West Coast Stage Actor Selected as New Lead in Tecumseh

After a lengthy nationwide search, the Scioto Society is proud to announce that Ryan Reid will star in the lead role during the 2017 production of Tecumseh. 

Ryan grew up in Galesburg, IL, where he developed his passion for theatre late in high school, performing in local community productions. He followed that passion to Millikin University in Decatur, IL, abandoning his intentions to study medicine and play college football. He recently wrapped up a wonderfully exciting collegiate career graduating with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. 

Ryan moved to Los Angeles after the end of the 2016 production of Tecumseh, where he portrayed Blue Jacket. 

“The moment I first stepped foot on the Sugarloaf Mountain I knew I was in a whole new world, unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. Maybe that was due, in part, to it being 1:30 in the morning, I had graduated college a mere seven hours prior, and the seven hours since were spent in my car. Needless to say my head was spinning, but I can vividly recall one of the first things I remember hearing at Tecumseh. It was the first time the entire cast was finally together and I remember Jenny, the director who I'd barely met, welcoming us by saying that she was so excited to have us all join the "Mountain Family". And as if she'd cast a spell on us all...a family we became. In the three and a half months I spent at Tecumseh, I met some of my closest friends and worked with the kindest, most dedicated group of artists. These relationships I cultivated were, in part, causal for my return for a second summer. The show itself was, of course, another key factor.” Said Reid.

His precredits include appearances on the Millikin Main Stage as King Duncan in Macbeth, Husband in Machinal, the title role in Tartuffe and Caliban in Rough Magic.  Professionally, he was recently seen at Festival 56 in Princeton, IL as Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf in Into The Woods, Bill Sykes in Oliver!, and Oliver in As You Like It. Additional professional credits include: Ken in RED, King Philip in The Lion in Winter, and Charlie Brown in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.

Artistic Director Jenny Male said of finding the right person for the role...

“The heart of this story is always on the stage and in this place.  It is the responsibility of us to tell this story with passion and truth for those who are not here to tell it for themselves.  Finding the right person with that sense of responsibility is a difficult search.  We looked all over the country and finally landed back home with Ryan.  He’s going to be great in this role.” 

Finding a Tecumseh has always been a challenge for the production team.  The demands are great… the actor must ride a horse, safely fight and fire guns, row boats, swim and perform vocally in front of 1800 seats each night without a microphone. Some actors in the role have transcended those challenges to become synonymous with the name, including Mel Cobb, Jose Andrews and Jamison Price.  

Identifying the next milestone performer is important for the show.  

“Night after night, this family we'd become had the joy of bringing to life the true story of Tecumseh and the Shawnee people - such a profoundly moving experience. We got to tell this story that otherwise may be lost in the pages of a dusty history book; we got to live it, breathe it. I left Tecumseh last summer with a focus of using my art to create something bigger and better than myself - something that has meaning and adds value to the world around me. And after a year of putting this ethos into practice, I am honored to return to the mountain and be the inspiration it was for me," said Ried.

The opportunity to play the role of Tecumseh comes with a responsibility.

"My acting must be as strong, truthful and vulnerable as the man was himself. It is my duty and my privilege to honor this extraordinary man with my portrayal of his incredible story...and I couldn't be more ecstatic," said Reid.

Tecumseh, first staged in 1973, is one of the nation’s top outdoor dramas.  Written by Pulitzer Prize Nominee, Allan W. Eckert, the 45th anniversary season plays June 9th through Sept 3rd at The Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre near Chillicothe. 

For tickets and information, go to www.tecumsehdrama.com or call 1-866-775-0700.

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