Gavin sheehan | September, 18th 2014 |Gavin's Underground - City Weekly

Yesterday evening was the official kickoff for Salt Lake Acting Company's brand new season, and '14-'15 is looking to entertain the masses at all costs. The company decided to kick things off with a one-woman show, I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers. A juggernaut 90-minute introspective look at the former manager of celebrities like Cher, Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand, filled with stories that look deep into the entertainment industry and how quickly you can rise and fall behind the scenes. Today we're chatting with the play's director, Robin Wilks-Dunn, as well as the company's co-producers, Cynthia Flwming and Keven Myhre, about bringing the show to SLC and putting it together.

[Read More]

Published in Blog & News

Blair Howell | October 9, 2014 | Broadway World Salt Lake City

Seeing a virtuoso solo performance in a single-character show can leave an indelible impression. I can still remember many years ago watching Patrick Stewart in "A Christmas Carol," in which he played 40-plus Dickens roles. And a few months after seeing a spirited Lori Guiver perform as a singe character, Emily Dickinson in "The Belle of Amherst," Lori became my wife.

I will long remember Camille G. Van Wagoner's performance in Salt Lake Acting Company's irresistibly delicious production of "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers."

[Read Full Article]

Published in Blog & News

Megan Crivello | September 23, 2014 | Utah Theatre Bloggers

 

SALT LAKE CITY — One person shows are not easy undertakings. A single performer has to be dynamic enough to capture the attention of an audience for sixty or more minutes with no other performer to assist them. Solo performances are the marathons of acting, at times a sheer act of perseverance and passion relying on memoir to chart a lasting journey. At its best, it is mesmerizing; at its worst, it is incredibly uncomfortable and regrettable. I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers at Salt Lake Acting Company definitely cast a spell over me.

 

[Read Full Article]

Published in Blog & News

PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |

September 3, 2014
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company Opens Season with
I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS
By John Logan
"I'm not just representing stars; I am a star..."

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), opens its 44th season in the glamorous living room of Hollywood super-agent Sue Mengers. From September 17 thru October 26, audiences are invited to relish in Sue's exclusive show biz gossip, as she dishes the dish about her clients – Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, and Faye Dunaway, just to name a few. Set in 1981 – the beginning of the end of Sue's glory days – this one-woman show plays like an exclusive tell-all. Sue lets the audience in on juicy stories about Hollywood's most famous and infamous stars, sharing some laughs, some advice, and some secrets, all in less than 90 minutes.

Penned by Tony Award-winning playwright and esteemed screenwriter John Logan, I'LL EAT YOU LAST premiered on Broadway last summer starring Bette Midler. SLAC's production will feature local favorite Camille Van Wagoner as Mengers, and will be directed by Robin Wilks Dunn. I'LL EAT YOU LAST will play in SLAC's intimate Chapel Theatre – a fitting space for Sue's luxurious living room.

The real-life Sue Mengers was born in Hamburg, Germany to Jewish parents who relocated their family to New York City when Sue was five years old. Her first job was as a receptionist for MCA after which she was hired as a secretary by the William Morris Agency. Thanks to her unrelenting grit and gumption, by 1963, Sue had become an agent herself – an anomaly for a woman at that time. Throughout the 60's and 70's she represented some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters including Candice Bergen, Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon, Cher, Joan Collins, Brian De Palma, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, Sidney Lumet, Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen, Mike Nichols, Nick Nolte, Tatum O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Barbra Streisand, and Gore Vidal, among others. As her career wound down in the 80's, Sue transitioned from representing stars to hosting them. Her dinner parties were legendary. Vanity Fair contributor Graydon Carter wrote, "At Sue's, everyone was funnier, and quicker, and smarter than they were anywhere else." (Remembering Sue Mengers: Everybody Came to Sue's). On October 15, 2011, in her Beverly Hills home, Sue succumbed to a battle with pneumonia following a series of small strokes, but her legacy lives on in Logan's I'LL EAT YOU LAST.

PLAYWRIGHT

John Logan received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Drama League awards for his play RED. This play premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and at the Golden Theatre on Broadway. He is the author of more than a dozen other plays including NEVER THE SINNER and HAUPTMANN. His adaptation of Ibsen's THE MASTER BUILDER premiered on the West End in 2003. As a screenwriter, Logan had three movies released in 2011: HUGO, CORIOLANUS and RANGO. Previous film work includes SWEENEY TODD (Golden Globe award); THE AVIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); GLADIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); THE LAST SAMURAI; ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, and RKO 281 (WGA award, Emmy nomination).

