Wednesday, 04 February 2015 13:21

TWO STORIES Press Release

News Release
PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |
January 13, 2015
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company presents World Premiere of
TWO STORIES by Elaine Jarvik

"I love my job. I am extremely grateful to have my job. Really, if the journalism gods are listening, I am extremely grateful. Because what we do is important. We give people a chance to tell their stories." – Jodi, TWO STORIES

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) proudly presents the World Premiere of TWO STORIES by Utah playwright Elaine Jarvik, February 4 through March 1, 2015. After a successful reading in last season's New Play Sounding Series, TWO STORIES comes to full production on SLAC's stage, bringing with it questions of cultural misunderstandings, the current state of journalism, neighborhood preservation, who really owns a story, and what is the American dream? We thank the NEA Art Works for their support of this play.

ABOUT THE PLAY
TWO STORIES reflects America's changing demographics—in all senses of the word. Jodi Wolcott is an old-school journalist trying to keep her job in a 24-hour news cycle. Her husband Kevin lost his job then quickly used up their savings on a failing artisan donut shop.

When the Masoris – a Pakistani family – move in next door, Jodi throws a party to welcome them, excited for the diversity they will bring to the neighborhood. Later, Jodi develops a friendship with Bashira, the grandmother of the family. Recently having arrived in the U.S. Bashira slowly opens up, revealing the reason she left Pakistan so suddenly, and Jodi realizes Bashira has a story that might save Jodi's job. The article that she eventually publishes about Bashira angers Amir, Bashira's son, who is mortified that his family's privacy has been breached.

The tension explodes when Amir and his wife plan to remodel their house into a giant, two-story upper-class home that will change the look of the middle-class neighborhood and cut off the Wolcotts' light and view. Kevin accuses Amir of planning a "monster home," and Jodi is caught in the middle, afraid to alienate their new neighbors, but wanting to prevent the addition.

Religious and ethnic tensions escalate. Rocks are thrown. Hate crime charges are filed. But who is to blame? And when Jodi's newspaper colleague, a young Hispanic reporter, comes to the Wolcotts' house to write a story about the incident, Jodi finds herself in Amir and Bashira's position: having her own story taken from her and told by the media. The prejudices underneath her intentions are revealed.

In TWO STORIES, it is the Pakistani family that is upwardly mobile and the "white" family that is trying desperately to hang on. The Masoris want to fit in but also want the house of their dreams. The Wolcotts want to be friends with the Masoris but also want to protect their home. "Why is my desire for space any less important than your desire for a view?" asks Amir. "Because we were here first," answers Kevin.

Among the play's many relevant themes is the battle between preserving a neighborhood's character and the freedom to make changes and additions to one's home. It's an issue that has been particularly pervasive in some Salt Lake City neighborhoods since about 2007. An article from the Salt Lake Tribune's archives quotes one resident as saying, "Adjacent property owners [are pitted] against each other in a way that is destroying the fabric of this community" (http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=6106285&itype=NGPSID) and in another article, "If people can't work within the fabric of the neighborhood, they shouldn't live there. There are plenty of other places you can go to build your McMansion."
(http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=12311519&itype=NGPSID)

It's a debate that continues with groups like K.E.E.P. Yalecrest, whose mission is to help preserve and protect the Yalecrest neighborhood, designated on the National Register of Historic Places, by providing advocacy, education and recognition of its community, history, landscapes and historic architecture.
(http://keepyalecrest.org/)

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Elaine Jarvik
Elaine's short play DEAD RIGHT was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2008 and has been anthologized in the "Bedford Introduction to Literature." Her full-length play (A MAN ENTERS) was produced by the Salt Lake Acting Company in 2011, and THE COMING ICE AGE was produced by Pygmalion Theatre in 2010. Jarvik has spent most of her writing career as a journalist, first for the Deseret News and more recently freelancing, earning national awards for reporting.

