The Last American Hammer

Peter Hilliard & Matt Boresi • February 22, 25, 28; March 1, 2020

“A satirical but heartfelt examination of the fallout that occurs when the American Dream fails to materialize”

Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tyranny of federal overreach. He is hunkered down in a rural Toby jug museum in a rust belt Ohio town where Tink Enraught, a mannered curatrix, offers him tea and cookies. Milcom is a “Thirteenther” – a conspiracy theorist who believes an obscure, would-be Thirteenth amendment negates the authority of our government. He occupies the museum because it is the only place left in his failed town to receive federal funds – a grant for the upkeep of a rare 17th-century British pitcher known as “Sir Oswyn.”

Although Milcom expects to be swarmed by military drones, attention is paid only by Agent Reyes, a young rookie FBI field specialist. Milcom explains that the town’s only major source of employment – a hammer manufacturer – has gone under, leaving the residents lost. He is armed with “the Last American Hammer” to roll off the plant’s line and intends to hold a proxy trial against the US government using Toby jugs as physical stand-ins for a court. 

With a bluegrass-infused score that brings American roots to the operatic stage, The Last American Hammer combines comedy with empathy in small town USA.

The Last American Hammer will star current and former Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists, and be performed in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue. Limited capacity.

Milcom Negley (Timothy Mix) expresses his frustrations and disillusionment over the closing of the hammer factory where he worked loyally for years, and vents about his current situation.

The Last American Hammer was commissioned by UrbanArias with very generous support from Dan and Gloria Logan; and an anonymous admirer of UrbanArias in memory of Deborah Brewer. Pittsburgh Opera’s production is sponsored by the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University.

Toby Jug Museum curator Tink Enraught (Caitlin Gotimer). All photos by David Bachman.

Agent Dee Dee Reyes (Antonia Botti-Lodovico) listens to Milcom Negley’s (Timothy Mix) conspiracy theory and grievances

Agent Dee Dee Reyes (Antonia Botti-Lodovico) and Milcom Negley (Timothy Mix)

Rookie FBI Agent Dee Dee Reyes (Antonia Botti-Lodovico)

Cast and Artistic Team

Previews and Reviews

Video excerpts

Audio Preview Excerpts


Details and Resources