Fort Findlay Playhouse presents this special one-person production featuring our own Tyre’k Hyde in celebration of Black History Month.
Tyre’k first performed this production in Fremont last year and reprises his role this year at FFP as well as the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. A portion of ticket sales from the Findlay production will go to Findlay’s Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center.
TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE AND AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY
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Please note: This production is not included in season patron packages
Written by James Still
With Tyre’k Hyde
Directed by Lois Eisenhard
Show Dates: Saturday, Feb. 4 (8 pm) • Sunday, Feb. 5 (2 pm)
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing Company, Woodstock, Illinois
When Alonzo Fields accepted a job as a butler at the White House in 1931, his plan was to work there for the winter. That winter lasted 21 years. Based on the real-life story of the grandson of a freed slave who grew up in an all-black town in southern Indiana, Fields is forced by the Depression to give up his dreams of becoming an opera singer and accept the job at the White House where he quickly was appointed Chief Butler. Looking Over the President’s Shoulder is told from the unique perspective of the Chief Butler who served four U.S. presidents and their families: Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Famous guests through the years included Winston Churchhill, Marian Anderson, Errol Flynn and the king and queen of England. As Fields says in the play: “It was like being in the front row and watching the passing parade of history…” Set on the eve of his last day on the job, Fields reflects on his 21 years of service to his country with humor and pride. He was a man with a story to tell and this tour-de-force for one actor gives Fields the chance to tell it. Culled from Fields’ private papers, diaries and interviews, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder has played at major theaters across the country including the Indiana Repertory Theatre (where it premiered) and the famous Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
About the Performer and Director
Born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio, the theater is where Tyre’k Hyde would spend most of his days if he could. Tyre’k has officially been performing for a decade, starting out when he was 10. His acting resume growing at the Ritz Theater and Fort Findlay Playhouse, Tyre’k has even worked behind the scenes as stage crew and usher. Some of his performances include: Kaleidoscope (Woode), Fiddler On the Roof (Sasha), The Foreigner (Ellard Simms), Deathtrap (Clifford Anderson), CLUE (Mr. Green), Little Women (Laurie Laurence), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Banjo) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Tom Robinson) where he first got to work with Lois Eisenhard and Dr. Regina Vincent-Williams (who attracted them both to this project in 2021.)
Director Lois Eisenhard lives in Tiffin and has been a Ritz Player for over 25 years, starting with her first show, Tribute, then Picnic, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Playing for Time, The Glass Menagerie, Grace and Glorie and A Streetcar Named Desire. She directed her first show at the Ritz, Diary of Anne Frank, in 1989, then To Kill A Mockingbird,Wait Until Dark, House for Sale, Agnes’ Story and Looking Over the President’s Shoulder. She was also in Crimes of the Heart and The Gingerbread Lady in Fostoria.