Jarvik says: "Like most playwrights, I suppose, I wrote TWO STORIES so I could grapple with worries that keep me up at night. During my 40 years as a newspaper and magazine reporter, I lost many a night's sleep wondering if I had used the right tone and the right details in the articles I wrote. Journalism is often a symbiotic relationship between reporter and source, but I worried whether I was using the details of someone's life just so I could tell a good story. And, in the later years of my career, as newspapers gasped for life, I worried whether I'd even have a job. Like Jodi, my protagonist, I interviewed many immigrants and refugees, and was moved especially by the stories of older people who had been forced to leave their homes. No wonder Jodi wants to tell Bashira's story. But is she telling a story that shouldn't be told, just to save her own job? TWO STORIES asks: 'Who owns the story?' It asks: 'Who owns the view?' because this is also a play about houses and neighborhoods. It asks: 'What happens when well-meaning people defend their own self-interests against the self-interests of their well-meaning neighbors?'"

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
In conjunction with TWO STORIES, SLAC is proud to partner with the International Rescue Committee. The IRC is one of the leading organizations in Salt Lake City that gives "care and life-changing assistance" to empower refugees. TWO STORIES playwright Elaine Jarvik credited the IRC for helping her connect to refugee and immigrant communities in Utah and deepening her understanding of their situation as she wrote. The IRC will have a presence in SLAC's lobby through the duration of the play.

GREEN ROOM GALLERY
Throughout the run of TWO STORIES, SLAC's Green Room Gallery will feature the artwork of Katrina Berg, whose work focuses on architecture and the stories therein. Berg says: "An obsession and admiration for local architecture has sparked the desire to preserve buildings, homes, barns, and even furniture with a brush, canvas and tubes of oil paint. Each architectural subject has a story of its own to tell. As the light and shadows pour over a structure, some of the story is revealed; times of happiness and grief, love, and pain. Weathered by time and nature, each comes to life through the strokes of a brush."

PANEL DISCUSSION
SLAC will host a panel discussion on Sunday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m. titled "Living/Losing the American Dream" moderated by Terry Gildea and featuring panelists Safi Safiullah, Elaine Jarvik, and Tim Chambless. The discussion will focus on the definition of the 'American Dream' as seen by those who were born here and those who immigrated here.

An article on New America Media states: "There are two versions of the American Dream. The first is the Dream of the outsiders, the immigrants, that 'I will come to America and I will change my life.' For those born in the United States, there's a different notion. It's not about changing one's life. It's about acquiring more, or trying to hold on to what you have. In that sense the American Dream is failing those who live in this country but not failing those who come to this country. The American Dream is alive and well all over the world, but it is dying in the United States." (http://newamericamedia.org/2014/09/qa-what-is-the-american-dream.php)

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Keven Myhre
Keven received the Mayor's Artists Award in the Performing Arts in 2009. He was awarded the 2008 City Weekly Award for directing THE CLEAN HOUSE and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS 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, WEST 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 work 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.

ABOUT THE CAST
TWO STORIES features a terrific ensemble including SLAC favorites Alexandra Harbold (CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, SIX YEARS, ICE GLEN), Zack Phifer (GOD OF CARNAGE), and Elena Dern (SATURDAY'S VOYEUR, THE CAT IN THE HAT, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON) and newcomers Tito Livas and Tamara Howell.

ELENA DERN (Melinda)
Elena is very excited to return to SLAC for her fourth production! Most recently, she was seen in the Egyptian Theatre's production of A CHORUS LINE as Diana and has worked as Assistant Choreographer for SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2013/2014 at SLAC. Other SLAC credits include Sally in THE CAT IN THE HAT, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, and SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2012. Favorite roles include Madelaine True in WILD PARTY and Gwen Landis in FIFTH OF JULY in Studio 115, ensemble in HAIR and THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and Raymonde in A FLEA IN HER EAR at the Babcock Theatre. Elena is a graduate of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. She thanks her family and friends for their never ending support!!

ALEXANDRA HARBOLD (Jodi)
Alexandra is very happy to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company. Previously, she acted in CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, SIX YEARS, and ICE GLEN, and directed the premieres of Elaine Jarvik and Kate Jarvik Birch's (A MAN ENTERS) and Kathleen Cahill's The Persian Quarter. Recent projects include directing THE OWL GIRL (University of Utah), CLIMBING WITH TIGERS (Red Fred Project & Flying Bobcat), and LOST IN THE WOODS (Salt Lake Men's Choir & Flying Bobcat), and acting in FEAST (NOW-ID & Flying Bobcat). Upcoming projects include directing UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (AP Productions) and serving as Dramaturg on I HATE HAMLET (Pioneer Theatre Company). Alexandra is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory.

