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Tar Beach by Tammy Ryan
directed by J. Daniel Herring
Fresno State's University Theater (link for details)
Oct 28 - Nov 5, 2016.

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 Frances 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.

(click for synopsis)

  • "Splendid memory play" Ruth Ross.     (link)
  • "Riveting" Jay Lustig.     (link)
  • "A crystal sharp portrayal of family function and dysfunction" Gwen Orel     (link)

 


An Essay by Tammy Ryan:
A Tale of One Play in Two Cities

The trajectory of playwright Tammy Ryan’s play
Lost Boy in Whole Foods about Sudanese refugees
in America and how a play about refugees plays today.

 


reading of Molly's Hammer

 
Chatham University hosts a professional reading of Molly's Hammer
by Tammy Ryan
Friday, Sept 9th
click image for details (opens in new window)


Omaha Community Playhouse, May 6 to June 6, 2016     (link for tickets)

review from OmahaReader (review)
Of love, nourishment and compassion
Beauty and insight inhabit this sometimes sorrowful microcosm
by Gordon Spencer

Compassion dwells in the heart of Tammy Ryan’s 2010 play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods . Significant multiple meanings of the title abound as well. As the performance at Omaha Community Playhouse progresses, the intelligent depth within becomes more and more impressive, until even sorrowful, disturbing elements reveal touching beauty.

A Sudanese refugee, no longer called by his ancestral tribal name, has acquired an alternate identity: “Gabriel.” Torn from his roots, he is one of the surviving escapees from the horrors of civil war, collectively, historically known as “Lost Boys of Sudan.” Out of his childhood and out of Africa, he has found his way across continents to live in our land of plenty, no longer existing by eating weeds, insects and tiny grains of wheat. Despite being saved, he can never be entirely complete until he finds himself reunited with his family in his own land.

Ryan explores this type of story, certainly not a unique one in real life. With her special points of view, she does not create a history lesson nor some kind of moral fable. She portrays real human beings, with their complexities, their flaws, their bright dimensions and their darker ones. (see more)

 



  Molly's Hammer at The Repertory Theater of St Louis March 9-27, 2016
A world premiere.

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.



Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods

In Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, Christine - a middle aged, middle class, recently divorced mother - finds a cause in the Whole Foods produce section. Her “cause” is Gabriel, a Sudanese “lost boy,” who fled civil war in his own country to find himself in snowy North America. Christine invites Gabriel to live with her and her teenage daughter in their suburban house and the drama ensues. One woman’s straightforward desire to help becomes a story uncovering the difficulty of understanding others.


World Premier: Tar Beach at Luna Stage (link for details) April 9 - May 9, 2015
Directed by Cheryl Katz

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 Frances 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.

(click for synopsis)

Production Photos, click to enlarge (photo credit: Steven Lawler)

     

 


 

February 19-28, 2015: Soldier's Heart
Theater by the Grove, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

For more information: http://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=175379


 

July 10-27, 2014: Soldier's Heart receives its New Jersey Premiere directed by John Wooten at Premiere Stages' Zella Frye Theater in Union, NJ

For more information: http://www.kean.edu/premierestages/current.asp


 

SAVE THE DATE - July 22
A NEW KIND OF FALLOUT the new opera by composer Gilda Lyons and librettist Tammy Ryan commissioned by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has just won an NEA Arts Work grant. More information about the opera and the upcoming workshop on July 22 is below:
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is thrilled to share the news from the National Endowment for the Arts that our newly-commissioned opera project will be supported with an Art Works grant of $15,000. The grant is one of 971 being awarded in the NEA's second round of 2014 funding.

Our award supports the commission of "A New Kind of Fallout" (new working title) by composer Gilda Lyons and Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan. The full-length opera centers on Pittsburgh homemaker Alice Front (sung this season by Lara Lynn Cottrill) and her husband Jack (Dimitrie Lazich) who works for a chemical plant.

In 1962, Alice becomes interested in environmental issues through reading Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring." Carson's book is often credited with beginning the modern-day Green Movement. The Springdale native and Chatham University alumna's book was controversial book at the time as it explored the risks of pesticides.

Taking ecological stewardship as its subject, this project comprised the commission of the opera, numerous programs between summer 2014 and spring 2015, and the full-scale premiere directed by Jonathan Eaton during SummerFest 2015. Be the first to hear excerpts and provide your own feedback at a free workshop on Tuesday, July 22 during SummerFest! Reserve your seat at (otsummerfest.org)

 


 


 


 

Stop Sexual Assault in the Military Performance and Talk-Back
Bricolage, 937 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh > 2014-03-08 > 03:00 pm

This live performance at Bricolage Theater features short clips from "The Invisible War" and Tammy Ryan's "A Soldier's Heart" Play. Both depict the culture of assault that is growing in the US Military and the reasons why the victimization goes unchecked by the government.

