You are here

The Last American Hammer

Music by Peter Hilliard
Libretto by Matt Boresi
Theo Mynka, director
Aaron Ames, music director

Due to weather-related concerns, the performance on May 4 will now be held in the Tryon Festival Theatre inside of Krannert Center. If you are a university faculty, staff, or student and able to show “building access granted” on the Safer Illinois app or boarding pass, you may purchase a ticket and enter Krannert Center to attend the performance. Ticket-holders who are not a university faculty, staff, or student, can choose to donate or be refunded for their tickets. As part of the Lyric Theatre curriculum, the choice to move this performance rather than cancel it has been made.

Any weather-related announcements for the performance on May 5 will be posted here by 2pm on the performance day.

Combining elements of comedy and empathy, The Last American Hammer tells the story of a failed rural community in Ohio’s rust belt. Its bluegrass-infused score features strings, mandolin, and banjo.

After the only major source of local employment—a hammer manufacturer—has gone under, conspiracy theorist Milcom Negley hunkers down in the town’s Toby jug museum to stage his personal protest against the tyranny of federal overreach. Armed with the last product to roll off the plant’s assembly line, Negley plans to hold a proxy trial against the US government using Toby jugs as stand-ins for a court. Expecting to be swarmed by a battalion of military drones, Negley is instead confronted by a young rookie field specialist from the FBI.

Watch Julie and Nathan Gunn and special guests for the first on-demand episode of Show Talk as they discuss the creative process involved in the production of The Last American Hammer.

Standard ticket price for The Last American Hammer is $15 ($5 for students). If you can, show your love for the arts by purchasing a $40 “Advocate” ticket; the additional ticket cost directly benefits Lyric Theatre @ Illinois.

The in-person event on May 5 will be staged in the Krannert Center Amphitheatre with the audience seated in chairs on the flat terrace to the west of the stage. Seating is general admission and opens at 3:30pm. Because of limited capacity, up to two tickets may be purchased per transaction. No physical tickets will be delivered; audience members will check in on a will call list with a staff member at the seating area. The performance will take place in this outdoor venue unless weather causes a safety concern for audience, performers, or equipment. If you have accessibility needs, please contact us at patronservices [at] krannertcenter.illinois.edu or 217.333.9716; we will be happy to assist you.

Parking, performance/building access, and COVID-19 Safety Precautions and Procedures:

  • Please note that parking in the garages underneath Krannert Center is not free on weekdays until 5pm; options can be found on the Center’s parking information page.
  • You can approach the outdoor Amphitheatre from outside the building using the Goodwin Avenue stairs. If you have accessibility needs, including use of a wheelchair or the need not to take stairs, please contact us at patronservices [at] krannertcenter.illinois.edu or 217.333.9716; we will be happy to assist you.
  • If you can show “building access granted” on the Safer Illinois app or boarding pass, you may enter Krannert Center to get to the Amphitheatre.
  • Audience members must wear masks.
  • Capacity is limited.
  • Seating and distancing will follow university guidelines as of the performance date. As of this event’s publication date, seating will be on an individual basis, not by household.
  • If you feel unwell or have been in contact with anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19, please let us know, and we will gladly refund your ticket.

The importance of philanthropy has never been greater. Please consider gifts to the Illinois Lyric Theatre and Opera Support Fund and Krannert Center’s Moving Forward Together/Unrestricted Fund to ensure the future of the arts at Illinois.

Event Details

TRYON FESTIVAL THEATRE (MAY 4), AMPHITHEATRE (MAY 5)
Tu May 04, 2021 - 4:00pm CT
We May 05, 2021 - 4:00pm CT
Advocate 40 / Standard 15 / Stu & UI 5 If you are a university faculty, staff, or student and able to show “building access granted” on the Safer Illinois app or boarding pass, you may purchase a ticket and enter Krannert Center to attend the performance on May 4.