TAMARA HOWELL (Bashira)
Tamara has appeared recently in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Utah Rep), MOTHERHOOD OUTLOUD, THE 12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS, SEVEN AND THE GOOD BODY (Pygmalion Theatre). Other local roles include Truvy in STEEL MAGNOLIAS and Rona Lisa Perretti in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Pinnacle Acting Co.), Steffy in I OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES (Utah Theatre Artists), Noleta Netercott in SORDID LIVES, Lou in WELCOME HOME JENNY SUTTER and Zoila in LIVING OUT (Pygmalion). Tamara is also a Mom and a Jr. High Drama Teacher. She earned her BFA in theatre from the University of Utah.

TITO LIVAS (Amir)
Tito is proud to be making his Salt Lake City debut with SLAC! Born and raised just north of here in Caldwell, ID, Tito has just recently finished touring the world performing with Holland America and visiting six out of the seven continents. Before that he workshopped the new David Byrne musical HERE LIES LOVE which recently closed Off-Broadway, toured around the US with Theatreworks USA, worked as a performer at Walt Disney World, and performed Shakespeare in Idaho and Alaska. He loves animals, the outdoors, and pretending.

ZACK PHIFER (Kevin)
Zack had uber fun doing SLAC's well received production of GOD OF CARNAGE last fall. After graduating from the U of U in the Acting Emphasis Program, he headed to Los Angeles where he appeared in over 150 commercials, 50 television shows and many films. Some favorite projects were "Murphy Brown", "Seinfeld", "Get Shorty" and "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion". He can currently be seen in the film "Darling Companion" shot in Utah.

WHO:
Salt Lake Acting Company

WHAT:
TWO STORIES
By Elaine Jarvik

WHEN:
February 4 – March 1, 2015
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.

Additional performances:
Tuesday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City

PRICE:
Single tickets range from $15 to $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of ten or more.

MORE INFORMATION:
Box Office: 801-363-7522
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.saltlakeactingcompany.org

CAST:
Elena Dern*
Alexandra Harbold*
Tamara Howell
Tito Livas*
Zack Phifer

ARTISTIC TEAM:
Director – Keven Myhre
Set Design – Keven Myhre
Costume Design – KL Alberts
Lighting Design – Jesse Portillo
Sound Design – Jennifer Jackson
Dialect Coach – Sandra Shotwell
Production Stage Manager – Jennie Sant*

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to enrich and engage community through brave contemporary theatre. 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

By KATHY STEPHENSON | January 31, 2015 | The Salt Lake Tribune

 

The threads that run through "Two Stories," a new play making its world premiere at Salt Lake Acting Company, are pulled from today's headlines: "Neighbors battle over McMansions" and "Can newspapers save jobs with web hits?"

The topics are just two things that keep Utah playwright Elaine Jarvik — a former reporter with a love of houses and neighborhood aesthetics — up at night.

"I really wanted to tell both these stories," she said. "There was a connection: my rights versus your rights, and what do we really own?"

The play follows Jodi Wolcott, an old-school journalist forced to produce stories that will draw web hits, and the Masoris family, who plan to remodel their modest house.

 

[Read Full Article] 

Published in Blog & News
Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:34

Green Room Gallery | Artist Katrina Berg

believers.katrinaberg.web

Green Room Gallery Artist Katrina Berg

Our Green Room Gallery is a collective endeavor between community and artists. This space allows us to offer a variety of diverse visual perspectives from local artists. In keeping with SLAC's mission to nurture our local, creative community, we celebrate these reinforcements born between the visual and performing arts. All sales go directly to the exhibiting artist.

During the run of TWO STORIES we are pleased to present the work of Katrina Berg. Katrina lives and creates in Midway, Utah with her husband, 4 sons (including baby twins), and daughter. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education from Brigham Young University and Landscape Architecture from UNLV. After spending summers studying French in Paris, and later Architecture in Torino, Italy, she found she could not leave her paints alone. Her work is found in private collections across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Israel, and Europe.

