Greater Tuna (2007)


ACT I hosts the Old Creamery Theatre Company

in their Depot Stage Production

Greater Tuna
by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard

The Palace Theatre
September 21, 22, 23 2007

Tommy Milligan, Director

This appearance with ACT I by the Old Creamery Theatre is sponsored by

Palace Productions
and P.A.M.S. Storage – Pam and Rick Primmer

We welcome Palace Productions and P.A.M.S. Storage as first time sponsors for ACT I!

Greater Tuna tells the story of Texas’ fictitious third smallest town, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. This comedy makes its way to The Old Creamery Theatre’s Depot stage August 23 – September 16. The eclectic band of citizens that make up this town are portrayed by only two performers, making this satire on life in rural America even more delightful as they depict all of the inhabitants of Tuna — men, women, children and even animals. “When people ask me what Greater Tuna is about I tell them hopefully about an hour and a half,” chuckles director Tommy Milligan. “Actually, it’s a really funny, satirical look at small town life seen through the eyes of 20-plus weird residents that are played by only two actors. We think audiences will have a great time.”

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating its 36th season of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

Greater Tuna opened at the Creamery’s Depot Stage August 23, 2007, running through September 16.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


When people ask me what Greater Tuna is about I tell them hopefully about an 1:30 with an intermission.When Greater Tuna premiered 25 years ago it really lacked the deep thought-provoking plot and message that it still lacks today. A satirical look at small town life seen though the eyes of some very weird residents. Not much of a set, very few props and only two actors. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. But 25 years later audiences are still laughing at this wonderful piece of theatre and I guess that’s what I really want to say. This year at The Old Creamery we are hoping our audience comes to experience the joy of theatre. Our shows on the main stage as well as here in The Depot reflect our love for the process and our love for the theatre as much as the product. Occasionally you have to remind yourself why you do the things that you do and this season is a wonderful example of why we do what we do as artists.

We hope you enjoy the product as much as we have enjoyed the process.


Location: Tuna, Texas (3rd smallest town in Texas)
Time: yesterday (Time is no big deal in Tuna)
Act One: Various places around Tuna
Act Two: Various places around the other side of Tuna
Act Three: Wait….there is no Act Three (Thank God for small favors)


Steve Taft
TJ Besler*

*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the organization of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.


TJ BESLER – Thomas J. Besler makes his Old Creamery debut in Greater Tuna. Being a native of the great state of Iowa, Besler attended the University of Iowa majoring in theater with minors in music, dance, and journalism. Upon graduation he moved around a lot having the opportunity to perform all over the country including New York, California, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Some of his favorite roles include: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Snoopy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Elliot in The Goodbye Girl, Rooster in Annie, and Hugo Peabody in Bye, Bye Birdie. Besler looks forward to his run with The Old Creamery Theatre. Enjoy the show!

SARAH MARCHAND – Sarah has done costumes for several Des Moines theatres including Stagequest, 4th Street Theatre, Drake University Opera and the Drama Workshop. She also enjoys helping out on sets and make-up. Sarah lives in Altoona with her husband and four boys. This is Sarah’s debut with The Old Creamery and she’s ecstatic to be here.

TOMMY MILLIGAN – Tommy is pleased to be back at The Old Creamery for his third season in his new role as Technical Director. His professional career as an actor/director/scenic designer spans 30 years. Origianlly from Des Moines he has credits from many area theaters as well as an extensive freelance career. His one man portrayals of Grant Wood and Henry A. Wallace have been presented over 1000 times in the last 12 years. His directing credits include The House of Blue Leaves, The Zoo Story, The Drawer Boy, James and The Giant Peach, The Totally True Completely Fictional Story of The Mother of Jesse James as well as numerous productions for The Iowa Touring Theatre Company. Tommy is pleased to find a new theatrical home at The Old Creamery surrounded by a wonderful group of creative and supporting colleagues.

MATT PATTON – Although he claims no ability as a stage manager, Matt is a very big star of the stage and screen. No doubt you recall his performances as “Nerd” in a Biscuitville commercial, “Fireman No. 7” in a commercial for Boston Coffee, and “Extra” in a production of Tales of Hoffman that starred Placido Domingo. Some highlights of his stage career include the title roles in Harvey and Waiting for Godot. In his spare time, he enjoys attempting to lose weight and writing about himself in the third person.

STEVE TAFT – Steve Taft is pleased to return to The Old Creamery for his 4th season. Previously, he directed The Old Creamery productions of Broadway Bound, Nobody Don’t Like Yogi and Tuesdays with Morrie in addition to serving as light designer for each of those productions and others. As an actor, he was an ensemble member in Amadeus and also portrayed Professor Morrie Schwartz in Tuesdays with Morrie. Steve also contributed original music and lyrics for Holiday Hijinks: Independance Day. He received his Ph.D. in fine arts from Texas Tech University and is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Northern Iowa.

Staff / Crew

Stage Manager Matt Patton
Running Crew Brook Stetler, Patrick Moyer
Costume Design Sarah Marchand
Lighting Design Tommy Milligan
Sound Design Blake Bergeson
Set Design Tommy Milligan
Set Construction Sara Herman
Props Sara Herman
Technical Assistants Jessie Grant, Katrina Kmak, Mara McGhee