DIRECTOR

Robin Wilks-Dunn is pleased to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company. Her most recent productions at SLAC were GOOD PEOPLE and A LOSS OF APPETITE in the 2013-14 season. Other productions she has directed at SLAC include DOTTIE: THE SISTER LIVES ON, BOOM, PEARL, ONE LAST DANCE and NAPOLEON'S CHINA. Robin has directed several staged readings at SLAC, most recently ROAD TO EDEN, PERMANENT COLLECTION and THE LAST WORD and will be directing Tony Kushner's One Acts TINY KUSHNER as part of the NPSS this season. She directed LAST LISTS OF MY MAD MOTHER and THE GOOD BODY for Pygmalion Theatre Company, where she serves on the board. Robin co-wrote and was the original director of the children's touring show for the Intermountain LIVE WELL campaign, now starting its 7th tour. She reads scripts for the Sundance Theatre Lab and works as Education and Outreach Coordinator for Kingsbury Hall. She is on the National Advisory Committee for Kennedy Center Partners in Education. Robin's work has been seen on stages across the Salt Lake Valley for years and hopefully for many years to come!

CAST

Camille G. Van Wagoner * (Sue Mengers) is grateful to be back at SLAC! She was last seen here as Cow 1 in CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE. Camille has worked for many local theatre companies, including: Caine Lyric Repertory Co, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Egyptian Theatre Co, Hale Centre Theatre, The Grand Theatre and Pioneer Theatre Company. Some of her favorite roles have been: Chaperone in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Mother Superior in NUNSENSE, Mrs. Lovitt in SWEEENEY TODD, Mama Morton in CHICAGO, Domina in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, Melpomene in XANADU, Dolly in HELLO, DOLLY!, Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Louse in ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE, and Madame Thenardier in LES MISERABLES. Thanks to everyone for this phenomenal opportunity.

Olivia Custodio (Understudy, performing Tuesday, October 14 and Saturday, October 25 matinee) is absolutely thrilled to be able to enter the world of Sue Mengers for this incredible production. She most recently performed at SLAC in this year's SATURDAY'S VOYEUR as Sister Marriott. An opera singer, Olivia received her Bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and will earn her Master of Music at the University of Utah this fall. She has performed leading roles in operas including Elle in LA VOIX HUMAINE, the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Alice Ford in FALSTAFF, Flora in LA TRAVIATA, and Bradamante in ALCINA. Although she is an opera singer, she has never sung while wearing Viking horns, nor has she shattered a glass with her voice. A lover of all things comical, Olivia has studied improv comedy at The Second City in Chicago and created her own operatic comedy show called "Operation: Opera" during her time living in NYC. She would like to thank her parents for creating her and their endless support, as well as her dearest friends and teachers for their continual assistance in her growth as a performer and human being.

ARTISTIC TEAM

Director Robin Wilks-Dunn
Set & Props Design Keven Myhre
Costume Design K.L. Alberts
Lighting Design James M. Craig
Sound Design Shea Madson
Dialect Coach Adrianne Moore
Stage Manager Jennie Sant*
Assistant Stage Manager Martin C. Alcocer

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

WHO:
Salt Lake Acting Company

WHAT:
I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS
By: John Logan

WHEN:
September 17 – October 26, 2014
Wednesdays – Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
*New this season: additional Tuesday evening and Saturday matinee performances:
Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 25, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
168 West 500 North
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103

MORE INFO:
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103
Box Office: 801-363-7522
Open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.saltlakeactingcompany.org
Single tickets range from $15 – $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more.
Subscribers always pay the lowest price.

*Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to engage and enrich community through brave contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970, SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre dedicated to producing, commissioning, and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract and is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group (a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres), and the National New Play Network (a national alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays).

 

Published in Blog & News

Ellen Fagg Weist | September 13, 2014 | The Salt Lake Tribune

Camille G. Van Wagoner was thinking about retiring. Maybe it was time.

She had racked up an impressive résumé of comedic and musical-theater roles on a variety of Utah stages, but approaching the milestone of her 50th birthday, she was tired of facing the lack of opportunities for female actors of a certain age.

[Read Full Article]

 

Published in Blog & News

After another successful season of Saturday's Voyeur, the Salt Lake Acting Company will keep up the pace with yet another culturally significant, delightfully edgy production: "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers."

