ways to stay inspired. When MTF approached us about a partnership with OHIO, we knew it would be the perfect way to inject 'Eighty-Sixed' with the fresh perspectives and renewed energy we need to move forward, while also encouraging new collaborators and audiences to look backward at this important time in our history." Teo adds, "Sam Salmond and Jeremy King's 'Eighty-Sixed,' grapples with AIDS epidemic in NYC in the 1980's with humor and deep insight into the human condition, with themes of friendship, loss, and coming of age that will be resonant and powerful for the OHIO and Tantrum community."

The reading of 'Eighty-Sixed' and potential future MTF-partnered workshops are produced by Tantrum Theater. Michael Lincoln, artistic director of Tantrum and director of the School of Theater, noted, "The partnership with MTF provides great synergy between Tantrum's mission and the curricular goals of our new musical theater program. It is an exciting collaboration made possible by Tantrum's residency in Athens."

ABOUT THE TANTRUM THEATER 2019-2020 SEASON

Summer Theater Festival
August 16-24, 2019

"Rhinoceros," by Eugène Ionesco
Co-Directed by Jose Carrasquillo & Jeanette Buck

Nov. 21-Dec 7, 2019

Workshopped Reading: New Musical Theater - "Eighty-Sixed"

January 18, 2020

A collaboration with Musical Theater at Ohio University

"Objects in the Mirror," by Charles Smith

Directed by Chuck Smith

April 2-April 11, 2020

Ticketing information can be found online at https://www.ohio.edu/fine-arts/tantrum-theater.

Tantrum is a professional company founded in 2015 to serve as a training ground and provide apprenticeship opportunities to students in Ohio University's College of Fine Arts. Tantrum's mission is to create and propel forward a resident professional theater company and training conservatory in Ohio, building partnerships with Ohio University, regional communities and national organizations.

MTF is a resident company of Playwrights Horizons, and has organizational partnerships with Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Town Stages, and other influential NYC non-profit theaters, and has developed 130+ new works and served over 900 artists in its five year history, including Joe Iconis ("Be More Chill") and Michael R. Jackson ("A Strange Loop").


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