MTSU Theatre presents world premiere of ‘The Rumin...

MTSU Theatre presents world premiere of ‘The Ruminants’ April 4-7


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance students are proud to present the world premiere of “The Ruminants,” a play that explores protest, privilege and legacy.

“The Ruminants” runs Thursday-Saturday, April 4-6, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m. at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre at 615 Champion Way. 

Lauren Shouse, assistant professor of theatre directing, MTSU Department of Theatre and Dance
Lauren Shouse
Kate Goodwin, assistant professor, MTSU Department of Theatre and Dance
Kate Goodwin

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for seniors and $5 for students K-12. They can be purchased online at or the box office of Tucker Theatre before each performance. MTSU students, faculty and staff can attend for free by presenting their current university ID at the box office. No late entry will be permitted after the box office closes.

Directed by Lauren Shouse, “The Ruminants” was written by Dipti Bramhandkar and developed as part of The Farm Theatre’s College Collaboration project, which commissions an early playwright to write a play that multiple schools independently produce throughout the academic year. Students, faculty and the playwright collaborate throughout the year before the premiere. 


“This will be an invaluable opportunity for the students and an exciting opportunity for MTSU Theatre to be represented in national new play conversation,” Shouse said. “This project will be an opportunity for our theatre students to work with top professionals in their field and to observe the unique final stages of new work development.”

According to Shouse, the partnership gives students once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and theatre experiences while making industry connections. Shouse and stage manager Kate Goodwin worked to bring the College Collaboration Project to MTSU so more students could experience the new play process.

About “The Ruminants” 

With only weeks left in her senior year, Bekka questions whether she has done enough to make a difference for animal rights at her university. She is president of PETA and has organized numerous protests, but nothing seems to change. 

With her legacy on the line, she plans to take action in a way no one can ignore, but what will the cost be for those who join her and for those she tries to help? 

The MTSU cast includes:

  • Llewyn Beaver, a theatre major from Bells, Tennessee, as EB.
  • Tim Bryant, a theatre major from Murfreesboro, plays Justin.
  • Bailey Dorflinger, a theatre major from Franklin, Tennessee as Bekka. 
  • Kyle Kennedy, a professor and head of acting in his 14th year at MTSUas Professor Gordon. 
  • Christian Newton, a theatre major from Hendersonville, Tennesseeas Walter P. Rabbit.
  • Ivy Rolfsen, a theatre major from Nashville, plays the role of Aria. 
  • Jackson Roy, a theatre major from Bells, Tennessee, as Ollie.
  • Randy Truong, a theatre major from LaVergneplays the role of Pete. 

Additional details about the production, including a digital program and a full cast and crew listing, are available at

About The Farm Theatre’s College Collaboration project

Three universities are involved in this particular Farm Theatre’s College Collaboration, including MTSUAustin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

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After the series of school productions, the collaboration culminates in a trip to New York City in May, where the student actors and production team are invited to rehearse and present a public reading for New York producers, artistic directors and other professionals. 

“Some of our acting students will be cast in the professional reading and represent MTSU in the New York Theatre community,” said Shouse, who added that bringing the collaboration to campus “was an excellent opportunity to mentor students in a professional development experience where they had hands-on training in the new play development process.”

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For more details on MTSU Theatre and Dance productions, visit

For more information about MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts, visit For details on MTSU Arts events and supporting its student programs in the Patrons Society, visit

— DeAnn Hays (

  • Tim Bryant
  • Kyle Kennedy
  • Christian Newton
  • Ivy Rolfsen
  • Jackson Roy
  • Randy Truong