We spoke with director Robin Wilks-Dunn, the brains behind SLAC's interpretation of Tony award-winner John Logan's script. We also spoke with lead actress Camille G Van Wagoner, whose vivacity and glowing presence will come in handy as she goes it alone on stage in this 90-minute one-woman production.

[Read Full Article]

Published in Blog & News
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:34

2014-2015 Season Press Release

PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |

August 14, 2014
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company's 2014-2015 Season
Reflects New Mission Statement to Engage and Enrich Community
Through Brave, Contemporary Theatre

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), with renewed energy and excitement for the future, announces a new, community-centered mission statement as it launches its 44th season of brave, contemporary theatre.

SLAC's Executive Leadership and Board of Trustees recognized the need to revise and simplify the organization's mission to get right to the heart of why the Salt Lake Acting Company exists. Following invigorating and focused conversation at a retreat this past spring, SLAC's leaders have released the company's new mission statement: to engage and enrich community through brave, contemporary theatre.
This new, community-centered mission will be reflected in SLAC's 2014-2015 season, which in addition to the vibrant work onstage, will also cultivate more and deeper partnerships with area non-profits, schools, and community centers. Now more than ever, SLAC recognizes the rich and dynamic culture that exists here in Utah, and is proud to invest and play a role in its continued growth. It's an exciting time to be in Salt Lake City and an exciting time to be at SLAC.

The 2014-2015 season opens with I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS by Tony Award-winning playwright John Logan. Hailed as the first female "super-agent," Sue Mengers was the talk of the entertainment industry, representing the likes of Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, and Cher. This one-woman show, starring Utah favorite Camille Van Wagoner and directed by Robin Wilks-Dunn will run September 17 – October 26, 2014. SLAC invites audiences into Sue's glamorous living room for an evening of dish and dirty secrets.

For more information on I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS click here...


RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Obie Award-winning playwright Gina Gionfriddo and directed by Adrianne Moore, will run October 22 – November 16, 2014. After graduate school, Catherine and Gwen chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rock star academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. This sharp-witted comedy takes an unflinching look at gender politics and asks, 'Can any woman have it all?'

For more information on RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN click here...

SLAC will work on behalf of its youngest audiences with its sixth annual professional children's production, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD with book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale, and based on the ever-popular books by Arnold Lobel. Two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. A story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD will be directed by Penny Caywood and will run December 5 – 27, 2014. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm.

For more information on A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD click here...


TWO STORIES by local playwright Elaine Jarvik was one of the 5 plays workshopped in SLAC's New Play Sounding Series (NPSS) during the 2013/14 Season. Jarvik said, "Nothing beats hearing your work read by good actors in front of a real, unbiased audience willing to stay afterwards to dissect what they've heard. By hearing the words out loud, by watching how the audience reacted, by listening to their questions and suggestions, I learned what worked and what didn't. This is how new plays get better." After its development last season in NPSS, SLAC has committed to ensuring the continued life of this play, presenting its World Premiere, directed by Keven Myhre, February 4 – March 1, 2015. Jodi is a struggling journalist eager to keep her job in a changing economy. When a Pakistani family moves in next door, Jodi gets more than just a great story. TWO STORIES is an exploration of diverse landscapes, including economic rise and fall, sensationalism and honesty, how we navigate the growing diversity and lingering stereotypes in our communities, and more intimately, how identity is bridged between generations.

For more information on TWO STORIES click here...

SLAC's commitment to new plays continues as it celebrates spring with the World Premiere of a 'sort of' romantic comedy, MR. PERFECT by William Missouri Downs. SLAC is proud to welcome Downs back to Utah after previously working with him on last season's hit, THE EXIT INTERVIEW. Directed by John Caywood and running April 8 – May 5, 2015, MR. PERFECT tells the story of a quirky flight attendant and romance novel junkie who thinks she's met Mr. Perfect. When it doesn't work out, she sets out to connect the random events that make up life, hoping to find the meaning of it all.

For more information on MR. PERFECT click here...

And of course, no SLAC season would be complete without SATURDAY'S VOYEUR, created by Allen Nevins & Nancy Borgenicht, two of Salt Lake City's most celebrated playwrights, and directed and choreographed by Cynthia Fleming. SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2015 will shake up Salt Lake June 24 – August 30, 2015. This annual musical satire connects SLAC to the community like nothing else. SLAC is the only theatre company in the nation that presents a new play written for us, about us, each year.

For more information on SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2015 click here...

With its renewed commitment to community, SLAC's 2014/15 Season will promote theatre and the arts in Utah through a variety of programs, several being the first of their kind in the region. SLAC strives to promote theatre, literature, and art to students from kindergarten to university. SLAC's arts education programs include:

Title I Matinee Program:

SLAC believes in the power of the arts to enhance children's literacy, educational performance, and interest in learning. A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD will include eight free matinee performances for over 1,400 Title I schoolchildren. As school curriculums continue to narrow at the expense of the arts, SLAC's free performances provide a live theatrical experience to academically at-risk schoolchildren who often lack access to opportunities as basic as field trips and arts exposure. SLAC will also offer discounted performances for non-Title I schools; literary partnerships with the Salt Lake City Public Library and local bookstores; an online study guide available for schools and students as they prepare for their visits; and collaborations with local organizations and sponsors.
University Professional Theatre Program: For the past two years Salt Lake Acting Company's University Professional Theatre Program (UPTP) has provided the opportunity for over two dozen students from Utah universities to contribute to productions on a professional scale through both performing roles and technical theatre positions. UPTP was developed through the recognition that SLAC had the resources to offer more to students than ticket discounts and internships. Rather, a paid, working experience would allow for tangible exposure to their craft and the chance for students to build a professional resume before even graduating. SLAC has cultivated working relationships with theatre programs from the following schools: University of Utah, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, and Utah State University.

SLAC has always been dedicated to nurturing the work of local theatre artists and providing a home for both new and established playwrights. More recently, Salt Lake Acting Company has created a landscape for local audiences to access a more in-depth exploration of the work. SLAC's programs that continue to elevate the theatre experience for those on both sides of the curtain include:

New Play Sounding Series:

Free and open to the public, the NPSS is an essential component of the SLAC season: four to five staged readings of new plays, each tied to the current production and/or playwright. Celebrating its 20th year, the NPSS gives playwrights an essential testing ground in which to see their work in progress, and involves SLAC's audience in the dynamic process of new play development. The NPSS has workshopped over 70 plays, with nearly 50 percent going on to main stage productions at SLAC and other regional and national theatre companies.

Green Room Gallery:

SLAC maintains an active gallery, showcasing and selling the work of local visual artists in rotating exhibitions inspired by and tied thematically to productions on stage Curated for each play, the Green Room Gallery is a space for local artists to exhibit their work and for SLAC's audiences to reinforce the themes they see onstage. The 2014-2015 season will include work from Terence K. Stephens, Tricia Forsey Terry (TSquared Art), and Stephanie Swift (Pretty Little Pixel).

Discount ticket programs: SLAC's Student and Under 30 ticket programs are designed to meet varying financial needs of these demographic groups, and are the foundation of the company's efforts to create deeper connections with young audiences, making live theatre more accessible. This program has helped SLAC reach a larger, more diverse audience by making theatre more affordable to a younger demographic. SLAC has seen an immense period of growth over the past few seasons and these young theatre-goers are an important part of SLAC's continued vision.

Free discussion programs and performance:

Free and open to the public, these Sunday post-matinee discussions engage our audience with the director, cast, artistic crew, and whenever possible, the playwright. They examine issues and themes particular to each production and help place the relevance and tone of each play. One of the longest-running programs for SLAC, these discussions encourage thoughtful conversation among the audience and SLAC staff and artists.

Panel Discussions:

SLAC offers free panel discussions in conjunction with productions onstage, open to the public and featuring scholars and experts from the community whose work ties directly to themes raised in productions. Holding between 2-4 panel discussions each season, SLAC hosts experts and scholars to share their thoughts on the issues raised in each production. These discussions invite collaborative conversation with the audience as well. The Utah Humanities Council and KUER partner with SLAC during these discussions, which are well attended and create rich dialogue that connects themes from the stage to contemporary life.

In addition to these established community programs and partnerships, Salt Lake Acting Company is proud to announce the following new programs, reinforcing its commitment to playwrights in our community and beyond:

Playwrights' Lab at SLAC is a new program dedicated solely to the development of new scripts. With David Kranes at the helm, and modeled after the Sundance Playwrights' Lab, which he founded, the Playwrights' Lab at SLAC will take a good play, and through exploring and opening the playwright's vision, help make it stronger, deeper, and more of the play it had hoped to be when first conceived.

The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists honors the memory of SLAC's dear friend and collaborator, David Fetzer. SLAC is proud to partner with the Foundation to offer a grant that will provide a playwright 35 years of age or younger with a week-long opportunity to develop their script with professional actors and a director, culminating in a reading on SLAC's stage August 31, 2015.

Tanner Humanities Center presents their 2015 Artist in Residence, celebrated playwright Tony Kushner, for a 3-day residency and public lecture at Kingsbury Hall on February 5, 2015. To celebrate Mr. Kushner's residency, SLAC will present a reading of his 5 short plays, Tiny Kushner on February 2, 2015 at 7pm.

This is a rich and exciting time to reaffirm support in SLAC's mission and to continue to be inspired by what is possible in the arts. For some, it is the perfect time to visit SLAC's historical space in the Marmalade Neighborhood for the first time... it is more alive than ever.

SLAC NOTES

Salt Lake Acting Company deeply thanks their many season subscribers, without whom this theatre's work would not be possible.

Season tickets are available. For tickets call 801-363-7522, visit www.saltlakeactingcompany.org, or come to the box office at 168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.

SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre founded in 1970 and is dedicated to producing, commissioning and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract. SLAC is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres, and the National New Play Network.

 

Published in Blog & News
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 08:19

I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers

by John Logan

Tony Award-Winning Playwright

September 17 - October 26, 2014

Directed by Robin Wilks-Dunn

Featuring Camille Van Wagoner

Description

The 2014-2015 season opens with I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS by Tony Award-winning playwright John Logan. Hailed as the first female "super-agent," Sue Mengers was the talk of the entertainment industry, representing the likes of Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, and Cher. This one-woman show, starring Utah favorite Camille Van Wagoner and directed by Robin Wilks-Dunn will run September 17 – October 26, 2014. SLAC invites audiences into Sue's glamorous living room for an evening of dish and dirty secrets.

This fast-moving 90-minute play will show in the 100-seat Chapel Theatre Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 6 p.m. We will also have one Tuesday performance on October 14th and one Saturday Matinee at 2:00 p.m. on October 25th. I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS will perform without an intermission.

Cast & Creative

Camille-Van-Wagoner-Headshot-150-PixCAMILLE G. VAN WAGONER* (Sue Mengers)

Camille is grateful to be back at SLAC! She was last seen here as Cow 1 in CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE. Camille has worked for many local theatre companies, including: Caine Lyric Repertory Co, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Egyptian Theatre Co, Hale Centre Theatre, The Grand Theatre and Pioneer Theatre Company. Some of her favorite roles have been: Chaperone in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Mother Superior in NUNSENSE, Mrs. Lovitt in SWEEENEY TODD, Mama Morton in CHICAGO, Domina in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, Melpomene in XANADU, Dolly in HELLO, DOLLY!, Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Louse in ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE, and Madame Thenardier in LES MISERABLES. Thanks to everyone for this phenomenal opportunity.

Olivia-Custodio-150pixOlivia Custodio (Understudy)

Olivia Custodio (Understudy, performing Tuesday, October 14 and Saturday, October 25 matinee) is absolutely thrilled to be able to enter the world of Sue Mengers for this incredible production. She most recently performed at SLAC in this year's SATURDAY'S VOYEUR as Sister Marriott. An opera singer, Olivia received her Bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and will earn her Master of Music at the University of Utah this fall. She has performed leading roles in operas including Elle in LA VOIX HUMAINE, the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Alice Ford in FALSTAFF, Flora in LA TRAVIATA, and Bradamante in ALCINA. Although she is an opera singer, she has never sung while wearing Viking horns, nor has she shattered a glass with her voice. A lover of all things comical, Olivia has studied improv comedy at The Second City in Chicago and created her own operatic comedy show called "Operation: Opera" during her time living in NYC. She would like to thank her parents for creating her and their endless support, as well as her dearest friends and teachers for their continual assistance in her growth as a performer and human being.

JOHN LOGAN (Playwright)

John received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Drama League awards for his play RED. This play premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and at the Golden Theatre on Broadway. He is the author of more than a dozen other plays including NEVER THE SINNER and HAUPTMANN. His adaptation of Ibsen's THE MASTER BUILDER premiered on the West End in 2003. As a screenwriter, Logan had three movies released in 2011: HUGO, CORIOLANUS and RANGO. Previous film work includes SWEENEY TODD (Golden Globe award); THE AVIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); GLADIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); THE LAST SAMURAI; ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, and RKO 281 (WGA award, Emmy nomination).

