Emerging Artist Program

A longtime dream of the Renaissance was realized this past year with the creation of the Emerging Artist Program at Theatre 166.  Under the direction of and created by Artistic Director Michael Thomas, the goal of the program is to guide, encourage, support and advocate for artists of all ages who wish to find their own voice through the creation of original work. By establishing an environment that promotes the importance of self-expression, risk-taking and collaboration, the Theatre 166 Emerging Artists Program is designed to foster and translate an artist’s creative thinking into smart, vital, and thought-provoking new works. In November of 2020, the Renaissance was informed that they had received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, recognizing the importance of the Emerging Artist Program and generously funding it. This is the first time the Renaissance has received such a prestigious award from the NEA.

For its inaugural season, the program has chosen to workshop the following projects:

Young and Unsullied: The Redemption of Ruby Crowe

Premiering at Theatre 166 on April 1st, 2022. Based on the recently discovered letters of Ruby Crowe, a socialite and wife of a charismatic Presbyterian minister who lived in Mansfield in the early part of the last century, Alison Shaw Bolen and Jason Kaufman’s new play tells a heartbreaking story of abuse and sexual betrayal simmering beneath a veneer of opulence, intellectualism, and Victorian propriety.

Desde Mi Corazon

In June of 2018, 114 undocumented workers at Corsos Garden Centers in Sandusky and Castalia, Ohio were arrested by immigration agents and jailed in various undisclosed locations throughout the midwest. Their homes and children were left abandoned and their lives were torn apart. Told in their own words, Desde Mi Corazon, (From My Heart) is a collaboration with Hola Ohio, an statewide agency that assists undocumented workers and their families. A Ren Studios Production.

Things We Know to be True

Filmed in collaboration with Ren Studios, Chicago playwright and composer, Tatum Hunter’s film script is based on the true story of two siblings who confront a cult-like evangelical Christian sect and the conspiracy theories they embrace as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of their parents in a rural Ohio town. 

This Too Shall Pass

Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, Allie Carter and Aaron Nicolas have created a musical journey through the personal hell of one man as the last fourteen years of his life unfold to reveal a labyrinth of betrayal, lies, manipulation, guilt, sexual debauchery and murder. It’s a stunning visual and musical experience that combines storytelling with modern dance and an electro-acoustic score. This Too Shall Pass premieres at Theatre 166 on June 3rd, 2022.