Katrina uses paint as a means of preservation. This pictorial form of conservation acts as a record of a place, time, and feeling. Her work presenting homes and architecture not only offer physical descriptions, but also encapsulates the nostalgia of the American dream. As the architectural landscape of our cities and the cultural climate of our societies evolves scenes such as those depicted by Katrina find their place in the realm of the historical, rather than the current day to day. The American dream that once consisted of the small little house with the white picket fence has evolved, and is now diverse and individualized. TWO STORIES reflects America's changing demographics, and different versions of the American Dream are reflected through the changing architectural landscape of a neighborhood. Questions of neighborhood preservation are raised, and the American dream is examined.

To see more of Katirna's work visit her website at www.katrinaberg.com

Published in Blog & News
Monday, 26 January 2015 09:44

A Cup of Joe with O | Elaine Jarvik

Episode 1: TWO STORIES. In this first interview for the run of TWO STORIES, host Olivia Custodio sits down with playwright Elaine Jarvik to discuss the world premiere play.

Published in Blog & News
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 16:11

Meet the Cast of TWO STORIES

It's the second week of rehearsal for the company of TWO STORIES - a world premiere production by local playwright Elaine Jarvik. This play's fascinating themes and complex characters are brought to life by five of the best Salt Lake City actors. We'd like to introduce you to the cast of TWO STORIES.

 

Elena-Dern-Headshot-150-PixElena Dern is no stranger to SLAC. She's appeared in SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2012, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, DR. SEUSS'S THE CAT IN THE HAT and has assistant choreographed SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2013 and 2014. She's a proud graduate of the University of Utah's Actor Training Program.

Alexandra-Harbold-Headshot-150-Pix

Alexandra Harbold has done almost everything there is to do at Salt Lake Acting Company - she's acted in ICE GLEN, SIX YEARS, and CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, she's directed THE PERSIAN QUARTER and (a man enters), she's designed posters and newsletters, done dramaturgical work, answered the phone, taken care of VOYEUR parties, baked the most delicious scones for staff meetings, and much more during her six years on SLAC's staff.

Tamara-Howell-Headshot-150-PixThis marks Tamara Johnson-Howell's first time on SLAC's stage, but Utah theatre-goers will recognize her from productions at Pygmalion Theatre, Utah Rep, Pinnacle Acting Company, and Utah Theatre Artists. When she's not working on a show herself, she's teaching the lucky students at Lakeview Academy how it's done.

Tito-Livas-Headshot-150-PixTito Livas is another SLAC newbie. Tito hails from the north (Idaho) and has travelled the world performing with Holland America, Theatre Works USA, and Walt Disney World, just to name a few. We're thrilled to have him here in Salt Lake City.

Zac-Phifer-Headshot-150PixYou may remember Zack Phifer as the well-meaning neanderthal Michael in GOD OF CARNAGE. Or from episodes of "Seinfeld" or "Murphy Brown". Or perhaps from "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion". We remember him as a baker and bringer of delicious goods and one of our favorite actors.

 

 

 

 

 We asked them to answer a few weird questions, so we could all get to know each other a little better. Enjoy!

    1. Any irrational fears that you're open to being gently teased about?

      Tito: I have a fear that is completely rational!! Like 50% of america (I made that percentage up) I have a fear of clowns. They're gross and sick and should be burned until they are no more. WHY ARE YOU WEARING ALL THAT MAKEUP?!! TO HIDE THAT YOU'RE THE DEVIL?!!

      Elena: I'm really afraid of black mold.

      Tamara: I have an irrational fear of birds and moths - - anything fluttery freaks me out.

    2. Are you watching HOUSE OF CARDS and if so, do you love or hate Frank Underwood?

      Tito: I am NOT watching House of Cards, but I like building them...but not out of cards...out of blocks. I like blocks.

      Elena: I'll start on House of Cards as soon as I finish Game of Thrones. I'm a little behind.

      Tamara: I love Frank Underwood - - but I REALLY love Claire *shudders*.