ROBIN WILKS-DUNN (Director)

Robin is pleased to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company. Her most recent productions at SLAC were GOOD PEOPLE and A LOSS OF APPETITE in the 2013-14 season. Other productions she has directed at SLAC include DOTTIE: THE SISTER LIVES ON, BOOM, PEARL, ONE LAST DANCE and NAPOLEON'S CHINA. Robin has directed several staged readings at SLAC, most recently ROAD TO EDEN, PERMANENT COLLECTION and THE LAST WORD and will be directing Tony Kushner's One Acts TINY KUSHNER as part of the NPSS this season. She directed LAST LISTS OF MY MAD MOTHER and THE GOOD BODY for Pygmalion Theatre Company, where she serves on the board. Robin co-wrote and was the original director of the children's touring show for the Intermountain LIVE WELL campaign, now starting its 7th tour. She reads scripts for the Sundance Theatre Lab and works as Education and Outreach Coordinator for Kingsbury Hall. She is on the National Advisory Committee for Kennedy Center Partners in Education. Robin's work has been seen on stages across the Salt Lake Valley for years and hopefully for many years to come!

K.L. ALBERTS (Costume Designer)

Kevin has been designing for SLAC since 1999. Some favorite designs include RABBIT HOLE, I AM MY OWN WIFE, GO, DOG. GO!, CIRCLE, MIRROR, TRANSFORMATION and BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE. Recent designs for Pioneer Theatre Company include ELF-THE MUSICAL, OF MICE AND MEN, LES MISERABLES, WHITE CHRISTMAS and LAUGHING STOCK. Locally Kevin has also worked with Meat & Potato Theatre and spent 21 seasons with the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

JENNIE SANT* (Stage Manager)

Jennie has worked at Salt Lake Acting Company as the AEA Stage Manager on VENUS IN FUR, MANNING UP, THE PERSIAN QUARTER and ANGELS IN AMERICA PARTS I & II. She has also worked at The Egyptian Theatre Company as the AEA Stage Manager on PAGENT and THE MUSIC MAN. Pioneer Theatre Company as the 1st ASM on LES MISERABLES, PAINT YOUR WAGON, DOUBT, A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, THE FOREIGNER, VERTICAL HOUR and THE PRODUCERS. She was also the ASM for NEXT TO NORMAL. Other credits stage managing includes ANGELS IN AMERICA PARTS I & II at the Babcock Theatre, TRUE WEST in Studio 115, HENRY V and MEASURE FOR MEASURE for Salt Lake Shakes and TALKING WALES II for Utah Contemporary Theatre.

MARTIN C ALCOCER (Assistant Stage Manager)

Martin is a freshman in the stage management program at the University of Utah. He graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School, which is where he discovered his passion for technical theater. Some previous credits include SWEENEY TODD (Judge Memorial), THUMBELINA (Youth Theatre at the U), and A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM (Babcock). Martin is very excited to be debuting at SLAC and would like to thank Cynthia and Keven for the opportunity. He would also like to thank the many others that have helped him along this path, especially his parents for their continued support.

KEVEN MYHRE (Executive Producer, Set & Props Designer)

Keven received the Mayor's Artists Award in the Performing Arts in 2009. He was awarded the 20008 City Weekly Award for directing THE CLEAN HOUSE and MOONLIGHT AND MAGOLIAS at Salt Lake Acting Company. His other directing credits at SLAC include GRANT & TWAIN, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, RED, ANGELS IN AMERICA: PARTS I & II, THE OVERWHELMING, RABBIT HOLE, I AM MY OWN WIFE; BAD DATES, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, GOING TO ST. IVES, WATER LILIES, THE MEMORY OF WATER, TWO-HEADED, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, C'EST MOI in MERE MORTALS and THREE DAYS OF RAIN. Keven has designed all of SLAC's sets and many of the costumes for the last 18 years. He has also designed 16 sets for The Grand Theatre. He designed sets for ACCORDING TO COYOTE, WEEST SIDE STORY, CROW AND WEASSEL, and SOUTH PACIFIC at Sundance Theatre. His designs have also been seen at Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Utah Musical Theatre, Egyptian Theatre, Kingsbury Hall and the Babcock Theatre. His for the Utah Arts Festival includes site design for the 20th anniversary. He received a BFA from the University of Utah and a MFA in Theatre from the University of Michigan.

