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In Remembrance of the Oklahoma City Bombingscis logo

By Isaiah Werner

Directed by Aaron Hannrickson

Produced by adapt theatre productions

in association with Redtwist Theatre

At Redtwist Theatre, Chicago

Haunting remembrance of an American Tragedy mostly works


Adapt Theatre Productions and playwright Isaiah Werner’s world premiere: Scissortail: In Remembrance of the Oklahoma City Bombing presents its tribute to the 168 murdered victims through the eyes of Gavin (Kyle Whalen) who was 8years old in 1995 and now a troubled 28 year old. The story of that day, April 19, 1995, is told in flashback as Gavin suffers from delayed post traumatic stress as he tires to get help coping from Sarah ( Jenn M. Vance) and old college friend and now a therapist, Gavin is haunting by nightmares from that day that took his father in the bombing. Kyle Whalen is terrific here as the troubled adult living with much bottled-up trauma. In the flashback scenes, we meet young Gavin (5th grader Nicholas Wenz) and his father Gary (Adam Schulmerich) a DEA analyst. We see how the father-son relationship in a motherless home works so well that finds young Gavin quizzing his father on Oklahoma state trivia. Father promises his son a special surprise that day after work.

We also hear Timothy McVeigh (the amazing look-alike Tyler Dickerson) as he give an interview defending and justifying (in his mind) the revenge bombing of the federal building. Dickerson is chilling as the paranoid domestic terrorist.


As this 75  minute drama unfolds, we see how Gavin can’t seem to let go of his childhood reactions that became rekindled on the 20th anniversary of the attack. The talks between Gavin and Sarah and the memories and the reenactment of the Gavin-McVeigh dream confrontation is scary.

Scissortail vividly confronts the theme of loss in a unique way as it sheds light on one of the most terrible attacks in American history. We ofter forget this one after 911 but the effects on survivors and family still linger. As a dramatic piece, Scissortail is effectively presented. Kyle Whalen anchors the worthy cast. This show is worth a look.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2015

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout  the Scissortail page at

At Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL