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Tammy Ryan's Plays


Molly's Hammer

1 female 2 male
(nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize)

  • "...a transformative experience that shakes you to your core and makes you think about the world in a different way....Molly's Hammer is a great gift. You'd be a fool to miss it."     Paul Friswold     (link)
  • "The dialogue was crisp, authentic and compelling. I didn't want the story to end.. .Molly's Hammer had me hooked.    Jim Ryan     (link)

World premier at The Repertory Theater of St Louis March 9-27, 2016

 Molly's Hammer, a play by Tammy Ryan

Molly Rush was focused on the endgame— save the world, protect her family. But what would she have to sacrifice? In 1980, the Pittsburgh housewife and mother of six walked into a General Electric plant and took a hammer to a nuclear warhead to protest the buildup of America’s nuclear arsenal. Based on the true story of the Plowshares Eight, Molly’s Hammer is the world-premiere account of one woman’s unwavering beliefs and her family’s desperate attempts to protect her from infamy. Inspired by the book Hammer of Justice, by Liane Ellison Norman.

(click for synopsis)


Tar Beach

4 female, 1 male
Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

It is July 1977. Son of Sam is on the loose and New York City is in the midst of a brutal heat wave. Sixteen year old Mary Claire and her best friend Mary Francis start that day sunning themselves on the roof of an Ozone Park row house. Younger sister Reenie is searching for her lost Greek Mythology class project, while their parents are consumed by the battles of their troubled marriage. The boy crazy Marys hatch a plan to stay out all night, but an overstressed electrical grid leads to a city-wide blackout and a sudden loss of innocence.

"Her most accomplished work to date...a splendid memory play"
  - Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven

"Tammy Ryan's dialogue is rapid fire...she has tapped into the ghosts of family arguments everywhere. This is a big, thick, slice of life that is fiction, non fiction, experience and observation, life and love and struggle and you need to see it."
  - Sherri Rase, Q on Stage

(click for synopsis)



Soldier's Heart by Tammy Ryan

"a tense, raw, troubling and no-nonsense examination of what happens to soldiers, particularly female soldiers, serving in the military. ...This is not an easy play to watch.

Nor is it meant to be." - Alice Carter, Tribune Review

(click for synopsis, review )




  • Winner of the The American Theatre Critics Association's 2012 Francesca Primus Prize.
  • A featured play in the National New Play Networks 2009 National Showcase of Plays (link)

"Remarkably touching"
     - Anita Gates, New York Times (link)

"Stirring...a most potent play"
     - Peter Filichia, The New Jersey Star Ledger. (link)

"See. This. Play."
     - Sherri Rase, Q onStage. (link)

(click for synopsis, click for publication info)
(video: interview with Kim Zimmer)


Illustrator Jamie Hogan blogs (link) about her creative process developing the poster for Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods at Portland Stage Company.




adapted from the memoir by
Maura Conlon-McIvor

"..gives voice to every smart, shy girl who saw the mystery of the world and dreamed herself into its center"
-Anna Rosenstein,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(click for synopsis, click for publication info)



"[a] fiercely emotional and darkly disquieting play"
-Alice Carter, Tribune Review

(click for synopsis, click for publication info )





  • Premiere Stages Playwriting Festival,
    winner 2006
  • Theater Conspiracy,
    finalist 2006


"Ryan has written no fairy tale... She can be grimmer than the Grimm Brothers but just as enigmatically entertaining"
-Peter Filichia, The Star Ledger

(click for synopsis, click for publication info)




  • American Alliance of Theater in Education's 2004 Distinguished Play Award
  • 2008 Christopher Brian Wolk Award, finalist
  • 2001 Carbonell Award, best production
  • 1999 National Playwrighting for Youth Bonderman Award


"One of the year's most important, thought provoking and heartfelt new plays... Tammy Ryan's impressive drama... sears as well as soothes the soul" -Jack Zink, Sun-Sentinel, South Florida
(click for synopsis , click for publication info )






May 28-June 12, 2010,
Pittsburgh Playhouse (link)

  • Finalist, Julie Harris Playwriting Award, 2008

"Tammy Ryan's vision of family, sexuality and love... haunts you like a dream that feels too familiar... her characters are disquieting because they are all sadly true, we recognize them, because we recognize ourselves."
- Amy Glazer, Associate Director,
The Magic Theater, San Francisco

"A masterclass in turning existential despair into comedy."
Chris Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-gazette.

(click for synopsis, click for publication info)





Examines the true story of Joan of Arc as told by the people who witnessed her life.


"resounds with [the] voice of a defiant St. Joan" - Anna Rosenstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(click for synopsis)






  • 2001, Mid-west Playwrighting Festival winner

"a Scud-missle version of Death of a Salesman"
- Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper
(click for synopsis)






29th Street REP production,
selected to be video taped for
Theater on Film and Tape Archives at
Lincoln Center for the 1996-97 Season in NYC

"The sins of a father are on display and wreaking havoc... in Tammy Ryan's taut drama PIG... the stage is set for an emotional explosion"
- Lawrence Van Gelder, The New York Times
(click for synopsis , click for publication info)



Tammy Ryan is Represented by:

Copyright 2009-2010 Tammy Ryan