Krottinger, a native Oklahoman, is a graduate of Broken Arrow High School and The University of Central Oklahoma.
Drawn to entertainment at a young age, Krottinger was an active participant in the arts during his school years; he later trained and performed professionally across the globe for years before landing at Square 1. “Since the moment I stepped on stage as a kid, I knew I would work in entertainment,” he says. “Like everything in our careers, our life journey places us where we feel most comfortable in our shoes; for me, that’s entertainment.” Jay is actively involved as an advisory board member of the College of Fine Arts and Design at his alma mater, as well as interim Artistic Director of Theatre Tulsa.
Tanner hails from Illinois as a graduate of Quincy Senior High and Illinois College.
Like Krottinger, Tanner was drawn to the arts in his youth. However, stepping onto the stage was intimidating, so Tanner chose other ways to enter the theater world. “As a young kid, I dreamed of performing and yet was scared to death of it,” he says. “So, I did the next best thing: I volunteered for local theater productions in my hometown. I initially started by selling ads for the show program, and that grew into volunteering as a stagehand. I did whatever was needed to get closer to the production. I distinctly remember having an unhealthy obsession with the making of Anything Goes. It was then that I fell in love with each of the layers involved with theatre and the amount of work by all involved to bring stories from paper to stage.”
Tanner is active in his community and gives back through civic events and organizations. Ryan serves on three non-profit boards located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a Board Member of Tulsa CARES, which delivers social services to those living with HIV/AIDS; a Trustee of Philbrook Museum of Art; and a Board Director at the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation. He has served twice as the chairman of the Red Ribbon Gala (once co-chairing with Krottinger) and has raised over $2 million for Tulsa CARES.
Square 1 Theatrics
Milk and cookies. Peanut butter and jelly. Jay and Ryan. Some things are just better together.
Jay and Ryan formed Square 1 Theatrics in December of 2012 and have since made big waves in the theatre world. Square 1’s mission is to offer compelling and powerful entertainment for a vast audience with thought-provoking works that inspire change, including works from and about their Oklahoma home. The company carries a strong commitment to collaboration and producing local and regional works with others that share in the same mission.
The production team cut its teeth with Flipside: The Patti Page Story, a musical production that debuted at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2010 before embarking on an eight-city tour of Oklahoma. Flipside made its off-Broadway New York City premiere in December of 2012 at the iconic 59E59 Theatre. Flipside received 18 national awards, including Outstanding Musical at the Kennedy Center’s National Theatre Festival.
While in NYC scouting production partners for Flipside, Krottinger and Tanner were invited to co-produce PIPPIN, the first Broadway production for Square 1 Theatrics. The show opened in April 2013 at the iconic Music Box Theatre in New York City, starring Patina Miller, Matthew James Thomas, and Broadway legend Andrea Martin. PIPPIN became the most nominated show on Broadway in 2013 and received the coveted Tony Award for Best Revival Musical, Best Director (Diane Paulus), Best Actress (Patina Miller), and Best Leading Actress (Andrea Martin). This was the first Tony nomination and win for Krottinger and Tanner. The production also won four Drama Desk Awards and eight Outer Critics Circle Awards.
In June 2014, Krottinger and Tanner announced their plans to co-produce their first production in the UK—Tony Award-winning Memphis: The Musical. Memphis is a musical that is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. Its track record was strong: it played on Broadway for three years, recouped and enjoyed a 3-year U.S. national tour, and won four Tony Awards in 2010, including Best New Musical. In April 2015, the Society of London Theatre recognized the Memphis production with nine nominations, making it the most nominated show of the season. Memphis won two Olivier Awards in what was described as the most competitive West End Theatre scene in ten years.
Nine months later, Krottinger and Tanner announced their next project: the new musical, Waitress, with music and lyrics by Grammy nominee, Sara Bareilles. The production premiered on April 24, 2016 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City with Tony Award-winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful). Waitress earned four Tony nominations, including Best New Musical, and its soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy award. The production has played over 1,500 performances and seen over $145 million in box office sales. The national tour of Waitress began in October 2017. The West End production opened in London in Spring 2018.
In their first venture into film, Krottinger and Tanner co-produced Del Shores’ A Very Sordid Wedding, starring Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan. The film enjoyed a box office tour throughout 2017 and 2018 and began streaming in the fall of 2018.
Their 2017 stage project captured the hearts of people all over the world. The musical production, Come From Away, is based on the events following the tragedy of 9/11, when 38 planes with over 6500 passengers were stranded in a remote town in Newfoundland. Come From Away tells the story of the local residents who opened their hearts and homes to the stranded travelers, building a new and extraordinary “community” in the days that brought them together. The production was the most nominated musical of the 2017 theatre season, earning Best Musical honors from Drama Desk, Drama League, and the Outer Critics, as well as the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Come From Away enjoys productions in New York, Canada, Australia, Asia and a 3-year U.S. tour. In early 2019, the show opened in London to rave reviews and warm reception. On April 10, 2019, Krottinger and Tanner won the UK’s highest theatre award, the Olivier Award. Today, over 1 million people have seen the show, with box office grosses exceeding $133 million.
On the eve of the 2019 Olivier Awards, Krottinger and Tanner’s 5th show opened on Broadway. The production, a revival of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA!, was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 2019, including Best Revival of a Musical. OKLAHOMA! won the coveted Tony Award for Best Musical Revival on June 9th in New York City. Ali Stroker also won for Best Featured Actress in Musical.
Square 1 is a Tanninger Company. Tanninger serves as the parent company, overseeing ventures in healthcare, commercial real estate, and hospitality. Tanninger Companies corporate headquarters is located in Tulsa’s iconic Kendall-Whittier Square. Krottinger and Tanner purchased the 15,000-square-foot Swinney Hardware building and finished a full contemporary renovation in January 2016. Much like Square 1’s stage productions, the building’s revival brings joy to the community and inspires those that it touches to dream big.
For additional information, and to learn how to get involved with future projects, contact us here.