Trustus Theatre presents tick, tick… BOOM!

January 13, 2022

The rock musical returns to the Thigpen Main Stage in February

Trustus Theatre brings back the rock musical tick, tick… BOOM! to the Thigpen Main Stage for the first time since 2007. The autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of RENT, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices that he made to achieve his big break in theatre. The show features only three cast members: Trustus Company members Michael Hazin and Katie Leitner, and Trustus newcomer Andrew Mullin. Dewey Scott-Wiley, Trustus’ interim Artistic Director, directs the show with Trustus Company members Chris Cockrell as musical director and Terrance Henderson as choreographer. Out of an abundance of caution, the run of tick, tick… BOOM! has been delayed, and will now open on Friday, February 4th and run through Saturday, February 26th. Those who purchased tickets for the original opening will be contacted by the Box Office. For ticket information or questions, please contact the Box Office by email at [email protected]. 

Before RENT, there was tick, tick… BOOM! An aspiring composer, Jon, questions his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday. Trustus Company member Michael Hazin takes on the role of Jon. Last seen as the titular larger-than-life presidential rock star in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Hazin says the role is “daunting, but it’s quite an honor.” The show, originally written as a one-man monologue for Larson himself, requires plenty of research. “I’ve been not only looking through some of his other works like RENT, but also watching videos of him performing the original one-man show, BoHo Days. On top of that, I’ve been scouring interviews of his friends and colleagues speaking about what their relationships with Jonathan were like.”

Andrew Mullin and Trustus Company member Katie Leitner round out the cast, taking on multiple roles that create Larson’s world – New York in the 1990s. “All roles have a purpose in good theatre like this, and all actors have the potential to make a memorable mark on their audiences with each moment,” says Mullin. “Each role needs to be distinguished in its own unique way.” Leitner agrees: “Constantly switching voices, postures, and costume pieces to communicate to the audience that there are more characters in the story than there are actors on stage takes some time to craft but the end result will only strengthen the show.” Leitner’s first Trustus role was Mimi in the successful run of RENT in 2009 and again in 2010. Returning to Larson’s work has been “such a joy” for her. “This brilliant composer not only changed the musical landscape of musical theatre – his influence can still be heard in new works today – but he gave light and a voice to people who needed to be heard.”

tick, tick… BOOM! also reunites the directing team behind RENT: Dewey Scott-Wiley, Chris Cockrell, and Terrance Henderson. Scott-Wiley, interim Artistic Director and director of the show, is excited to have the group back together. “RENT taught us so many valuable lessons, both creatively and personally.  I think the three of us bring a collective understanding of Jonathan Larson’s storytelling.  It feels like we already have a shared artistic sensibility and language that can sometimes take a while to foster with new collaborators.” Henderson, who choreographs the show, appreciates Larson’s “art- and activism-centered work.”

“It’s aware of its time and accepts responsibility for the power of its poetry. Being true to ourselves and each other. And love love love.It’s fun but it’s also very real.” The show centers around creating theatre, a powerful subject for many involved in the show. “This musical is affirming,” says Scott-Wiley. “It affirms the anxieties and pressure to succeed that we all experience, as it encourages us to be true to ourselves and develop our passionate side.” Mullin echoes that same sentiment: “For me, this story is an encouragement to persevere in my calling to this industry despite my circumstances. Furthermore, I think it serves as a great encouragement to our beloved audiences that the greatest forms of gratification are the longest-suffered.”

tick, tick… BOOM! is sponsored by Prisma Health. A talkback on “coping with the anxiety and the pressure to succeed” will follow the February 20th matinee at 5:15pm, and will include Dr. Rachel Brown, Medical Director of Prevention and Wellness, Prisma Health Business Health Solutions, as well as creatives from the show. All are welcome to attend the talkback.

 tick, tick… BOOM! opens Friday, February 4th at 8:00pm and runs through Saturday, February 26th. The Box Office and bar open one hour prior to show time, and patrons are encouraged to arrive early to allow for safe seating procedures. For more info on Trustus’ Safety Guidelines, please visit Reservations are recommended due to limited capacity and can be made at