    3. What is the best piece of theatre you've seen or worked on?

      Andra: I am obsessed with the work of Simon McBurney and Complicite. And have been since 1993. Seeing Street of Crocodiles changed the way I saw theatre. It imprinted.

      Zack: Either Lily Tomlin in Jane Wagner's "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" (she could change characters back and forth in a heartbeat and wonderfully funny, insightful and memorable) or Royal Shakespeare Company's 8 1/2-hours-in-one-day "Life and Times of Nicholas Nickelby". (I think my mind wandered for a minute and a half of it. I thought, "Why can't all live theatre be this thrilling and engaging?")

      Tito: There's too much...I mean, I saw the original cast of War Horse at the Lincoln Center and it was brilliant...absolutely brilliant, in every aspect. But then I saw King Kong the musical in Melbourne Australia and was blown away by the music and the puppetry of that colossal creature! It literally took my breath away- I stopped breathing. BUT THEN I remember...no. you know what? I can't. There's too much great theatre out there.

      Elena: I saw Ruined at the Almeida Theatre in London and it was heartbreakingly beautiful.

    4. Any funny or weird stories about SLAC?

      Tamara: Showed up late for a matinee of Voyeur (thought it was an hour later than it was) and everyone was so gracious and sweet about it, and changed our tkts for the later performance - which they didn't have to do!!!

    5. If we looked at the "special skills" section of your resume, what might we be surprised to see?

      Andra: Does consuming epic amounts of tea count? Probably not, but I can drink most other tea-drinkers under the table.
      Baking (particularly scones, brownies, and Irish brown bread)skills when needed. Mucking stalls. Dancing the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance.

      Tito: Hmmm...what might you be surprised to see? That I have "being brown" listed...cause that's pretty special.

      Elena: I can burp the ABC's.

      Tamara: I speak Spanish, I play the Piano and Guitar - - and I juggle. Actually that's a lie - I don't juggle.

    6. What's the most exotic place you've ever been?

      Zack: Gibraltar..monkeys, lots of rock, being able to see across to Africa, concert in a cave and James Bond.

      Tito: This is a tough one...in the last two years I've visited 6 of the 7 continents, and seen more beauty in this world that I thought possible- especially for a boy from Idaho. But I think I'm gonna go with Bora Bora. It's ridiculous there.

      Elena: Guaymas, Mexico. I felt like I was the only person in this small, quaint town who didn't speak Spanish. Ironic, seeing as my character is Melinda Alvarado.

      Tamara: Tooele

    7. Do you have a favorite recipe you're willing to share?

      Tito: Yes! It's on the back of the velveeta cheese and macaroni box.

      Elena: I burn everything I cook.

      Tamara: Ice, Gin, Tonic, 2 Limes

    8. What's your favorite bar or restaurant in Salt Lake City?

      Tito: I've been in SLC for less than a year so I haven't tried everything out there, but I have tried several little local restaurants and my favorite one is Applebees. JK. ha. I do really like Faustina though! mmm.

      Elena: I'm in love with the Bayou. Their sweet potato fries always win my heart.

      Zack: Taco Cart on the west side of the Sears parking lot. I need my tacos and burritos!!!!

      Tamara: I love me some Poplar St.

 

Be sure to catch this terrific company in TWO STORIES running February 4 - March 1! Get tickets now.

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 08:29

Two Stories

by Elaine Jarvik

World Premiere

Developed in the New Play Sounding Series

February 4 - March 1, 2015

Directed by Keven Myhre

Featuring performances by Elena Dern, Alexandra Harbold, Tamara Howell, Tito Livas, and Zack Phifer

Description

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.

Performances will take place in the 160-seat Upstairs Theatre Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 6 p.m. We will also have two Tuesday performances on February 17th and February 24th at 7:30 p.m. as well as two Saturday Matinees at 2:00 p.m. on February 21st and 28th. TWO STORIES will run approximately 1 hour and thirty minutes, with no intermission. 

