Review: MTSU’s production of ‘Taste of Sunrise’ proved to be an incredible emotional tale

Photo by Krystal Loritts / MTSU Sidelines

“The Taste of Sunrise” opened last Thursday at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, which left audience members teary-eyed and with a feeling of contentment.

The play sets in a rural southern town during the early 19th century. The show begins with a woman giving birth, and off to the side the audience sees a boy signing everything that’s going on. We later find out that the boy is named Tuc, played by Roberto Ramierez, who became deaf as a result of Scarlet fever.

For the remainder of the play, we follow Tuc through his life growing up as he learned sign language at a school for the deaf, dealt with a death and figured out how to be heard in a world that doesn’t understand people with disabilities.

There was never a moment of silence in the show, which kept the audience engaged the entire time. All of the “hearing” characters always had someone on stage with them that would sign their lines when they appeared to speak. Likewise, the deaf characters, like Tuc, had someone speak the words that they signed.

“I didn’t really think I would enjoy it as much as I did, but I loved how they signed the entire play,” said Lydia Smith, an interdisciplinary studies major.

She and Matthew Stevenson are both taking a theater class, which is how they heard about the production.They were both shocked by how much they enjoyed it.

It seemed that many were surprised by either the plot or that they saw themselves enjoying the show and becoming more invested with the characters.

Friends Tim Stem, an animation major, and Kyle Day Nicoll, a media management and English major, didn’t think they would get emotional or cry during the show.

“I’m not crying, you’re crying,” Nicoll joked.

“Yeah, I was not expecting it to be that emotional. We had someone come into our class and give a summary about the play, and I didn’t know how it would work,” Stem said. “But it worked well. I loved it.”

Nicoll said he knows a lot of people that are going to love this play and can’t wait to bring them next time.

“I would definitely come see it again,” he said.

“The Taste of Sunrise” was shown Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and the final showing was Sunday at 2 p.m. The word about the play’s brilliance must have gotten out, because every showing had a full house.

Maizie and Tuc talk about how Tuc misses his home in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on March 4 (Krystal Loritts / MTSU Sidelines)

Audience favorites were Roberto Ramierez, Tuc and Brianna Smart, who plays Miazie, one of Tuc’s only friends. Their performances filled the theater with laughter and tears, especially when they appeared on stage together.

Sunday was the last day to see this magical play, and if you didn’t get a chance to see it, you truly missed out on an incredible experience. It was an unforgettable emotional rollercoaster of laughter, tears and happiness. MTSU students get into student productions for free, so keep that in mind for next month when “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens on April 5.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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