Man with light brown hair and scruffy facial hair

Frank Tuttle bio

Frank Sheldon Tuttle was born June 8, 1990, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

His father, Eugene, hailed from Jackson and came to Biloxi as an Air Force trainee. He liked the Gulf Coast town so much that he settled in Biloxi when he left the military and found lucrative work in construction. Soon, Eugene met Delia Eleanor Rowell, a nurse at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, and they married in January of 1990.

In 1997, Frank's father purchased a trawler and set up a sportfishing charter business that he marketed to the folks flocking to the area for the dockside gaming.

Frank excelled in elementary school, where his teachers found him boisterous but creative. By 8th grade, Frank had become more than a handful—easily distracted from schoolwork and prone to antics that won laughter from friends but disrupted the class.

Music was the one thing Frank was serious about. When he received the piano lessons he requested for his 10th birthday, he practiced without prompting several times a week. Four years later, his parents gave him an electric guitar for Christmas with the stipulation that he would lose it if he got in any trouble at school.

Delia saw music as a healthy outlet for Frank's excess energies, but Eugene thought strict discipline was the best approach and routinely grounded Frank when he missed curfew or failed to do chores.

But father and son did share a common interest—boating. In the summers, Frank worked for Eugene on the charter boat and even toyed with the idea of studying marine biology in college. But Frank's passion for music outweighed his academic zeal.

In high school, he maintained unspectacular grades, preferring to focus on his band, the Flesh Zealots. The group was popular at school events, and Frank had his share of female admirers. His only serious relationship was with the drummer, Phoebe Atwater, an eccentric straight-A student.

When she broke up with him over Christmas break their senior year, he kicked her out of the band and spent the following semester composing malicious ballads about her. The romantic breakup signaled the beginning of the end for the Flesh Zealots, and by graduation, Frank's plans to tour the state with the band fell apart.

He hadn't applied to college, so he worked on the boat while considering his options. Six months later, when family Christmas festivities disintegrated into a shouting match between Frank and Eugene, who had taken to calling his son a "freeloader," Frank decided it was time to move out.

Frank left on New Year's Day to stay with a friend at Ole Miss. Easy-going and lively as always, Frank quickly made friends and found a part-time job at Square Books. He also played guitar with local bands and composed music for local theatre productions.

His romantic relationships were often rocky because he was prone to dramatic displays of emotion, from filling a lover's car with rose petals to denouncing his exes while standing atop the bar at Proud Larry's.

In 2013, Frank settled into a relationship with Ellen Mayberry, a graduate student in history. Her calm demeanor was a foil for his rambunctiousness, and she urged him to plan for the future. At her behest, Frank took some classes at Ole Miss but dropped out, preferring to focus on work. In the spring, he left Square Books to be a part-time assistant at the university's blues archive. Ellen grew impatient with his meandering and ended the relationship that summer.

The following January, Frank heard about a part-time opening with Oxtales, then a fledgling theatre company with a flair for the unusual. They hired Frank for his broad knowledge of theatre and music. He kept his job at the university, but Oxtales became his primary passion as he took on acting roles in addition to his stage management duties.

Frank quickly hit it off with Andrea Stover, another recent arrival at Oxtales. They became friends first, and later, lovers. But for once, Frank's partner proved more fickle than he. When Andrea broke up with him, she said their monogamous relationship was stunting her artistic growth. She did allow for occasional renewals of their romance, which Frank accepted.

By then, Oxtales' notoriety had spread, and in 2020 Frank was arrested along with Andrea and assistant director Dale King, in connection with the company's production "Snopes." Frank pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine and community service work. He completed his sentence in September 2021 and continues to work as Oxtales' stage manager.

 


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