This summer’s mainstage season at Tibbits opens with a hilarious comedy GREATER TUNA. This show is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, the “third-smallest” town in the state. The show is made up of different scenes commenting humorously on small-town, Southern life and attitudes.
In this play, two men play the entire cast of over twenty eccentric characters of both genders and various ages. The two men playing all these parts this summer are returning actors Chad Tallon and Tony Milder.
Chad hails from Essex, IL and attended Lewis University (Romeoville, IL) for his undergrad and received his MFA from Western Illinois University. This is Chad’s 3rd summer in a row here at Tibbits. His favorite Tibbits memory was writing a musical with Dick Baker and Matt Haupert last summer, MAGIC ROCKS, which will debut as Tibbits Popcorn Season’s second show this summer.
When asked why return to Tibbits? Chad says, “after coming to Tibbits once, the sense of community and friendship among these professionals was so strong that I knew it was a welcoming place to perform and a great place to let my creative juices flow. It’s just such a well run professional company and it’s great to perform for a company that has such high standards.”
Chad said earlier that he couldn’t WAIT to get to Coldwater and see the Tibbits restoration in person. He says, “when I first got there 2 years ago, it looked like Tibbits had just been on fire, with all the windows boarded up and everything being taken down. This will be my first summer to see it with no construction happening, and just by looking at the pictures I am in total awe. Tibbits is back to looking how it was meant to look and it is, by far, one of the most beautiful theatres this country has.”
When asked what he is looking forward to most this summer he states, “honestly, watching my show “Magic Rocks! The Musical!” is what I’m most looking forward to getting done. I can’t WAIT. Performance Wise: TUNA, for sure!” Chad will be playing a dozen different characters in TUNA, Lazar Wolfe in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and Franz in THE PRODUCERS. He says, “TUNA will by FAR be the hardest show I have to do this summer. Not only because of the massive amount of lines and characters that I have to play, but also because it’s the only show that I haven’t done before. Tuna is such a fast paced show and demands so much out of both of the actors, that it’s a show I can’t wait to sink my teeth into and really hope to do the show justice.”
“TUNA is such a great show in terms of it happening here at Tibbits because it’s a show unlike any that’s been done here in all the time I’ve been around. The show only has two actors so it demands a lot out of them, but also is just a fast-paced satire that is sure to have the audience laughing throughout. Audiences I think will really just get a lot of enjoyment out of watching Tony and I work on stage.”
Since Chad left Tibbits last summer, he moved to Willmar, MN to become a one man theatre faculty at a community college called Ridgewater College. “I had the honor of directing kids in EURYDICE and GODSPELL over the school year and have taken big steps into helping the theatre culture at Ridgewater grow. It’s been a challenge, but so far it’s been worth it.” Chad’s future plans are to somehow/someway get back to Sweet Home Chicago!
Click here for a sneak peek of TUNA rehearsal clip
Tony Milder hails from Minneapolis, MN. He attended Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN receiving his BA in French and Theater and minor in Psychology. Tony has spent one previous summer here at Tibbits. Tony was here during the season Tibbits did HAIR, and his funny memory from that is having the smelliest spray tan of his life.
When asked why return to Tibbits? Tony said, “why not return to a theater where I can do fantastic shows with talented and friendly performers under the direction and care of an amazing production crew and staff? That trifecta is kind of hard to find. Plus, my host mom kind of rocks, so there’s that.”
Tony thinks, “it’s great to finally see the building brought back to its original beauty. Tibbits has always been a place to go and see quality theater, and now it’s dressed for the part.”
Tony states he is excited for an entire summer of comedies and musicals. “I’m particularly looking forward to TUNA and MAGIC ROCKS! because they’re the shows I know the least about; both will be full of surprises for me, and I love having the opportunity to create a character without having someone else’s definitive version of it rambling around in my head telling me I’m doing it wrong.”
Tony will be playing Arles (et al) in GREATER TUNA, Narrator (et al) in MAGIC ROCKS!, Mordcha in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Ensemble in THE PRODUCERS, and Owen in THE FOREIGNER this summer at Tibbits. When interviewed he said, “right now, I’m terrified of Arles (TUNA) because it just seems so big; there are a lot of characters for one actor to play, and it’s a big shift for me artistically. But it’s also really exciting to think about what the final product is going to be, and I know that with Chad on the stage it will probably be one of the most fun shows of my life.”
“From what I’ve seen, TUNA is a unique two-man show full of “down home” satire, fast-paced costume changes, and a lot of imagination. (Being from Minnesota, I automatically compare it to A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION; I’ve heard it described as “Lake Wobegon with a Texas twang.”) There will be definite laughs in the show, and I expect many people will see some reflection of somebody they know on the stage and even more they’d like to meet.”
When asked what he’d been up to since leaving Tibbits, Tony said, “after working for a couple of years in professional theater (especially with the people at Tibbits), I realized some my skills were not at the level I wanted them to be, so I actually took last year off from theater so I could focus on improving myself, particularly my singing and dancing. I got an office job, got into classes, and lived in one place for more than two months for the first time since graduating college. It was a fantastic learning experience; I’ve settled into myself a lot more and gained some sorely-needed confidence. I definitely still work on getting better every day, but I am incredibly excited to be returning to the world of theater. I just finished a touring production of JULIUS CAESAR with Kentucky Shakespeare where I got to play Cassius, my first true “villain” role (I’ve played what I would call “the party pooper” in some comedies, but never anyone that actually wanted to kill somebody). It was a strangely liberating experience, and I’m looking forward to some more Shakespeare (and maybe more bad guys) in the future.”
Click here for another peek of Tuna rehearsal 2
After this summer, Tony has been asked to return to Kentucky Shakespeare immediately following his time at Tibbits. Tony says, ”so I’ll be spending the rest of my year in Louisville. That’s about as far as things go, though; I like to keep my options open, since my immediate goal is to explore and make new connections. I want to learn about myself and this business because I want to make a living as an actor, ridiculous as that is. I don’t really care about becoming famous per se, just well-known enough that a producer could look at my headshot and think, “Yeah, I know that kid; he does good work.”
Come see Chad and Tony show off their great work in GREATER TUNA on the Tibbits Stage June 27th thru July 6th!