||Ryan Tanner ’02
Majored in political science
Producer and co-founder of Square 1 Theatrics, CEO and co-founder of IQ Surgical
On June 9, 2013, Ryan Tanner joined an elite group when his production company, Square 1 Theatrics, co-producer of Broadway’s “Pippin,” won the coveted Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
But the question on everyone’s mind, how does a political science major from Illinois College end up winning a Tony Award, Broadway’s highest honor?
Tanner as a young child discovered he had a love for the theater but was, in his words, “scared to death of performing,” but while volunteering to assist local theater productions, he “fell in love with each of the layers involved with theater and the amount of work by all involved to bring stories from paper to stage.”
Fast forward 10 years.
After graduating from Illinois College, Tanner moved to Tulsa, Okla., in 2004 where he co-manages a healthcare marketing firm, IQ Surgical, with his partner, Jay Krottinger. In 2011 Tanner and Krottinger, who is a classically trained actor, were asked to raise money and co-produce the off-Broadway sensation, “Flipside: The Patti Page Story.” The show required they raise $150,000 for the regional production which toured Oklahoma and led a successful limited engagement in New York City.
While in New York scouting a location for the show, Tanner and Krottinger met with an entertainment attorney who was so moved by their story, their love of theater and their success in attracting investors that he suggested they meet with the lead producers of the show, “Pippin,” which at the time was in the early stages of development.
After their initial meeting and a fast and furious period of fundraising, Tanner and Krottinger (Square 1 Theatricals) signed on as co-producers of the show helping raise over 9 million dollars in capital to launch the production.
“Pippin,” which was nominated for 10 awards, took home four Tony’s, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical for Diane Paulus, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Andrea Martin and Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical for Patina Miller.
Square 1 Theatrics most recently helped produce “A Time to Kill,” based on the classic best-seller by John Grisham, on Broadway.