Cast & Creative

Elena-Dern-Headshot-150-PixELENA DERN* (Melinda)

Elena is very excited to return to SLAC for her fourth production! Most recently, she was seen in the Egyptian Theatre's production of A Chorus Line as Diana and has worked as Assistant Choreographer for Saturday's Voyeur 2013/2014 at SLAC. Other SLAC credits include Sally in Cat in the Hat, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Saturday's Voyeur 2012. Favorite roles include Madelaine True in Wild Party and Gwen Landis in Fifth of July in Studio 115, ensemble in Hair and The Rocky Horror Show, and Raymonde in A Flea in Her Ear at the Babcock Theatre. Elena is a graduate of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. She thanks her family and friends for their never ending support!!

Alexandra-Harbold-Headshot-150-PixALEXANDRA HARBOLD* (Jodie)

Alexandra is very happy to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company. Previously, she acted in Circle Mirror Transformation, Six Years, and Ice Glen, and directed the premieres of Elaine Jarvik and Kate Jarvik Birch's (a man enters) and Kathleen Cahill's The Persian Quarter. Recent projects include directing The Owl Girl(University of Utah), Climbing with Tigers (Red Fred Project & Flying Bobcat), andLost in the Woods (Salt Lake Men's Choir & Flying Bobcat), and acting in FEAST(NOW-ID & Flying Bobcat). Upcoming projects include directing Underneath the Lintel (AP Productions) and serving as Dramaturg on I Hate Hamlet (Pioneer Theatre Company). Alexandra is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory.

Tamara-Howell-Headshot-150-PixTAMARA HOWELL (Bashira)

Tamara has appeared recently in August:Osage County (Utah Rep), Motherhood Outloud, The 12 Dates of Christmas, Seven and The Good Body (Pygmalion Theatre). Other local roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias and Rona Lisa Perretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Pinnacle Acting Co.), Steffy in I Oughta Be in Pictures (Utah Theatre Artists), Noleta Netercott in Sordid Lives, Lou in Welcome Home Jenny Sutter and Zoila in Living Out (Pygmalion). Tamara is also a Mom and a Jr. High Drama Teacher. She earned her BFA in theatre from the University of Utah.

Tito-Livas-Headshot-150-PixTITO LIVAS* (Amir)

Tito is proud to be making his Salt Lake City debut with SLAC! Born and raised just north of here in Caldwell, ID, Tito has just recently finished touring the world performing with Holland America and visiting six out of the seven continents. Before that he workshopped the new David Byrne musical "Here Lies Love" currently playing Off-Broadway, toured around the US with Theatreworks USA, worked as a performer at Walt Disney World, and performed Shakespeare in Idaho and Alaska. He loves animals, the outdoors, and pretending. :)

Zac-Phifer-Headshot-150PixZACK PHIFER (Kevin)

Zack had uber fun doing SLAC's well received production of "God of Carnage" last fall. After graduating from the U of U in the Acting Emphasis Program, he headed to Los Angeles where he appeared in over 150 commercials, 50 television shows and many films. Some favorite projects were "Murphy Brown", "Seinfeld", "Get Shorty" and "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion". He can currently be seen in the film "Darling Companion" shot in Utah.

 

KEVEN MYHRE (Director/Executive Producer)

Keven received the Mayor's Artists Award in the Performing Arts in 2009. He was awarded the 2008 City Weekly Award for directing THE CLEAN HOUSE and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at Salt Lake Acting Company. His other directing credits at SLAC include 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, WEST 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 work 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 35 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.

* Member of ACTOR'S EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA)
Actor's Equity was 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

TWO STORIES Press Release | Read Full Press Release Here | January 13, 2015

Theater: McMansions and media merge in SLAC's new play | Salt Lake Tribune |  Read Full Article Here | January 31, 2015

Living/Losing the American Dream - FREE Panel Press Release | Read Full Press Release Here | January 27, 2015

TWO STORIES by Salt Lake Acting Company | dav.d photography | Read Full Blog Post Here | February 1, 2015

SLAC: Privacy, McMansions and the Evil Media | 15 bytes | Read Full Article Here | February 7, 2015

SLAC's Two Stories Told Well | Utah Theatre Bloggers | Read Full Article Here | February 12, 2015

Salt Lake Acting Company: Two Stories | City Weekly | Read Full Article Here | February 20, 2015

Published in 2014-2015 Season
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