CYNTHIA FLEMING (Executive Producer)

Cynthia has been in the world of dance and theatre professionally for over 36 years, during which time she performed in the Broadway, national and International companies with A CHORUS LINE. In 1978 as a U of U Theatre student, her performing relationship with SLAC began. Since 1995 she has worn many hats at SLAC, including Choreographer, Director, Box Office Manager and Director of Audience Services. She conceived and created the position of Director of Communication and Audience Development and assembled the communication team to generate a renewed energy and excitement about the theatre before taking on her current position as Executive Producer. Cynthia remains a working artist in the theatre and has choreographed SATURDAY'S VOYEUR for 16 years and directed the musical for five years. She has choreographed many SLAC productions including THE PERSIAN QUARTER; GO, DOG. GO!; BAT BOY THE MUSICAL; AND WATER LILIES from CABBIES; COWBOYS; and THE TREE OF THE WEEPING VIRGIN. Cynthia is proud to serve SLAC and its mission to develop and produce vital new work.

*Members of Actor's Equity Association
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA) – founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org

Press & Reviews

I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS Press Release | Read full press release here | September 3, 2014

The Salt Lake Tribune | Salt Lake Acting Company serves a fresh plate of Hollywood dish | Ellen Fagg Weist | September 13, 2014

Mercolocal | Salt Lake Acting Company dishes up dirt on '80s Hollywood | Lex Hogan | September 10, 2014

Utah Theatre Bloggers | I'LL EAT YOU LAST serves up good dirt |  Megan Crivello | September 23, 2014

Broadway World Salt Lake City | I'LL EAT YOU LAST at Salt Lake Acting Company | Broadway World | October 9, 2014

In the Room

Rehearsal ShotMy Aunt Vi, my mother's sister, lived in California. To me, as a child growing up in rural Louisiana, she seemed exotic and mysterious, always fashion savvy with the newest hottest styles. When I was a child, our families would meet at my grandparent's house in Illinois. She would swoop in with her designer sunglasses (she worked at the company), bestowing on us all designer sunglasses with our initials in rhinestones. Her hair was dyed and worn in an upsweep do; I never saw her without long, painted fingernails, or without her makeup on. She would splurge on us and buy steak and serve it for breakfast. She chain-smoked over meals and in elevators. She refused senior discounts and would get offended if one was offered. she spent money she didn't have to help craft that image. She played by her own rules. She was ballsy and brash and spoke her mind - sometimes just for shock value - and late at night I could hear stirrings of arguments amongst the adults. My mother would be furious with her sister for reasons I didn't understand until I was older.

What does my Aunt Vi have to do with Sue Mengers? Sue's words of advice to the audience "You want to be a thing? Make yourself that thing." My aunt had in fact done just that, just like Sue had. Violet Grace Payne from rural Illinois moves to California in the 1960s and reinvents herself – became someone that no one in her past recognized, not even her parents, sister, or son. She could be selfish and catty and inconsiderate and in the next breath could be lovely and generous and kind. She would have made a good agent.

And this is exactly what Sue did also – remade herself into the thing she wanted to be – trying to leave behind a past that included painful memories and went to the mecca where dreams are created - to Hollywood. The siren call of Hollywood - where people are lured to and reinvent themselves every day. And it's hard to know who you are when you have reinvented yourself. Hollywood in the 1960s when Sue arrived didn't have a lot of women in charge of things. So, not only did Sue re-invert herself, she fought and scrambled to the top and became not the most powerful woman agent in Hollywood in the 1970s but the most powerful agent, period.

And as inexplicable as why someone becomes famous and powerful, the same can be said of the fall. Sue rose to the top very quickly and fell just as fast.

I had never heard of Sue Mengers until I worked on this script, though I knew the stars and directors and movies that she was instrumental in making. I hope you enjoy getting to know Sue as you sit in her Hollywood home in 1981 and learn about her fascinating life and reflect on how we reinvent ourselves – maybe not to the extreme of Sue Mengers or my Aunt Vi, but how we shape our lives, tweak our stories to make them just a tad more engaging, make ourselves into the "thing" we want to be. And is that a firm foundation? Or just waiting to crumble with one false move?

 

Photo: Camille G. Van Wagoner and Director Robin Wilks-Dunn during rehearsal. 

 

Published in 2014-2015 Season