After the performance there will be a talk back session with the audience led by Ginny Hildebrand, founder of Stop Sexual Assault in the Military, Tammy Ryan, Pittsburgh Playwright, Tami Dixon, Producing Director, Joyce Wagner, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and 1st Sgt. William Jenkins. The event is free and open to the public. (link)

 


 

  World Premiere of Soldier's Heart
The REP Professional Theater Company
Pittsburgh Playhouse
Sept 27 - Oct 13    (link)

World Premiere of Soldier's Heart
by Tammy Ryan
directed by John Amplas
for The REP
at the Pittsburgh Playhouse

Studio Theater
222 Craft Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15213
412-392-8000

Before heading off to war in Iraq, Casey Johnson neatly organizes her life into a box of lists, envelopes and registration forms for her son's activities. Months later, she returns to Western Pennsylvania forever changed, with deep psychological scars that no amount of arranging seems to be able to fix. Tammy Ryan's poignant Solider's Heart shines a light on the struggles facing woman warriors.

 


 

Reading of Soldier's Heart, Artemisia Fall Festival, September 20, 2013 (link)

 


 

Workshop of Tar Beach at Luna Stage, NJ reading August 1, 2013 (link)

 


 

 Production of Lindsey's Oyster at Shots In The Dark, July 5-7 2013. (link)

Lindsey's Oyster is one of the newest plays from award-winning Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan. When sixteen-year-old Lindsey finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy by her unloving boyfriend, parental and social pressures mount to force a devastating decision. As she struggles to define love and self and who controls her body and her life, the beauty and fragility of her innermost integrity blossom in this unflinchingly honest coming-of-age story.

 


 

Residency at The Hambidge Center, June 2013 (link)

 


 

Monday, Nov. 5 2012, 7:30 pm. (link)
a reading of TAR BEACH (by Tammy Ryan) at the Luna Stage

It is July 1977 and New York City is in the midst of a brutal heat wave. Two best friends, sixteen year old Mary Claire and Mary Francis start that day sunning themselves on the roof of an Ozone Park row house. Younger sister, Reenie is searching for her prize winning Greek Mythology Class Project: The Head of Medusa, while their parents are consumed by the battles of their troubled marriage. The Boy Crazy Marys hatch a plan to stay out all night with a bonfire on the beach, but the unexpected happens: the biggest blackout since 1965, a chance encounter with Son of Sam, and a sudden loss of innocence.

 


 

Chicago, June 14, 2012. The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced today that playwright Tammy Ryan has won the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods. (link)

 


 

LINDSEY'S OYSTER

Lindsey's Oyster was nominated for the David Cohen Award and selected to participate in the 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 2 at Indiana University of PA, directed by Jason Chimonides.

update 3/10/2012: Lindsey's Oyster wins second place in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's David Mark Cohen Award.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Local playwright Tammy Ryan's still developing play, 'Lindsey's Oyster,' among the 8 productions staged at IUP during the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. (link)

 

 

LOST BOY FOUND IN WHOLE FOODS

Pittsburgh Premiere by THE REP
Studio Theater, Pittsburgh Playhouse
Sept 30-Oct 16, 2011

For tickets call 412-392-8000 or click www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

Christine, a recently divorced East Ender makes a remarkable discovery one day in the produce section of Whole Foods: a papaya in the hands of Gabriel, a refugee of Sudan. Soon, Gabriel's world becomes enmeshed with hers -- and daughter Alex's -- leading to a remarkable journey of awareness, struggle and hopefulness. Pittsburgh Playwright Tammy Ryan's eloquent story is simultaneously provocative, beautiful and haunting, leaving us to wonder about the effect of one soul on another.

Blog Post: Emotional Collisions: Lost Boy Found at Whole Foods,
from Poor Lessing's Theatre Almanack

 
 

 

 

LINDSEY'S OYSTER

Theater by the Grove
Waller Hall Mainstage
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Performing Arts Center

Oct 6-Oct 15, 2011
For tickets call 724-357-ARTS (2787) or click www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=110707.

When sixteen year old Lindsey finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy by her unloving boyfriend, parental and social pressures mount to force a devastating decision. As she struggles to define love and self and who controls her body and her life, the beauty and fragility of her innermost integrity blossom in this unflinchingly honest coming of age story.

 

 


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