Building Plays In Rural America

Mad River Theater Works is a professional touring ensemble with roots deep in the flat farm country of the Midwest. We create plays that combine music and drama to tell stories about people from the back roads and small towns of America.

We often reach back into history to cast a new light on the personalities and events that have shaped our nation. Our plays explore contemporary issues. We believe that theater can make a difference in the life of a community and our plays look forward to the choices we face in an increasing complex world. In particular, we focus on issues of community breakdown, the importance of individual cultures, racism and tolerance, and the changing role of women.


Every Mad River Theater Works production is a world premiere.

Over the last twenty six years we have developed over 25 original plays that reflect the rich diversity of the rural Midwest and a core of professional artists who are committed to Mad River. Those actors, directors, and musicians have come to live and work in rural west central Ohio from all parts of the United States and have worked in professional venues from New York to California.

Mad River is under the direction of Bob Lucas. His experiences in music and theatre across the United States in institutions such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre led to his involvement in the creation of a professional touring company growing out of rural America.